Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal
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This is a personal account of how our community united together during a time of tragedy.

Since the State of the City event on Oct. 24, 2019, we’ve been through the devastating Tick Fire, a scandal-ridden political fallout and resignation, and then the unthinkable school shooting incident, which touched our community in a profound way. Santa Clarita faced these realities and impacts within a span of 21 days. 

Santa Clarita stood united throughout three weeks of unimaginable turmoil and it strengthened us. Businesses and individuals selflessly gave comfort, food, and money to help those affected. Acts directly from the heart came from every corner of our community. 

On the day of the school shooting, we searched for small ways to help. I loaded my car with pizzas and desserts for the gathering of families and first responders at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. I was touched when I picked up food from Chi Chi’s and Nothing Bundt Cakes that both restaurants shared in the cost without ever being asked. The Child and Family Center continues to provide grief counseling to those in need. The list goes on.  

While the 21 days will forever be carved into our history, our resilience, strength and spirit will be what endures and defines us. We can never get back the loss of life, but we can dedicate our future to Gracie and Dominic. The injured students will recover as Saugus High School students, teachers, and staff work to restore a learning environment wrapped in comfort and safety. The scorched earth from the wildfires will heal and a new congressional representative will be selected by the people. 

As I write this, it becomes apparent that I will forever be grateful to be part of this incredible community. I am so proud to belong to a community cloaked in a culture of caring and defined by people who individually and collectively strive to make a difference. When Don and I opened the doors of Valencia Acura 22 years ago, we knew we had found so much more in Santa Clarita than simply a place to do business. This is our family’s home and our beloved community.  ν

Cheri Fleming is dealer/principal of Valencia Acura, a local, family-owned and operated car dealership, and on the Board of Directors of the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association. Valencia Acura has been recognized as a prestigious Acura Precision Team Dealership for 13 years and awarded Acura’s Council of Excellence for 15 years. Santa Clarita’s Friendship Dealership is the recipient of the prestigious J.D. Power 2019 Dealer of Excellence Award. Don and Cheri Fleming can be reached at (661) 255-3000. www.ValenciaAcura.com.

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