The spotlight shines again on the city’s best and brightest at the 2018 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards Banquet. Saturday’s event, presented by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, honors the efforts of local individuals, groups, businesses and organizations.

Winners will run in Sunday’s Californian.

Architecture/design

The completion of a brand-new interior and/or exterior building design integrating the environment with space and materials.

17th Place Townhomes: This new community was developed as a way to contribute to the downtown renaissance and encourage more people to live in the heart of the city. Located within walking distance of downtown’s hottest locales, each of its 44 units offers high-end finishes and unique urban amenities.

Centre for Neuro Skills: This rehabilitation company constructed a new 29,000-square-foot building adjacent to its clinic in southwest Bakersfield. The eco-friendly facility houses its corporate office and an activity center for its assisted-living patients.

Fairfield Inn & Suites Bakersfield North/Airport: One of the city’s newest hotels utilizes a modern design with several green features, including electric vehicle charging stations and solar panels. This 85-room hotel also offers business and fitness centers and an outdoor patio with a firepit and pool.

Greg’s Petroleum Service: This family-owned and operated petroleum distributor constructed a new facility to house its headquarters in northwest Bakersfield.

Highgate at Seven Oaks: With five distinct neighborhoods, Castle & Cooke’s latest community is anchored by a 30-foot tall Georgian clock tower and a swim and fitness clubhouse that offers resort-style amenities.

Synergy Wellness Center: Its new northwest location ditches the “traditional” medical office concept by offering state-of-the-art treatments and procedures in a luxurious environment. 

Tangram Interiors: This commercial interior solutions provider transformed an 11,700-square-foot building into a new office, showroom and warehouse. 

Wonderful Crossroads Park: This commercial development in southwest Bakersfield is the city’s first LEED Campus project. The first phase offers 40,000 square feet of environmentally sustainable general and medical office space.

Arts and culture

Efforts by a group or individual to improve and/or enhance the arts and culture within our community.

Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame: It inducted 17 artists from five music genres into hall last year. The facility also hosted 28 concerts, two children’s summer theater productions and six fundraisers for local nonprofits.

Bakersfield Music Theatre and Stars Theatre Restaurant: For nearly 50 years, this theater’s volunteers and staff have showcased their talents on stage to provide an enriching experience for the community. In addition, BMT’s educational programs reached more than 10,000 people last year.

Brookdale Riverwalk: The facility hosted four public art exhibitions, allowing residents to display their artwork and writing and interact with the public, contributing to their personal growth, autonomy and overall health.

Charlotte White: A champion of Bakersfield’s arts scene, Charlotte White organized satellite exhibits for the Bakersfield Art Association. The artist also exhibited paintings of iconic Bakersfield landmarks at the Arts Council of Kern.

Golden Empire Transit: GET transformed three of its buses into moving public art displays: one with elements of Bakersfield’s history, including the Fox Theater, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard; and two featuring Moana and Star Wars designs.

Kern Branch Music Teachers’ Association of California: This organization of dedicated music teachers holds student performances at retirement homes and donates clothing, instruments and sheet music to children at the Jamison Children’s Center.

Kern County Museum — Tejon Ranch Gallery: The gallery allows the museum to regularly share its archive of more than 450,000 historic photographs, artwork and other artifacts with daily visitors.

Kern Dance Alliance and League of Dreams: ADAPTIdance — Dance + Disability: This partnership created the county’s first adaptive dance program for children with physical or developmental disabilities. Students underwent five weeks of training then performed at the Fox Theater.

Magician Ron Saylor: This award-winning professional magician is the creator/producer of “Celebrities of Magic,” a monthly show that brings the world’s best magicians to Bakersfield. Saylor also provides his services to Hoffmann Hospice, Thumbs Up, Cancer Down and several local schools.

Education

Efforts by an educator, project or school/college that promotes or benefits education in our city at all levels.

Bakersfield College Humanities/Social Justice Institute: The institute is committed to creating public programs focused on issues of equity and social justice in the San Joaquin Valley. All of its programming is open to the public.

Betty Ann Ong Foundation: For 11 years, this nonprofit has facilitated summer camps for hundreds of at-risk children at the Bakersfield Police Activities League. 

California Aeronautical University: Acquired in 2015, the Bakersfield campus of this world-class training facility has been updated to accommodate all aspects of aviation career training. 

California Living Museum: The zoo aimed to enhance visitors’ educational experience through new signage and an interactive mobile app utilizing photography, audio and social media.

