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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...
On Saturday, September 20 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Newhall Park, approximately 6,000 children and adults are expected to enjoy an entire day dedicated to kids. All activities are free - including entertainment, games, food, carnival rides and a raffle - making it one of the most family-friendly events of the year.
photography by Lisa Ahrens

Reena Newhall, owner of the quintessential costume store, A Chorus Line (253-0300), has some important reminders for future trick-or-treaters. "Halloween is on a Friday this year, meaning that there are two party weekends, starting on October 25," she states. If you have a heavy social calendar, this might convince you to buy, rather than rent, your costume this year.
Ask The Doctor>
Q: When can I start letting my child watch television?
A:
The American Academy of pediatrics took a lot of heat some years ago when they recommended that children watch no more than two hours of television. They went on to recommend that there should be no television exposure until the child is at least two years old.
Did You Know?
What happens in Mediation, stays in Mediation.

An essential element of mediation is confidentiality. The legislature has designed specific mediation confidentiality rules to promote a candid and informal exchange regarding events.
Q: What can we do to make the first day of school easier for our child?

A: Purchasing all the supplies on your child's stationery supply list is a start, but there are more important things you can do to help prepare your child for the first day of school. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, normalizing any anxiety about starting school is a good idea.
Play "Name that Cupcake" and Win!
One of Babe's Dessert Bar's most popular offerings is the Specialty Stuffed Cupcake. If you haven't tried a "Smore's a Lot" (chocolate cake stuffed with melted chocolate bars and graham crackers topped with marshmallow frosting) or Strawberry Shortcake (white cake stuffed with fresh berries and whipped cream, topped with more whipped cream!) - you haven't lived!
"Navigating, Beginning and Becoming a Working Actor in the Entertainment Industry" Talk to be held June 28
On June 28, Annie Schwartz, owner and agent at Origin Talent, in conjunction with casting director and acting teacher Michele Juskowitz, as well as co-producing artistic directors of The SCV Theatre Project, Andrea Slominski and Mark Salyer, will come together at Valencia High School.
Keep Cool at the Aquatics Center
Beat the summer heat and enjoy the City's Aquatics Center located at the Sports Complex. The Aquatics Center offers a 25-meter dive pool, a 50-meter Olympic pool for competitions and practice, plus a family recreation pool, complete with a two-story high red slide and fun water play equipment for the little ones.
Compassion and a Desire to Help Others
Becky J. Graham, 51
Katie Marie Graham, 22


Katie: "Hands down, our work is what brings us closest together. We share the exact same passion and that is improving the lives of children with special needs. My mom and I work together as a team, in every environment and every situation; it's as if we can read one another's minds."
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