Grease drive-in

"Grease" is the word Friday at the Wounded Heroes Fund's "Stranded at the Drive-in" event at Kern County Raceway Park.

Now's your chance to get stranded at the drive-in. Hopefully you aren't branded a fool and don't hear what they say Monday at school.

Tickets are going fast for Friday's "Stranded at the Drive-in," featuring a screening of the beloved 1978 musical film "Grease." The event, being held at Kern County Raceway Park, has that classic drive-in theater feel with Bakersfield flair, courtesy of the Wounded Heroes Fund of Kern County.

Safely in their vehicles, attendees will tune in on FM radio to listen to the movie that will be projected on a 40-foot screen. 

Along with popcorn and the usual concessions, local vendors will serve up gourmet snacks. Dewar's will sell ice cream while Chef Lino's Grill will have pork belly, chicken or steak taco plates with rice and beans. Willow Ranch Restaurant will offer tri-tip sandwiches, pulled pork and hot dogs, and Crusader Brewing will bring its craft beer for the adults.

"We were trying to think of a way to raise money for our nonprofit in a way that families could enjoy," said executive director Wendy Porter.

The drive-in event serves as a placeholder for two others affected by the pandemic, including the annual Evening with an American Hero, which was pushed back from May to Oct. 10. That is the organization's largest fundraiser and raised more than $80,000 last year, Porter said.

Depending on the success of the drive-in, this could become a monthly series at the raceway, Porter said.

Since 2009, Wounded Heroes has helped veterans integrate back into civilian life, providing services including marriage workshops, family building classes, support groups and more.

The organization is planning to open up a new office at 3129 Standard St. The new multipurpose building has been in the works since October. The new building was designed to offer more programs with its 6,000 feet of space, Porter said.

"We do a little bit of everything," Porter said. "Our new office reflects that."

Purchase tickets for the drive-in movie at thewoundedheroesfund.org/stranded-at-the-drive-in. Wounded Heroes Fund is still looking for volunteers to help park cars and take tickets. If interested, call the office at 328-8600 or email wendy@thewoundedheroesfund.org.

Bowen West can be reached at 661-395-7660.

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