The Auto Dealer Association volunteers serve up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner Magali Cruz, one of 125 attendees at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Newhall Branch Thanks Giving Dinner on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

Boys & Girls Club gathers for Thanksgiving dinner

The Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club held its annual Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday, inviting kids and their families to a festive holiday meal.

“We do this to reach out to the community and our kids here with their families every year — we make sure of it,” said Abigail Gutirrez, Newhall Boys & Girls Club branch manager. “A lot of parents are super grateful for this place, and they always make sure that their kids attend and are super happy to be a part of the Boys and Girls Club.”

Before the event, sponsored by the Santa Clarita Auto Dealers Association, kids made centerpieces for each table. “They colored them and are excited to show them to their families, to show what they’re thankful for,” Gutirrez added.

The Auto Dealer Association volunteers serve up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to the 125 attendees at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Newhall Branch Thanks Giving Dinner on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

As Lisa and Troy Stacy waited in line for food, they watched as their son and daughter ran around with their friends.

“We probably won’t see them for the whole evening,” Troy said, jokingly, adding that it’s great to see them enjoying themselves. “(This event) is awesome.”

“Our daughter comes to the Boys & Girls Club every day and our son comes most days — they love it,” Lisa added.

Tamra Levine, director of catering at Salt Creek Grille, who’s been helping with the event for at least a dozen years, said there were noticeably more kids in attendance this year than she’s ever seen before.

Dashawn Moore, 11, leads the Pledge of Allegiance to open the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Newhall Branch Thanks Giving Dinner on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

“It’s always nice to be able to give back to the community, especially this time of year,” Levine said. “There are so many people that it touches, and it touches our hearts to see how happy they are to just come in and have a nice warm meal.”

She’s always surprised to see how many of the kids say “thank you” when receiving their food.

“It just shows you that something right is going on,” she added. “And there are so many things that have been happening in this community that are hitting too close to home, so hopefully this is the smile we need for the rest of the holiday season.”

The Auto Dealer Association volunteers from left, Linda Awed, Pany Rumteen and Shoreh Soleymanikho serve up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to attendees at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Newhall Branch Thanks Giving Dinner on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

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