Santa Clarita Valley Disaster Coalition To Aid Sand Fire Victims

by Santa Clarita Coalition
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Santa Clarita Disaster Coalition

Late-August Event Planned to Raise Funds, Honor First Responders, Boost Disaster Preparedness

By Stephen K. Peeples

The nonprofit Santa Clarita Valley Disaster Coalition is now accepting tax-deductible cash and gift-card donations to aid victims of the deadly Sand Fire, which killed one man, forced evacuation of 20,000 residents from 10,000 homes, destroyed 18 single-family homes, and charred nearly 40,000 acres in the SCV in late July and early August 2016.

“One hundred percent of donations benefit Sand Fire victims – there are no administrative fees or overhead costs,” said Carl Goldman, Santa Clarita Valley Disaster Coalition co-founder and chairman.

To make a donation, or to seek aid from loss resulting from the Sand Fire, email or call Goldman at 661-298-1220.

Right now, through the American Red Cross, the Coalition is reaching out to each family who lost a home in the Sand Fire, to assess the victims’ immediate and long-term needs.

RELATED: Editorial: The Sand Fire

As a “second responder,” as Goldman describes it, the Coalition offers supplemental assistance to cover any gaps in aid to local victims, ranging from immediate living expenses to home repairs not covered by insurance, on a case-by-case basis.

After covering the families’ needs, the Coalition will offer financial assistance to nonprofit agencies impacted by the fires, as appropriate for each agency.

Special Event for Sand Fire Victims, First Responders

Coalition members are now organizing a special event in cooperation with the City of Santa Clarita on August 27, 2016 at 3pm at Central Park in Santa Clarita. (link to press release posting today on

The event will serve three purposes, Goldman said.

First, the event will be a fundraiser to benefit people whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the Sand Fire.

Second, it will provide an opportunity for the community to honor the hundreds of firefighters and first-responders who put their lives on the line to protect Santa Clarita Valley residents.

“These dedicated people, many of them members of our own community, many who came from neighboring communities, helped avert the loss of hundreds more homes threatened by this very unpredictable fire,” Goldman said. “They deserve all the thanks the entire community can give them.”

Third, the event will serve as an emergency-preparedness awareness booster, with information and resources local residents can use to prepare for future disasters like fires, floods and earthquakes.

The event is free and the entire Santa Clarita community is invited to participate.

“The Sand Fire was a huge reminder how vulnerable we can be,” said Goldman, who anchored live wall-to-wall news coverage on KHTS-AM 1220, which he has co-owned with wife Jeri Seratti-Goldman since 1990, on the tense days and nights the Sand Fire threatened residents and structures.

“The 2016 fire season is far from over, and the more prepared we are as a community, the fewer disaster victims there will be,” he said.

Founded in late 2004, the Santa Clarita Valley Disaster Coalition is a 501(c)(3) organization made up of local community leaders, including representatives from city and county government, law enforcement, fire departments, businesses, faith-based organizations, schools and other nonprofit groups, as well as local media.

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