A memorial has been planned for long-time community volunteer Sheldon Allen.
Friends and family are invited to gather at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 18 at the Sierra Vista branch of the Santa Clarita Valley Boys and Girls Club, 19425 Stillmore Street in Canyon Country.
Allen died Monday after a long illness. He had been an active volunteer with several charities in town, with the club leading the list. He was named SCV Man of the Year in 1995, served on the board of the local American Red Cross and was once a member of the William S. Hart School Board.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the club and can be mailed to the above address.
"One of the first people I met was Sheldon Allen and he always had a story or a joke, he was the one person who was going to make you laugh," said Jim Ventress, the Club's Chief Professional Officer. "He could even tell lawyer jokes, because he was an attorney, he had some really good ones."
Often working alongside his wife of 58 years, Pat, the pair worked the Club's annual auction, with Sheldon often the first volunteer on the scene.
"We'd be setting up on Wednesday, back in the days when we did it at CalArts," said Jim Ventress, the club's Chief Professional Officer. "Back then, we had to do everything from scratch, the lights and everything. Sheldon would always be there. Then when everything was done, we'd come in Sunday morning after and there was Sheldon, helping to clean up. You don't see that with many volunteers."
Ventress said Allen's dedication to the club and its "clients," the kids, was unquestionable. He spent more than 20 years serving on the Club's board of directors, working to help open new sites at both the Newhall and Sierra Vista locations.
"He was a caring soul, the kids really mattered to him, Ventress said. "His heart went out to the parents, especially some of our working moms, he understood the Club's role in helping these families."
Sheldon and Pat were recently honored as Volunteers of the Decade by the Club for their contributions that continued even as Sheldon's health became an issue.
Born in Los Angeles, Sheldon grew up in San Fernando, graduating from San Fernando High School in the winter of 1950. He married his high school sweetheart, Pat, in 1951 and the couple had four children, one daughter and three sons. Despite a busy law practice, Sheldon found time to manage his first two sons' Little League Teams.
In 1967, the family moved to Canyon Country, where he joined the Canyon High School Booster Club, serving for 12 years. He also served on the William S. Hart District Board from 1975 to 1978.
In 1982, Sheldon and Pat started volunteering for the SCV Boys and Girls Club auction and Sheldon joined the board in 1985.
The American Red Cross benefited from Sheldon's expertise as well and he became a part of the Red Cross Disaster Team, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for more than six years, two of those as president. He was also a member of the newly-formed Santa Clarita Valley Red Cross Council.
During the holidays, Sheldon and Pat delighted children and adults as they became Mr. and Mrs. Claus, first for the Hot Line fundraiser, then for the Zonta Club's "Rent A Santa" program.
When he was honored as Man of the Year, he said "Receiving this honor of being named Man of the Year has made me work even harder so that I will feel I really deserved it."
A memorial service for Allen will be held at the SCV Boys and Girls Club in July. Arrangements are pending, and will be posted on hometownstation.com when available.