For the ninth year in a row, the Castaic Lions Club, along with dozens of volunteers, including local students, are planning to host their Thanksgiving Day dinner at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center.
“For the last nine years we’ve been doing this event, and it has blown up to nearly 300 seniors being served in-house and 200 high schoolers volunteering,” said Flo Lawrence, a Lions Club volunteer who helps organize the event. “The entire community comes together to make this happen.”
Volunteers plan to serve a smorgasbord of Thanksgiving fixings donated from restaurants and businesses across Santa Clarita, according to event organizers.
“While we cook the main courses in house, we get the mashed potatoes from Salt Creek, stuffing from Larsen’s Steakhouse, salad from the Hyatt Regency, rolls from Chi-Chi’s pizza, vegetables from the Oaks Club, cranberry sauce from Le Chene and Marston’s does the yams.”
Schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District and students from the culinary program at College of the Canyons also plan on donating pumpkin and apple pies, according to Lawrence.
“We not only serve 250 seniors in house, but we also send them home with a Friday meal,” said Lawrence. “We also make over 250 Thanksgiving Day home deliveries for those seniors that can not make the drive.”
“What we want to do is give seniors a gourmet dinner,” said Lawrence. “But, more importantly, it’s about giving them a family for a day.”
This year’s Senior Center feast was also supported with donations from community leaders, churches and local businesses, with the top three financial donors being the Sand Canyon Country Club, the Conservation Station and Chiquita Canyon, according to Lawrence.
However, with traditions always comes the traditional obstacles, and the Lions Club once again is looking for drivers who can help transport Santa Clarita senior citizens to the free holiday meal hosted at the center.
“We need drivers. (There are) a couple dozen seniors that need rides and if anyone might be able to give a ride at 9 a.m., take home at (noon to 1 p.m.), we’d be happy to have you come and help,” said Lawrence. “And if any seniors are still wanting to come, they should know that the meal is absolutely free and that they still make reservations by calling the Senior Center.”
The doors open Thanksgiving Day at 10 a.m., and the food is served at 11 a.m.
If anyone is interested in helping with carpool needs for the event, they should contact Flo Lawrence at 310-592-4705 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those seniors still looking to make a reservation can call the Senior Center at 661-259-9444.