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VOL. 1 NO. 29 Encino Sun January 6-12, 2007
A fundraising tale on Candy Cane Lane
BY LYNN MILLS
Cruising through Woodland
Hills’ “Candy Cane Lane” area to
look at the elaborate Christmas
decorations was a holiday tradition
for the Alch family. Despite
the dazzling light displays, the
Ironically, when they were looking to move from Encino to Woodland Hills five years ago, the family realized that their “dream house” happened to be smack dab in the middle of Candy Cane Lane. Ignoring previous concerns, they went ahead with the purchase.
“We thought it would be fun,” says Pam Alch.
Lights and decorations were bought and they soon became part of the neighborhood’s 50-year-old tradition, along with an estimated 70% of their neighbors.
“We live on a cul-de-sac, and
throughout the year my kids and
their friends want to have lemonade
stands, but no one drives
down the street until Christmas,”
says Alch. So three years ago, they
A new tradition was started — every Saturday evening in December, Beckie and Jenny Alch, 9 and 12, and their friends — spent up to five hours at a time hawking hot chocolate and cookies, sometimes in the bitter cold or rain.
When people discovered the money went to charity, they often just made donations. Beneficiaries have included Union Rescue Mission, the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross.
They raised nearly $1400 this holiday season. The first donation of $727.27 went to the West Valley Food Pantry, where mother- in-law Janice Alch volunteers. The girls used $641 to fill four shopping carts full of toys to donate to the Spark of Love toy drive.
“It’s fun and it gives you a good feeling inside. It’s hard work, but it’s totally worth it,” says one of the Alch’s fundraising friends, Veronica Huston, 10. “And you get all the hot chocolate you can drink!”
Photo caption: West Valley Food Pantry’s Alfred Trumpler is presented a big check by fundraising friends (from left) Jenny Alch, Beckie Alch, Veronica Huston, and Georgia Huston.