Crystal Hoffmann, Ed.D.: Hoffmann and a team of educators developed Access and PreAccess, a curriculum that helps struggling students grow as independent readers. The curriculum has also become a platform for improving instruction for teachers.

Greater Bakersfield Green Expo: This event features state's only student-driven recycled material art competition. Since its start, more than 500 students have participated and more than $60,000 in scholarships have been awarded.

Job Spot: Created by Bakersfield Adult School to offer adult education services in southeast Bakersfield, Job Spot offers adults day and evening classes to earn their GED, as well as employment help. Since opening in July, nearly 200 students are served daily.

MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) Program: This Bakersfield College academic support program aims to help underrepresented STEM students successfully transfer to a four-year institution. In April 2017, MESA also hosted its first conference that featured STEM-related speakers and workshops.

Segmento “Abriendo Puertas” Telemundo Valle Central: This weekday segment on Telemundo Valle Central’s nightly newscast allows local Hispanic individuals, organizations and other small groups to deliver their message to a broad audience.

Trinity Preschool at Belcourt: With a mission to connect its students to the community, the preschool has facilitated food donations to FLOOD Ministries, visits to Alzheimer’s patients at ADAKC’s facility and hosted educational presentations from community helpers. 

The Wildlands Conservancy — Wind Wolves Preserve: The preserve taps children’s sense of adventure and discovery through its free Outdoor Discovery Programs. With a hands-on curriculum, students hike the preserve’s network of trails and explore a variety of related topics.

Health

An individual, group or organization that has made a significant contribution toward healthy living in Bakersfield through education, prevention or medical services.

The Adventist Health AIS Cancer Center: Dedicated to providing complete and world-class care, the center hosted more than 70 free cancer education, lecture and screening events throughout the county, reaching more than 9,100 people and diagnosing multiple cancer cases.

American Kids Sports Center: Since 1984, this nationally recognized multi-kids sport venue has been building healthy kids. It now offers gymnastics, dance, taekwondo, swim and cheering classes to 4,000 kids each week as well as hosting parties, sports camps and Parent Night Out events.

Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital: Striving to change the perception of mental health issues through outreach efforts, it launched Lunch and Learn workshops and The Grand Rounds seminars to provide a forum to discuss pertinent topics facing Bakersfield. 

Bakersfield City School District Wellness Centers: This school district established three wellness centers to serve all of its 43 school sites. Through parent education and access to medical, vision, dental and mental health services, BCSD has seen an increase in school attendance and academic outcomes.

Bakersfield Family Medical Center: BFMC established a Senior Activities Group in 2013 to promote friendships, physical activity and creative expression for seniors. The group meets weekly to visit over coffee, walk the Valley Plaza Mall and make craft items for local causes and organizations.

Bike Bakersfield: This nonprofit offers two Bike Kitchen locations to train individuals on basic maintenance and riding safety and gives free bikes to those in need. It is also making a huge impact through its advocacy, riding events and outreach efforts.

CSF Medical Nonprofit Foundation: It works with a network of surgeons, specialists, hospitals and laboratories to provide surgical procedures at a reduced rate to those in need. In 2017, it raised more than $110,000.

Dignity Health Memorial Hospital: The hospital opened The Robert A. Grimm Children’s Pavilion for Emergency Services, the only dedicated pediatric emergency department in the southern valley. Since September, the new facility has treated more than 15,000 patients.

Empire Eye and Laser Center: The center expanded its clinical research department to help bring more cutting-edge technology and treatments to Bakersfield. It also regularly hosts educational events to keep its patients informed.

In-Shape Health Clubs: This fitness club chain spearheaded a statewide fundraising campaign to raise cancer awareness that raised more than $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Jennifer Abraham: This primary care provider is committed to keeping the community healthy — one patient at a time. She practices adult internal medicine.

Kern Medical Center – Adult Epilepsy Monitoring Center: To better serve Kern’s more than 33,000 epilepsy patients, this hospital created the unit through a partnership with the USC Neurorestoration Center of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. 

Legacy Village, LLC: This organization offers individualized care to those struggling with addiction or substance abuse through counseling, sober living, job training and family reunification programs.

Omni Family Health: In 2017, it launched the Health Homes Program, which coordinates physical, behavioral, community-based services and social supports for individuals with multiple chronic conditions. So far, the program has helped more than 300 patients.

Optimal Hospice Foundation: This foundation’s Patient Care Funding Program ensures that everyone has access to hospice care, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. In 2017, the foundation funded 669 days of hospice care for 17 unique patients in the community.

