Blue Ribbon Task Force Urges Community to “Know More”
In Santa Clarita, more than 100 young lives are now gone because of traffic-related collisions, but their names and faces will not be forgotten and their memories will live on. On Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 7:15 p.m., the City of Santa Clarita and the Blue Ribbon Task Force will host the First Annual “Evening of Remembrance” to remember Santa Clarita youth who lost their lives in traffic collisions. The program will include songs and readings, and will be highlighted by a reading of the names of the 67 youth who are included in the Youth Grove. The Youth Grove, located in Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, was dedicated this past February. It was meant to remember SCV youth (24-years-old and younger) who died in traffic-related collisions, and to raise awareness in the community about the fatal consequences of reckless driving. It features 67 concrete monuments that replicate cut tree stumps, one for each youth whose life was cut short because of reckless driving. The project’s main feature is a central monument that highlights the “KNOW MORE” vow to always drive safely and responsibly. “This project is a powerful and graphic educational tool. We want the community to “know more” about safe driving habits and to pledge that “no more” young lives will be lost due to drinking and driving, or to reckless or irresponsible driving,” said Tess Simgen, Community Services Analyst for the City. “We have lost far too many young lives our community.”
Alice Renolds, a Santa Clarita resident who lost two sons in a high-speed collision in 2000 said, “The decisions and choices that youth make [while driving] affect everyone around them. They need to know they’re not invincible.” She believes the numbers of fatalities are dwindling because the City offers a number of programs to raise awareness. Renolds hopes that many attend an “Evening of Remembrance” to realize just how many youth the City has lost. For more information about the “Evening of Remembrance” event and the Youth Grove, or to add a name to the project, please contact Tess Simgen, Community Services Analyst, at 661/255-4956 or firstname.lastname@example.org.