They are a tight-knit community of women bound together by something that no mother should have to face. They are the Gold Star Mothers of Santa Clarita.
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Gold Star mothers are recognized nationally as those who has lost a son or daughter in the service during wartime, unlike Blue Star Mothers of America, which is open to all citizens who have a child in the service.
Gold star families sew gold stars over the blue stars on their military service flag for every family member they have lost.
There are 11 women in the Santa Clarita Valley who have lost children since Sept. 11, 2001. Two of these families have since moved away, one to the San Fernando Valley and one to Nevada.
Since 1936, the last Sunday in September has been recognized as Gold Star Mother’s Day. This year, two local community members, Sharon Ventrice and Tommie Huddleston are holding the second annual Gold Star Mothers Day brunch on Saturday, Sept. 21 to honor those 11 local mothers.
Ventrice, who works with Prayer Angels for the Military and the Veterans Memorial Committee of the Santa Clarita Valley, said that even though she isn’t officially involved with American Gold Star Mothers, she wanted to do something to reach out to these women.
“I do not have a child in the service, I’m just very passionate about supporting our military,” she said.
Last year’s brunch at The Tea Gardens was such a success that Ventrice and Huddleston decided to make it an annual event.
It was designed simply as a private time for the Gold Star mothers to be together.
“(One of the women) doesn’t go out of her house much at all. We talked her into coming,” Ventrice said. “Her son that she lost was her only child. She came, and at the end of the tea, she said it was the best thing she had ever done.”
This year is the brunch is being held at a private home, with food catered by College of the Canyons’ Culinary Arts program.
Ventrice said she is expecting seven or eight women to come to the brunch, and that while local businesses and community residents have been generous with support, about $1,000 are still needed to cover all the costs.
Donations can be mailed to Tommie Huddleston at 23803 Indian Wells Circle, Valencia, CA 91355.
The Gold Star Mothers Day Brunch has not yet received official nonprofit status, so donations for this year’s event will not be tax-deductible.
Ventrice said that creating this event is simply her way of honoring some of the most courageous women she knows.
“These are the most positive people…” she said. “They take care of each other …The more they’re with each other, the more they celebrate their children, the better off they are.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News