Columnist Olivia Garcia

A foundation that supports low-income families and seniors gain independence is gearing up for its second annual "Dreaming Beyond the Stars" fundraiser, 7 p.m. Friday at the Padre Hotel.

The charity will help raise needed dollars so that the agency can assist "unprivileged seniors, youth and needy families that are pursuing self sufficiency," said Norma Rojas-Mora of the Housing and Opportunity Foundation of Kern. "We anticipate the Kern County community will step up once again and demonstrate our heart for helping those in need."

Rojas-Mora said the charity gala will follow a New York theme and feature "exclusive wines and champagne, Italian hors d'oeuvres, alluring art, live performers, silent auction, dancing" and more.

"Attendees will literally feel like they are in New York," Rojas-Mora said. "The terrace will be transformed to Times Square; there will be a room inspired by lower Manhattan's Little Italy neighborhood in SoHo, and a dessert/auction room to indulge in shopping and sweet treats. Of course New York wouldn't be the same without Broadway, so 'Dreaming Beyond the Stars' will feature an incredible lounge singer to elevate the Broadway ambiance throughout the night."

While one goal is to make sure attendees enjoy the evening, Rojas-Mora said the big objective is raise enough funds to support programs and services for low-income seniors, youth, and families served through the Kern County Housing Authority. Education and career-building programs as well as homeownership opportunities are among the programs standing to benefit.

She said last year's event was quite successful, raising $30,000.

Tickets are $100 per person and will include a selection of exquisite foods, drinks and entertainment.

For tickets, sponsorship or other information, visit kernopportunityfoundation.org or contact Rojas-Mora at 335-0528, ext. 27, or email NRojasMora@kernha.org.

Bakersfield Life seeks artist work

Bakersfield Life Magazine and Metro Galleries are proud to announce a call for works and give artists a chance to showcase their work on the December cover of Bakersfield Life. The cover concept must highlight the theme of "Bakersfield and Kern County during the holiday season." In other words, share with us your vision of Bakersfield during the holidays.

Submissions are free to enter. Guidelines are as follows:

Artwork must represent an interpretation of Bakersfield/Kern County during the holiday season.

Artwork can be no larger than 16-by-20 inches and must be framed or gallery wrapped. Vertical is preferred.

Artwork is submitted to Metro Galleries on 19th Street in downtown Bakersfield on Tuesday, Nov. 12, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Artwork will be juried by a panel selected by Bakersfield Life staffers.

The winning piece will be used as the cover of Bakersfield Life's December edition.

All artwork will be displayed at Metro Galleries on First Friday, Dec. 6. Ice House Framing will frame the winning entry for display at Metro Galleries, and a special prize package will be awarded to the winner.

Bakersfield Life Magazine and Metro Galleries will retain all publishing and image rights of artwork for promotion and publication. For more information, please email metrogalleries@yahoo.com and ogarcia@bakersfield.com, or call 395-7487.

BWell Get Fit Challenge

Speaking of magazines, Tim Gojich, owner and trainer of Fit For Life Gym, is looking for two candidates to take on B Well's Get Fit Challenge. This annual project is a joint partnership between BWell, a health and wellness magazine, and Fit for Life Gym.

Fit for Life is located at 701 19th St., Suite C, in downtown Bakersfield. Potential candidates should be non-drinkers and committed to working out a minimum of four days per week. Individuals should be also dedicated to attending group or semi-private group training and follow a specific diet. Candidates are also encouraged to sign up for 30-Day Extreme Fat-Loss Class at Fit For Life Gym. Class starts Dec. 2 and runs for 30 days; check Bakersfield.com for an online Daily Deal on the program.

If you are interested in being chosen as a candidate for this challenge, sign up for the class and attend the Dec. 2 informational class.

In addition, those interested can send their story to Tim Gojich at tim@fitforlifegym.com, with the subject line ATTN: Get Fit Challenge. To learn more about the Extreme Fat-Loss Class, visit fitforlifebootcamp.com.

Two people will be selected to be a part of a yearlong training program in 2014 and will be featured on a regular basis in the magazine, particularly with a "before-and-after" shot.

Children and art

Looking for something to keep your child busy after school? The Bakersfield Museum of Art is offering its Art After-School program. The program runs from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and is for children ages 6 to 12. As part of the program, the students explore art projects inspired by current exhibitions at the museum, said Matt Munoz, BMOA marketing director. For younger children, consider the Side-by-Side program, which happens every second Saturday and fourth Thursday of the month, from 10 to 11 a.m. It is designed for children between the ages of 3 to 6, accompanied by an adult.

My friend, Nancy Chaffin, has taken her two granddaughters to Side by Side and simply loves it. For more information about the either program, please visitbmoa.org/category/education/classes-programs.

Olivia Garcia is editor of Bakersfield Life and BWell magazines, and a columnist of The Bakersfield Californian. These are her opinions, not necessarily those of The Bakersfield Californian. Send her tips at ogarcia@bakersfield.com.

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