A mother’s mem­ory

Coun­cil­man to ring bell at Vons for Sal­va­tion Army

The Signal - - News - By Crys­tal Duan Sig­nal Staff Writer

In the 1930s, a young woman named Ileen sud­denly found her­self alone at the age of 11. She had been liv­ing in Sea­side with her fa­ther, after her mother died when she was young, run­ning a small store to make money.

One day, Ileen came home from vis­it­ing a friend when she saw a note left for her: “Ileen, I love you dearly. There’s spaghetti in the ice­box. From, your fa­ther.”

Ileen felt the note “didn’t read right,” some­how, so she went across the street to the saloon and asked if the bar­keep had seen her fa­ther.

That’s when the po­lice cars pulled up, and of­fi­cers went into the saloon to re­port what had hap­pened. In one of the cars was the man who, turns out, had shot and killed Ileen’s fa­ther mo­ments be­fore.

Ileen, now an or­phan, had nowhere to go.

“But that’s when the Sal­va­tion Army came in,” her son Bob Kel­lar re­called decades later. “They took my mother in and she grew up in their or­phan­age from age 11 to 18.”

To show his grat­i­tude, the Santa Clarita coun­cil­man plans to give back this Satur­day by ring­ing the bell for the Sal­va­tion Army Santa Clarita Val­ley Corps at the Canyon Coun­try Vons from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

He wants to honor the mem­ory of his mother, who died on New Year’s Eve 1998.

“I’ve made these com­ments to oth­ers, and I’m not shy about it,” Kel­lar said. “I’m very sen­si­tive to the Sal­va­tion Army and how they helped my mother out. I never walk past a red ket­tle and don’t make a con­tri­bu­tion. They raised my mother, and they have so many pro­grams of help­ing peo­ple that are less for­tu­nate. For home­less peo­ple, chil­dren’s pro­grams, camps for chil­dren, al­co­hol and drug abuse pro­grams. Thank God we have the Sal­va­tion Army in Amer­ica.”

Kel­lar is on the ad­vi­sory board for the Santa Clarita chap­ter. He said he en­cour­ages all com­mu­nity mem­bers to come out to the Canyon Coun­try Vons to do­nate. All con­tri­bu­tions will be to the Sal­va­tion Army chap­ter in the SCV.

“I look for­ward to shak­ing their hands and telling them, “Thank you,” for sup­port­ing the Sal­va­tion Army,” Kel­lar said. “It’s so near and dear to my heart.”

Sig­nal file photo

Santa Clarita Coun­cil­man Bob Kel­lar, far left, will be ring­ing the bell for the Sal­va­tion Army Santa Clarita Val­ley Corps at the Canyon Coun­try Vons to­day.

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