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Old street signs could be new avenue of funding for Community Center

Maureen Bond, Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge
Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge Executive Director Maureen Bond shows one of the 200 or so old street signs that are being offered for sale as a fundraiser for the nonprofit.
(Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)

From Alminar Avenue to Harter Lane and from Starlane Drive to Santa Inez Way — whether you live on Lamour or have a mother on Mero, you could soon have the opportunity of owning a piece of La Cañada’s geographic history.

Starting today the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge is kicking off a campaign to sell city street signs as a fundraiser for the local nonprofit. Last month Executive Director Maureen Bond brokered the purchase of nearly 200 signs removed by Sequel Contractors, Inc., the firm that oversees operations of the city’s annual street resurfacing program.

The plan is to sell the signs, which range from those in vintage Navy blue and white to more modern reflective varieties, for $50 apiece on a first-come, first-served basis. All proceeds raised will help support the Community Center’s operations and programs, according to Bond.

“This could be a great fundraiser for us — we’re a nonprofit this year celebrating 70 years, so every penny counts,” she said. “And if we’re successful we’d be willing to do it again.”

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Bond developed the idea in conversation with public works staffer Paddy Taber, who used to work for the city of San Marino, where members of the public used to be able to purchase old street signs that had been replaced.

While selling off city property can be a complicated process, Taber thought a similar program might be of benefit to La Cañada’s community center, and so he put Bond in touch with the contractor.

“I just made the connection and stepped back,” he said. “It’s a win-win [situation] — the community center gets the benefit of more folks coming in and seeing the center, and more revenue, and now residents will have the chance to buy the street signs.”

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Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge is selling old La Cañada street signs. For more information call (818) 790-4353.
(Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)

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On a recent afternoon, Bond and program director Karen Stevenson sorted through piles of old signs sorted and alphabetized so requests could be filled in a timely manner. A spreadsheet will help workers keep track of what names are still available once the sale begins, Stevenson said.

Only streets that have been recently resurfaced through the city’s annual program are available, so not every name sought will be available, but it’s evident from the piles there’s lots to pick from. And if all goes well, there could be more signs available next year as the city continues to repave.

Community Center office manager Scarlett Castillo said she thinks the sale is a fun — and legally sanctioned — way for folks to get a hold of a piece of local history.

“How often do people have a legitimate way of getting their hands on these signs?” she said. “Usually they just steal them.”

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