Dr. Sarabjeet Singh: To keep local heart patients from having to travel for life-saving treatments, this cardiologist regularly performs cutting-edge procedures in Bakersfield. 

Synergy Recovery Services: This treatment center offers help and hope to residents struggling with drug and alcohol dependency, utilizing a wide array of tools, including medication-assisted treatment and intensive outpatient and individual counseling.

Team IBProFUN: This social nonprofit running group has raised funds and donations for various groups, including the Bakersfield Homeless Center, The Dream Center and Jamison Children’s Center.

Yoga Space:  Since its launch in 2006, Yoga Space has become home to a group of passionate yoga teachers and practitioners who are devoted to sharing the transformational benefits of alignment-based Iyengar yoga.

Humanitarian — individual

An individual whose personal efforts have made a significant impact in the community.

Alissa Carlson: This mother and full-time KGET-17 chief meteorologist also raised more than $30,000 for the American Heart Association of Kern County as the Circle of Red chairwoman and made 46 volunteer appearances as Mrs. Bakersfield in 2017.

Angel Lee: This small-business owner donates wigs to cancer and hair loss patients and hosts an annual fashion show to raise awareness for medical hair loss. She has also coordinated two gala events to provide a voice to domestic violence and human trafficking victims.

Angela Griffith: With just over three months of planning, she organized a fashion show that raised more than $20,000 for Dignity Health Memorial Hospital to purchase equipment and resources for local children and their families.

Carol O’Connor: Along with help from her husband, she turned an old toy box into The Blessing Box, a food pantry located at First Congregational Church. She has also started a nonprofit to place more Blessing Boxes throughout the county.

Gina Colon: After starting her own mom support group at home two years ago, she now counts more than 20,000 online members for her Bakersfield Moms and Moms Helping Moms groups, which have become resource hubs for parents. 

Heather Frank: She led renewed fundraising efforts for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County with the launch of signature events Farm to Table(aux) and An Evening with Dr. Condoleeza Rice. Last year’s events raised more than 1 million dollars for the nonprofit.

Dr. Jorge A. Enriquez: He established a network of surgeons, hospitals and laboratories to open their doors and offer services at a more affordable cost to low-income and uninsured individuals. So far, his efforts have helped more than 5,000 individuals.

Julie Chamberlain: With the goal of serving the community’s less fortunate with compassion, she regularly hands out meals and care packages each week to local homeless individuals, both by herself and with friends.

Ron White: The executive director of Golden Empire Youth Football and Cheer partners with the Kern County Shrine Club to host the annual Youth Shrine Bowl Series to raise funds for the Shriners Children’s Hospital. The organization also provides health screenings for hundreds of families.

Tiara King: She works with the Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking, My Global Family and Magdalene Hope to support sexual abuse victims and educate the public. She also advocated for legislative and policy reforms to increase penalties for offenders.

Humanitarian — group

A group whose efforts have made a significant impact in the community.

100 Women Who Care Alliance — Bakersfield Chapter: Launched in 2017, this alliance of local women meets quarterly to hear from three local nonprofits. Each attendee donates $100, and one nonprofit is selected to receive the donation. So far, about $4,000 has been raised locally.

Lewis Neal and Youth Services Specialists, Bakersfield City School District: The district began the Transformative Mentoring Project at nine school sites last fall, serving nearly 300 at-risk students from low socio-economic backgrounds and offering a structured intervention program.

OneLegacy’s Ambassador Program in Kern County: To help educate the public on donor registration, OneLegacy’s 32 Ambassadors logged nearly 1,200 volunteer hours, sharing personal stories with government officials, high school students and community members at outreach events.

Sikh Riders of America: Started in 2012 to increase awareness in the community about the Sikh religion, this nonprofit held several fundraisers to benefit for local causes and victims of natural disasters. Its fifth annual motorcycle ride raised $6,000 for three Bakersfield nonprofits.

South Oswell Neighborhood Watch: This all-volunteer group initiated an aggressive campaign to keep litter and graffiti out of the Tyner Ranch area in east Bakersfield. Its members also provide safety information to residents through outreach meetings and an E-Alert system.

Valley Feeding Project: The nonprofit partners with other agencies to feed Bakersfield’s homeless and disadvantaged populations each week. It also distributes food at its Kentucky Street warehouse. In 2017 alone, it donated nearly 1 million pounds of food to those in need.

What the Knit! Guild: The 100-plus guild members made more than 700 items last year, including knitted knockers for breast cancer survivors, hats for newborns to raise awareness for heart disease and hats and scarves for the homeless.

