Kern County volunteer group "Cooks from the Valley" put out a huge spread Thursday for employees at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
The volunteers fly around the world serving steak lunches to men and women in the U.S. military. They cooked more than 11,000 steaks Thursday.
It was one of the first functions held at the Navy Yard since a lone gunman fatally shot 12 people and injured three others there last year, said Bakersfield attorney Tom Anton, who started "Cooks from the Valley" and has seen it grow tremendously over the years.
On Thursday the valley cooks also served Kern County Honor Flight veterans who'd spent the morning touring the Capitol.
Cooks from the Valley volunteers make such trips once or twice a year. They've served up some 50 barbecues since 2002 all over the globe on land and at sea, including Iraq, Anton said. They've served some 185,000 service members, he said.
The group hopes to make its first trip to Afghanistan this summer, poignant because its work really took off after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (Anton's been barbecuing for troops for more than 20 years).
The effort is obviously appreciated. This was posted on Cooks from the Valley's Facebook page Thursday from a Rory O'Connor: "Thank you for coming to the Navy Yard! We can't tell you how much we appreciate everything you did for us!"
Guarantee Shoe Center's annual shoe drive for the homeless brought in "an astonishing" 3,800 pairs of shoes and several large cartons of clothes, store owner Rosco Rolnick said Thursday.
Galbraith North American Van Lines "graciously" transported all of the footwear and clothing to the Bakersfield Homeless Center, he said.
"The people of Kern County certainly opened the hearts and cleaned out their closets to this year's shoe drive," Rolnick said in a news release.
The event, he said, has generated 60,000 pairs of shoes over the last 22 years.