Both the Newhall and Canyon Country community centers hosted special Thanksgiving harvest events this week, giving around 100 families at each center the opportunity to celebrate the holiday.
While the annual event could not provide its usual sit-down Thanksgiving meal, it still gave participating families each a tote bag, filled with items to make their Thanksgiving dinner brighter, such as platters and oven mitts, along with a $50 gift card to help purchase their meal.
At each center, children could also participate in Thanksgiving-themed crafts, such as making centerpieces for their dinner tables, wreaths or turkeys, as well as games and other activities.
“COVID has taken all of the joy out of the holidays, so this is a way of bringing it back,” said Julie Calderon, Canyon Country Community Center supervisor.
“Just from me walking around, I can tell you that the families are really thankful to (event sponsor) Parkway Motorcars for continuing to provide something for them, even during these challenging times… and providing this (festive) atmosphere for the families to come together,” added Cynthia Muir, Newhall Community Center supervisor.
It was this sentiment of thanks that was expressed by families attending the events at both community centers.
“Not having to worry about putting a special meal on the table for my kids is priceless,” Newhall resident Olivia Munoz said.
As a single mother with three young kids, Munoz said it’s difficult to make the holiday as extravagant as she’d like and she was thankful for the assistance in doing so.
“This is really special,” Munoz said.
“Our family can’t come visit this Thanksgiving because some caught COVID, so it’s wonderful that the kids still have a chance to celebrate the festivities this year,” added Canyon Country resident Evan Underdown, as he watched his kids play cornhole with their friends.
It was the Underdown family’s first time at the new Canyon Country Community Center, and Underdown said he was looking forward to returning for future events.
“We’re doing this event to welcome people back,” Calderon said, noting that this is the new Canyon Country Community Center’s first community event since it was opened earlier this month.
Parkway Motorcars Managing Partner Steve Keefe said it was through the hard work of each community center’s staff that the event was possible, allowing all the families to have a chance to celebrate the holiday with their community.
“The effort, the work, the thought process, the feeling, it’s all them, and it’s just awesome to be a part of it,” Keefe added.
Both centers were also working to encourage families to participate in the various programs that have returned to the centers, such as after-school programs for children and teens, winter kids’ camps, adult education classes, and youth sports.
Registration begins for winter programs at the Newhall Community Center on Dec. 7, and for more information, visit santa-clarita.com/NCC. For more information on the Canyon Country Community Center, visit santa-clarita.com/CCCC.