The insults, and the laughs, flew fast and furious at the 16th annual Elks Charity Roast to benefit Samuel Dixon Family Healthy Center.
City Councilman Bob Kellar was served up as the honoree to roasters Ken Pulskamp, Don Fleming, Steve Arklin and Laura Langen. Kellar was the event’s inaugural honoree in 1999.
Kellar, a 32-year resident of the Santa Clarita Valley, served in the United States Army 1965-67. He worked as a Los Angeles Police Department officer, retiring after 25 years with the rank of sergeant and serving as the Supervisor in Charge of Reserve Officer Training at the Police Academy.
Kellar was elected to the Santa Clarita City Council in 2000 and has served three terms as Mayor. He has been a member of the Santa Clarita Elks Lodge since 1993 and is credited with leading the Elks to raise more than $500,000 for charities serving the SCV.
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One of the attendees at the March 8 Roast was Pat Sturgeon who served as Kellar’s sergeant when Kellar first joined the LAPD. Kellar introduced Sturgeon to the audience and acknowledged his influence in his life.
“It was an honor to serve under his guidance,” Kellar said.
Since his first outing as the Elk’s honoree Kellar has served as the Roast’s emcee. This year the duties fell to Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin.
The sold out crowd dined on dinner prepared by the famed Barbecue Committee of Santa Clarita Elks Lodge #2379 headed up by Don Dewhurst and Frank Webster.
Gloria Mercado-Fortine, president of the board of the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers, thanked the guests “for coming here and supporting us tonight.”
“We’re expanding our Canyon Country clinic and tonight’s proceeds will go toward helping us realize our dream of building a new clinic,” she said.
The event featured a live auction which raised nearly $7,000. The auction featured items which included VIP packages to a taping of “Entertainment Tonight” and to the Amgen Tour of California and the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.
Previous Elks Roast honorees have included Pulskamp, Fleming, John Riordan, Frank Ferry, Cameron Smyth, Tom Veloz, John Hoskinson, Bob Hudson, John Gedney, Carl Goldman, Wayne Crawford, Jay Thomas, Duane Harte and John Heys.
As Kellar took the stage and the Elk’s Roastee “chair of honor,” many of the past honorees paid “tribute” to Kellar with remarks made on a special video prepared by SCVTV, the Roast’s media title sponsor.
One of the highlights of the video was an appearance by Kathy Kellar, Bob’s wife, who recounted the “sentimental side” of Bob Kellar.
She told of a beautiful and moving card that Kellar presented to her on their wedding day, only when she reached the last line of the card did she discover it was a birthday card, not a wedding card (their wedding day did not fall on Kathy’s birthday.)
“It was a few weeks before I told Bob that he had given me a birthday card, instead of a wedding card,” she said.
Pulskamp, the first roaster on the dais, recounted to attendees Kellar’s proficiency at golf, as well as the colorful language and down-home colloquialisms including “let me show you how the cows eat the cabbage” and “I’m going after this hole with hair, teeth and eyeballs.”
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“We refer to them as Kellarisms,” he said.
Pulskmap was followed by Langen.
“I’m not into the political world, I am into the real estate world with Bob,” she said. “Bob owns three real estate offices and if it wasn’t for Bob, Canyon Country wouldn’t even exist.”
Her remarks brought forth a large cheer from the crowd.
She continued by poking fun at Kellar’s adeptness with technology.
“He faxed…. once,” she said, as the crowd laughed. “He’s not allowed to touch the (toner) in the copy machine.”
After Langen, Fleming earned huge laughs from the crowd with his multi-media presentation that include “doctored” images of Kellar projected on a large screen.
Kellar responded to Fleming’s attacks by holding up a sign that read, “He Drives a Cadillac.” The joke played upon Fleming’s status as co-owner of Valencia Acura.
After Fleming had his fun with Kellar he turned serious.
“With the heart of a true public servant and humanitarian Bob Kellar has devoted his entire life to making the world a better place to live,” said Fleming.
The final roaster, Arklin, played his trademark harmonica for Kellar before launching into a series of jokes at Kellar’s expense and ended by asking the audience to join in a toast to Kellar.
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During Arklin’s onslaught Kellar held up a sign that read, “Trash In/Trash Out” referring to Arklin’s previous ownership of a Santa Clarita waste disposal company.
Kellar had his opportunity to respond to his tormentors at the end of the evening.
After giving as “good as he got” Kellar raised the tenor of the evening.
“To be honest, I don’t know when I’ve been more honored and flattered,” he said. “I mean it most sincerely, what an honor and a privilege to be in this town. I can never give enough appreciation to all of you.”
Kellar then received a standing ovation from the audience.
A table representing Circle of Hope, Inc. then stood and saluted Kellar with everyone raising up a mask in the likeness of Kellar.
The Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers were established in 1990 and named for long-time Val Verde resident and minister, the late Reverend Samuel Dixon. The mission of the Dixon Health Centers is to provide primary health care services and health education to the unserved and underserved residents of the SCV. Centers are located in Val Verde, Newhall and Canyon Country with outreach centers on the campuses of College of the Canyons and California Institute of the Arts.
For more information about the Dixon Health Centers, click here.
Source: Santa Clarita News