Life As It Should Be

An annual event or project that enhances the quality of life in the community.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County — Farm to Table(aux): This signature event drew a crowd of 500 people, raising vital funds to help the nonprofit serve the 7,200 children who visit its club sites daily.

Campus Gamers at CSUB: This student organization brought together more than 1,200 people for group gaming events across the county. Since starting in 2012, the group has raised more than $135,000 to help purchase life-saving medical equipment for the Lauren Small Children’s Center at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.

Kern County Library — Hart Park After Dark: In October, several Kern County departments partnered for the first-ever event, drawing more than 2,000 people for an evening that included music, family storytime, star gazing, bike rides and more. 

Public/private partnership

The partnership between entities to use public/private funds to enhance the community’s quality of life.

AEG/City of Bakersfield/Local Business Partnership — July 4th Celebration: Around 15,000 people filled the Park at River Walk for a free holiday fireworks extravaganza, which was coordinated through a partnership between several local businesses and public entities. 

ARRC Technology/Girl Scouts of Central California — Computer Lab: With the 10 computers and desks donated by ARRC Technology, the nonprofit created a computer lab to allow girls to participate in engineering and technology workshops.

Do the Math — KCSOS: The live interactive program helps students strengthen their math awareness and problem-solving skills as credentialed teachers help them work out math problems on live television. In the new “Math in the Real World” segment, students learn from business owners about STEM-related careers and the practical purpose of math.

Renovation/tenant improvement

The completion of a renovated design that upgrades an existing structure and/or incorporates the use of landscaping to enhance the aesthetic value of the property.

Adventist Health Physicians Network: Committed to providing expert care to its patients, the medical organization transformed an existing northwest office into something beautiful. The new space is now a warm and inviting place for those in need of care.

Cafe Smitten: Owners Shai and Stasie Bitton worked for two years to bring an almost-100-year-old downtown building back to life, incorporating materials from the original building, such as steel window frames and redwood planks, in its new design. 

Empire Eye and Laser Center: This medical practice combined two small offices to create a larger facility to accommodate its growing number of patients. The clinic’s research lab was also expanded to bring more cutting-edge procedures to Bakersfield.

Goodwill Industries of South Central California: Goodwill overhauled the old Orchard Supply Hardware storefront into a retail space. A new entrance was constructed, and the garden center was turned into the store’s new interior. This location employs 30 people and provides donors with a convenient and safe drop-off area. 

Jim Burke Ford Lincoln — Gasoline Alley Showroom: Over a two-year span, this local auto dealer underwent an extensive renovation of its showrooms and service facilities in the Bakersfield Automall. At the project’s grand opening, it raised more than $10,000 for local charities.

Job Spot: The Bakersfield Adult School created this multi-faceted educational and employment development center that assists adult students, serving nearly 200 individuals daily since opening almost a year ago.

Kern Medical Center — Chemotherapy & Infusion Services: This relocated and redesigned infusion therapy clinic serves the specific needs of patients receiving chemotherapy and other infusion services. Rather than a stark, cold and isolated space, the new clinic creates a peaceful and calming environment. 

Ovation Repertory Theatre: Three friends renovated the 99-seat former Spotlight Theatre located in the heart of the downtown arts scene.  

Dr. Penelope S. Suter: This optometrist renovated an existing building into a functional and whimsical space. The reception desk was lowered to accommodate patients in wheelchairs, storage was increased and work areas were redesigned for better work flow.

Secure Systems: Molly and Bruce Busacca converted the former Elite Furniture Building at the corner of H and 23rd streets into a bustling office and retail space. The building was completely gutted and redesigned with modern amenities. It now houses the Busaccas' local alarm company operations as well as three other businesses.

The Belle Rae: A pair of best friends breathed new life into a historic Westchester homes. Every room of this 116-year-old property was renovated and restored to its original beauty into an event venue and floral shop. 

Young adult

An individual or group from 14 to 20 years old that, through personal involvement and endeavors, has answered the challenge of good citizenship.

Centennial Interact and JJ’s Legacy — Got the Dot Leadership Program: This program informs students about the importance and necessity of organ donation. Students also gain the tools to spread their knowledge to others. The goal is to now spread this program to other Kern County schools.

Garces Memorial High School — Love Bags: Each month, dozens of students gather to make more than 100 lunches that are then transported and handed out at the St. Vincent de Paul Center. More than 1,200 lunches have been made since the project launched in March 2017.

