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FAMILY   -   FAMILY FEATURES
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December is chock-full of family fun and ways to make a difference this holiday season.
It was a day of celebration for L.A. County Shelter animals as 157 dogs and cats went home with their new families from the 9th Annual Bow-Wows & Meows Pet Fair on Oct. 11.
Friday, November 20 to Sunday, November 22
The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley is bringing back the popular three-day Festival of Trees so that the entire community has a chance to enjoy the event that typically marks the beginning of the community's holiday season. All funds raised benefit more than 2,800 local young people at the three Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clarita Valley.
Where's everyone going the second weekend in October? They're going to the 25th Annual Home & Business Expo, where there's something for everyone. Presented by the SCV Chamber of Commerce, Expo 25 promises to be better than ever.
Here's proof that taking good care of your family is also mighty kind to the environment (and your wallet!).
Sunday > 11
Annual Bow-Wows & Meows Pet Fair

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy a beautiful day at William S. Hart Park in Newhall. Meet over 70 vendors of pet-related supplies and services, eat people food, play in the "kidz zone," watch fun demonstrations, meet an animal photographer and a pet psychic, take advantage of the low-cost vaccine clinic - and of course - cross "paws" with lots of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens from all six LA County Animal Shelters that are available for adoption and in search of their forever homes! 297-5961 www.bowwowsandmeows.org
Best. Daytrip. Ever.
Let Firehouse Fishing Charters take You on an Eight-hour Tour
Captain Scott Winkler and his gorgeous boat have been just about everywhere - except Gilligan's Island. Winkler and Ms. Christine, his 24-foot Bay Ranger, are the dynamic duo behind Firehouse Fishing Charters, a first-class fishing experience.
Local Parents (and Students) Tell All about their Favorite Back to School Resources
Insider tips on scoring scholarship money, surviving the teen years and making the "Back to School" transition easier.
Family fun ideas including great deals, great contests and upcoming events you won't want to miss!
Summer's "Funnest" Melon
Host an impromptu watermelon seed-spitting contest (Did you go seedless? Switch to a watermelon eating contest!) or mix watermelon juice with lemonade and ice for a lip-smacking hot-weather drink.
Dads are the gifts that keep on giving, and when you surprise them with a new grill, you're likely to be the one who'll really reap the (delicious) rewards.
Clowns, jugglers and tightrope walkers recently mingled with students when Legacy Christian Academy became Circus Academy - this year's theme for Principal for a Day.
Local Orthodontist Offers Fee Deferral for Qualifying Families
Alan Z. Barbakow, DDS, a much-loved SCV orthodontist based in Newhall, has announced his We Are One campaign. Dr. Barbakow states "Starting now, my orthodontic office will maintain a continuation of care for all new patients, deferring fees if you have a reversal in economic status. If you lose your job, we'll wait for you to get a new one. Worries about tomorrow should not prevent you or your children from receiving the treatment you need today."
College of the Canyons' Junior High Summer Institute Back for Second Season
Offering more than the typical summer camp experience, the popular Junior High Summer Institute (JSI) at College of the Canyons is back and better than ever, with new curriculum tracks and activities that are sure to provide students with a fun and engaging atmosphere all summer long.
Saturday > February 28
SCV Club Cheer Hosts Poker Tournament Fundraiser

Team Fusion's 20 cheerleaders - ages 7 through 14 years - qualified to compete in the Cheerleading Worlds Championship on April 25 and 26 at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Now they just need to get there. Help them out by attending a poker tournament at the Valencia Country Club or by making a much-appreciated donation; 775-9849
photography by Ted Dayton

For Seniors
"Time is a great gift for seniors, and it's free! Loneliness, abandonment and depression are huge among our seniors, especially during the holidays. I know from talking to the seniors in my life, that they would gladly exchange most any gift for moments with their loved ones.
Ask The Doctor
Q: Does my Child have Asthma?

A: Although the hallmark of asthma is wheezing, children can wheeze with a simple viral illness and won't meet criteria for asthma. In order to make a diagnosis of asthma, the periods of recurrent wheezing must have started at least six months prior.
Festival of Trees
Saturday, November 15
Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley Hosts Sixth-annual Festival of Trees

Santa will again visit the Hyatt Valencia, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., as guests browse through rows of elaborately-decorated holiday trees designed by the community's finest decorators. Make a stop at Santa's Station to have your picture taken with everyone's favorite elf. Bid on 3- to 4-feet-tall tabletop trees, ranging in theme from traditional to football (USC and UCLA trees are always popular picks!).
When your home is too small or your to-do list too large, outsourcing your child's birthday party to an off-site location can be your heaven-sent saving grace. Plus, the all-inclusive option is often less expensive, once you take decor, paper goods, food and more into consideration. The best part, though: no clean up! Here are some of our favorite options...
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