Stepping up after the Santa Clarita Valley chapter ran into trouble, Blue Star Mothers of America’s Antelope Valley chapter is looking to expand south.
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“Even though the (SCV) chapter is gone, we support our veterans,” said Sylvia Gaxiola, president of the Antelope Valley chapter, “no matter how far we have to go.”
The plan was to support the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, because the closest branch now to the AV is in Bakersfield, she added.
“We’re doing our first outreach out (in the Santa Clarita Valley) soon,” she said, noting the group planned to connect with the Santa Clarita Valley Veterans Services Collaborative, a new networking group to help former military service members connect with resources, services and programs.
One of the well-known activities associated with the group is large shipments of care packages, which are sent to troops serving overseas. Anyone interested in contributing to the next round of care packages being sent to troops can contact the AV branch at 661-212-7607, or Bluestarmother@yahoo.com.
The Santa Clarita chapter reportedly closed late last year, and the circumstances surrounding its closure are still under investigation.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies arrested a former chapter representative, Karianne Dauer-Hewitt, 44, of Castaic, on a charge of 487(a): ”When the money, labor, or real or personal property taken is of a value exceeding ($950),” according to county records.
Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office records indicate the arrest warrant was filed March 1. She was released on $20,000 bail shortly after her March 21 arrest.
Deputies confirmed the investigation involved activity associated with the nonprofit, which is “an organization for mothers who have children serving or who have served,” according to its website. Station officials did not discuss the details of the case, citing the fact that it was an ongoing investigation.