Jenna Rasmussen: This Girl Scout went on a mission to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and decrease its fatality rate. As part of her Gold Award Project, she installed automated external defibrillators in public facilities without access to one and trained volunteers in CPR and how to use an AED.

Lauren Ferguson: This high school student was named the 2017 Student of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. During the 10-week campaign, she reached out to more than 60 businesses to meet her goal of raising $10,000.

Music of Bakersfield: Formed and run by junior and high school musicians, this nonprofit hosts performances for senior citizens at different retirement homes and medical facilities. They have also performed at fundraisers and local churches.

Sierra Moore: For her Girl Scout Gold Award Project, Sierra Moore developed a healthy living and eating website, as well as recipe books that have been shared worldwide. She also organized and hosted a cooking class for multiple sclerosis patients and their families at The Kitchen.

Youth

An individual or group from kindergarten to eighth-grade that, through personal involvement and endeavors, has answered the challenge of good citizenship.

Cody Tiede: He decorated and sold pine cones during the holidays, such as Christmas and Halloween, raising $3,000 for Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House in the past 18 months.

Eden Coughran: Eden Coughran launched Cranes for a Cause, making and selling origami crane ornaments and earrings to aid the Make a Wish Foundation. All proceeds have gone to help fund a Disney vacation for a local 4-year-old boy battling eye cancer.

Freedom Middle School – Project Citizens Roots and Shoots Club: This group of middle school students raised funds for adoption fees and hosted a drive to collect toys and other items for the Kern County Animal Services. Their “Hold the Bucket” event raised money for holiday dinners for low-income seniors.

Haley York: This young teen is extremely active in the community, serving as Freedom Middle School Student Council president, volunteering for her church and raising money for holiday dinners for seniors and more. 

Jade Fanucchi: Grateful for the American Heart Association-sponsored research and technology that saved her father's life after his heart attack, she donated her birthday money to an AHA fundraiser at the Padre Hotel. 

Business person of the year

A local business owner/manager whose efforts truly impact and enhance the quality of life in the community.

Beckie Shauinger, Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital: The CEO of the valley’s largest treatment center for individuals with mental health or substance abuse issues and her team work tirelessly to ensure individuals seeking treatment have a safe, comfortable environment.

Bob Meadows, Mission Bank: The community development officer for Mission Bank is also passionate about giving back, volunteering his time to nonprofits, businesses and universities.

Horace Mitchell, CSUB: Retiring after 14 years of leading Cal State Bakersfield, Mitchell helped launched a broad range of initiatives and activities that has produced students who are contributing to the local economy ans enriching the communtity.

Jonny Perez, Deprigo: He offer discounts on Deprigo’s products and services to various charitable organizations and volunteers his time to numerous nonprofits and community events.

Phil Rudnick, Airport Valet Express: This owner of several businesses  provides complimentary charters on his luxury fleet and free use of his event centers for meetings, workshops and celebrations. He is also involved in several community projects, including CSUB’s Edible Garden.

Raji Brar, Countryside Corporation: As chief operating officer, she continues to grow and develop her family’s businesses while aiding the community. She helped found the Bakersfield Sikh Women’s Association, serves on various local and state boards, and she celebrates her birthday each year by serving food and collecting donations for the Bakersfield Homeless Center.

Corporation of the year

The recognition of a corporation whose volunteer hours and/or financial donations have made a meaningful difference.

Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital: This acute psychiatric, 90-bed facility provides various programs to accommodate patient needs and hosts educational seminars and sponsors community events.

Chain Cohn Stiles: This law firm has partnered with the Kern County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving to raise awareness of DUI driving, and to help put an end to it locally. It has also taken a leadership role in helping organize awareness campaigns and local events, raising more than $250,000 since 2014.

Jim Burke Ford Lincoln: This automotive company launched the Ford Dimension and Dream Builders programs as a way to provide service and leadership opportunities for local youth. It also selects a company charity that its employees volunteer to support throughout the year.

Nonprofit of the year

Efforts of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that impacts the community.

Armed Forces Support Foundation: This nonprofit facilitated a one-day renovation project at Camp Hamilton Veteran Memorial Park. It also helps veterans make appointments to receive assistance with housing and military benefits.

Assistance League of Bakersfield: Through Operation School Bell, it provides new school clothes, shoes and hygiene kits for more than 3,600 children. The nonprofit also operates the Bargain Box, a thrift shop that sells items donated by the community.

Bike Bakersfield: Through its Bike Kitchens, individuals receive and assemble their own bikes after 20 hours of volunteering. The nonprofit also sponsors advocacy and outreach efforts and riding events.

