SUNLAND-TUJUNGA : Civic Pride March Planned for Saturday

Residents here are encouraged to demonstrate unity and pride in their communities by participating in the first-ever Sunland-Tujunga pride march Saturday.

"We have some great folks and some great groups in this community, and we want to get out and show our togetherness," said Joanne Wright of the Sunland Tujunga Coordinating Council, which is organizing the march along with the Sunland Tujunga Rotary Club.

Wright said Saturday's march is a good time for people to promote the positives of living in their communities, and to counter negative perceptions.

The march will begin at 10 a.m. at the Verdugo Hills Family YMCA parking lot in Tujunga, continue on Foothill Boulevard and Commerce Avenue, concluding at Little Landers Park at Commerce Avenue and Valmont Street.

A unity rally will be held at the park, followed by a catered party complete with a deejay and entertainment for children.

Valmont Street between Samoa and Commerce avenues will be closed to traffic Saturday.

Assemblyman Bill Hoge (R-Glendale) is expected to speak at the rally. Features of the party will include a police car and fire engine for children to explore, Daisy the Clown, a caricaturist, hot dogs, hamburgers and beverages served by the Sunland-Tujunga Kiwanis Club.

There also will be information tables about Neighborhood Watch, the Sunland-Tujunga Citizens Patrol and other community groups.

Marchers should gather at the YMCA at 9:30 a.m. Parking will be available at the Elks Lodge, 10137 Commerce Ave. and at the Masonic Lodge, 7216 Valmont St. Shuttle service from those parking lots to the YMCA will be provided beginning at 8:45 a.m.

"It's an excellent start," said Debra Anderson, executive director of the Verdugo Hills Family YMCA. "It gets people, families, seniors out making a statement saying, 'Hey, this is our community, and we want to be safe and free of drugs and graffiti.' If we stand together, we have a better shot at cleaning our community up."

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