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Home » Santa Clarita News » by Michele E. Buttelman » by Michele E. Buttelman for November 3, 2013 by Michele E. Buttelman for November 3, 2013 by Michele E. Buttelman for November 3, 2013 for November 3, 2013

The weather has been very un-autumn like the last few days…it’s been too warm! I hear a “cool down” is on the way. I certainly hope so! Enough of summer!

‘Tis the season

The official kick-off for the holiday season will be held Nov. 15-24 when the Festival of Trees is held at Westfield Valencia Town Center, between The Patios and Sears on Valencia Boulevard in Valencia. It is one of my favorite events of the season!

What is Festival of Trees?

The Festival of Trees is a fundraising event for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley. A visit to the Festival is a great way to kick-off the holiday season. Not only can you view the many beautiful and elaborately decorated trees which are available for purchase, but you can also purchase small tabletop trees, holiday wreaths, and charming one-of-a-kind gingerbread houses. Large trees range in height from six to nine feet and many come with gifts including furniture, event tickets, wine, jewelry and more. For more information visit

Festival of Trees events

Friday, Nov. 15 from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. – Jingle Jam Swing a night of swing dancing.

Saturday, Nov. 16 from 6:00 p.m. – Holiday Hocus Pocus an Evening of Magic.

Sunday, Nov. 17 from Noon to 6:00 p.m. – Photos with Santa! $5 or take your own photo for a suggested donation of $3.

Friday, Nov. 16 from 6 p.m. – Holiday Hocus Pocus an Evening of Magic.

Saturday, Nov. 23 from 6:30 to 11 p.m. – Magic of the Lights Gala and Tree Auction.

Sunday, Nov. 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. – Silent auction bid board closing.

Help out at Festival of Trees

There are many ways you can be part of the Festival of Trees and help out a great cause by becoming a sponsor or volunteering. For information about sponsorships, click here. Volunteers are needed before, during and after the event. Help is needed before the event for decorating of trees, gingerbread houses and wreaths as well as set up of the event. During the Festival, volunteers are needed in the various areas of the event. Clean up after the event is a big job and volunteer help is greatly appreciated. For information about becoming a volunteer visit

An honor to be an Empowering HeARTHonorees and artists pose for a group photo at the Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at the Empowering HeARTS Gala.

I was so honored to be an Empowering HeART for Single Mothers Outreach. Single Mothers Outreach does such important work with single parents in the Santa Clarita Valley. I was humbled to be chosen as one of the SCV’s “inspiring women.” The gala, held Saturday, Nov. 2, was beautifully organized by chairwoman Dawn Hovhannisyan. To be honored along with Leslie Carr, Anna Frutos-Sanchez, Margo Hudson, Jenny Ketchepaw, Stacie Locke, Marsha McLean, Gloria Mercado-Fortine, Rachel Rodriguez and Heather Stewart was humbling and amazing! The artists, Ted Dayton, Ginger MacDonald, Dawn Hovhannisyan, Scott Groller, Lindsey Schlick, Brooke Ritter, Josh Premako, Jen Parker, Kathy Boyer and Paige Jeffers Burghardt., were all incredibly talented and offered up some truly inspirational artworks to honor all of us! Congrats to photographer Ted Dayton who was the grand prize winner for his wonderful portrait of Anna Frutos-Sanchez. More kudos to photographer Brooke Ritter and artist Ginger MacDonald who also won awards.

Jen Parker rocks

I have to say a special “thank you” to photographer Jen Parker who created a spectacular artwork for me. Somehow she actually captured my soul in a beautiful digital image. (I think she should have won! But I might be a little biased…). Jen specializes in babies and family photography. Visit to see her amazing work.

Photographer Jen Parker and event guest Dennis Poore at the Empowering HeARTS Gala to benefit Single Mothers Outreach.Seen at Empowering HeARTS Gala

Among those seen at the Empowering HeARTS Gala were DaAnne Smith, Scott and Vanessa Wilk, G. Marshall Hann, Dennis Poore, Dianne and Roger Van Hook, Tamra Levine of Salt Creek Grille Catering (serving up some tasty hors d’ouvres), Martin Rodriguez, Kimberly Kagy, Jennifer Kennedy, Dora Zavala, Jeffery Shapiro, Tracy Hauser, Kerri and Marc Emmer and Steve Corn.

Best surprise birthday party ever!

Margo Hudson surprised her husband Bob Hudson with a wonderful surprise birthday party at the home of Shelley and G. Marshall Hann on Halloween. Bob, who was truly stunned when all the guests shouted out “surprise!” and then started singing “Happy Birthday,” told me later than as a Halloween baby he had only had “maybe” five birthday parties in his life. It was a wonderful party (catered by Salt Creek Grille Catering) with a “Mexican Fiesta” theme (including a mariachi band). However, I am now addicted to executive chef Tamra Levine’s take on chocolate Rice Krispie treats! Bob’s cake, designed by Jill of Jill’s Cake Creations, was a magnificent and tasty confection in the shape of a bottle of Glenfiddich Scotch! Yum!

Michele E. Buttelman is the executive editor of, an online publication debuting soon. She is also a correspondent for KHTS AM1220, 

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Source: Santa Clarita News by Michele E. Buttelman for November 3, 2013

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