The Blessing Corner Outreach Ministries: In 2017, this faith-based nonprofit provided more than 10,000 hot meals and nearly 3,000 food baskets to those in need. Its volunteers also bring food baskets to house-bound seniors, provide job training services and empower youth through educational programs.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County: It provides a safe haven for more than 7,200 local youth at its 63 club sites.

CSF Medical Nonprofit Foundation: This nonprofit was founded to help uninsured and low-income individuals gain access to necessary medical services with the aid of a network of health care professionals who donate their time and services.

League of Dreams: It hosts an adaptive sports league that provides sports training, team camaraderie and competitive sporting opportunities to athletes with physical or developmental disabilities. Nearly 700 athletes participated last year in four sports: baseball, basketball, bowling and dance.

Magdalene Hope: In 2017, this nonprofit sponsored toy drives, gave out Backpacks of Hope and held outreach events to help enrich the lives of women, children and underprivileged individuals in Bakersfield.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Kern County: This nonprofit has worked tirelessly to reduce DUI arrests and help families of victims. Since 2014, more than $250,000 has been raised.

NAMI Kern County: Through a network of trained volunteers, this nonprofit offers free information, education, resources and support for people with mental illness as well as their families and friends.

PathPoint: This nonprofit helps individuals with developmental and physical disabilities gain independence through on-the-job training, skills assessments and development, Project SEARCH internships at workplaces and paid internship programs.

Second Star to the Right: It steps in to help families of children fighting cancer by giving physical, emotional and financial support. From cleaning houses and providing transportation to support groups, it has served more than 70 Kern County families since beginning in 2010.

Thumbs Up, Cancer Down: This nonprofit hands out care packages called Thumbs Up, Power Up Packs, providing patients with comfort and personal care items they need the most while undergoing treatment. In 2017, the program was expanded to include care packages specifically for pediatric and teen patients. The nonprofit also hosts community events to raise awareness, including its widely popular Game Show Experience Night.

Xtreme Youth Athletics 661: This flag football league teaches its athletes the importance of teamwork, character and leadership skills.

Small business of the year

A small business (25 employees or less) whose contributions and/or products and services instill community pride.

1st Choice Urgent Care: Opened last July, this urgent care facility has become a go-to place for individuals looking for quick medical care. 

Airport Valet Express: This business provides luxury transportation to LAX and private charters as well as free rides for active military, children under 10 and chaperones for dependent adults.

Aspire Counseling Services: This treatment center teamed up with KGET-TV 17 to host a monthly web chat for people to have their questions answered by medical professionals in real time.

Bakersfield Escape Room: Its patrons are taken on a physical adventure to solve a mystery in a set time period. This business works on projects with nonprofits, schools and churches or donating its services for an educational experience. 

Bellissima Medical Aesthetics: The medical practice is known for its high-end aesthetic services and its generosity, hosting the annual Girls Night Out event to raise funds for a specific nonprofit. Last year, the three-hour event brought in $4,000 for CASA of Kern County. It also donated $100,000 in services to other local nonprofits in 2017.

Deprigo: This print and design company utilizes its extensive knowledge of products and services to help nonprofits, such as Bakersfield Marathon, maximize their donor dollars.

Encore Boutique: Operated by The Mission at Kern County, downtown thrift store trains individuals in its residential recovery program in retail and customer service to help them become more employable.

Qwik Café by Sequoia: Sequoia Sandwich Company renovated the space next door and opened the grab-and-go deli Qwik Café. 

Robin’s EnviroVac: Owner Robin Brassfield-Cooper launched the Kern County Oil Contractors Association, a nonprofit scholarship foundation to help local youth return to Kern County to work in the energy or agriculture sectors. The company also lends its time and resources to youth-driven charities.

Rush Crush: Allie Anderson launched this business that sells custom-made, Greek-licensed apparel, donating a percentage of every sale to benefit students.

Sno Shack: This company hosts special days, including First Responders Appreciation Day, Military and Veterans Day, Senior Citizen Day and National Sister Day. It also hosted a fundraiser for a local victim of the Route 91 Las Vegas shooting.

Steven P. Kinney Construction: Owner Steven Kinney and his crews  work closely with city and county officials to clean up vacant residential and commercial properties. They also board up abandoned homes to prevent access to squatters.

The Beautiful Life LLC: This company provides education on how to enhance outer beauty while working to ignite inner strength, self-confidence and empowerment. Through partnerships, it has reached more than 1,000 individuals since launching in 2016.

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