The Mayor’s Ball will return, post-pandemic, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Bakersfield, again honoring Mayor Karen Goh and benefitting CityServe, a local nonprofit organization helping needy families in some sort of crisis and transition.

CityServe opened in Bakersfield in 2017 by taking referrals and connecting the vulnerable with one of 135 churches across Kern County of all denominations and getting them back on their feet. Because of its success in a little more than three years, Kern’s CityServe is now a model for others across the United States.

CityServe partners with major retailers such as Costco who donate surplus furnishings, clothing, household items, and nonperishables that are then sorted and delivered through a local volunteer workforce. Last year, $17.1 million worth of goods-in-kind was distributed.

The 2020 inaugural ball, held just weeks before the pandemic’s arrival, raised $271,000 and was a sold-out event. More than 109,000 families received USDA Farmers to Families food boxes. The pandemic forced people to shelter in place, but the needs in the community continued to grow.

CityServe’s mission is to guide the broken toward a life of hope, by engaging community leaders and agencies with local churches to develop long-lasting relationships that transform lives.

The black-tie gala will be held at the CityServe Bakersfield hub, 3201 F St. For more information about sponsorships, visit

-- Lisa Kimble is on the committee for the Mayor's Ball Gala.