Here is an opportunity to support local law enforcement and learn more about a drug problem facing the county.

The nonprofit Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation will hosts its annual administrator of the year awards luncheon Oct. 4, highlighting a local FBI and DEA agent, said board member Lynn Watkins.

The luncheon, which is open to the public, will be held 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at Stockdale Country Club. Tickets are $25 per person or $300 a table.

Money raised from the luncheon allows the foundation to support local law enforcement agencies.

One luncheon honoree is Robert P. Guyton, Jr., supervisory senior resident agent of the FBI's Bakersfield Resident Agency.

Guyton worked for Bakersfield Police Department in patrol and the Special Operations Bureau/Special Enforcement Unit for seven years before attending the FBI academy in 2003, Watkins said. As part of the FBI, he has worked in New York, Arizona, and Washington, D.C.

"In January 2011, Guyton reported as the SSRA of the Bakersfield Resident Agency and is responsible for managing criminal and counterterrorism investigations in Kern and Inyo counties," Watkins said.

The keynote speaker will be Carl Beckett, DEA resident agent in charge for the Bakersfield Resident Office, who will speak about the marijuana issues facing Kern County and the state, Watkins said.

Beckett originally worked as a U.S. probation and parole officer in New York before transferring to the DEA in 1999 and working in New Jersey and Colombia where, among other things, "he was responsible for the supervision of all investigations, targeting some of the highest level drug traffickers operating on the northern coast of Colombia, as well as the destruction of the cocaine laboratories on the northern coast," Watkins said.

In 2010, Beckett was transferred to Bakersfield office, which is responsible for all federal drug investigations in both the Kern and Inyo counties.

For more information about the event, please call Pauly Wren at (661) 861-7911.

PYRENEES FIESTA: An event that combines the Basque and Mexican cultures in a fundraising celebration is fast approaching and promises to be another evening of success and fun.

The seventh annual Pyrenees Fiesta will be held 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Bakersfield City Firefighters Hall at 7320 Wible Road. Tickets are $50.

The event is organized by the Mendiburu Magic Foundation, a local nonprofit that provides patient-assistance funds to local children battling a life-threatening illness and their families and supports local youth development programs, cancer research and scholarships.

Pyrenees Fiesta will specifically benefit the foundation's pediatric patient assistance funds program, said Brian Mendiburu, who runs the nonprofit with his wife, Valerie. Brian started the foundation in honor of his mother, Nancy, who died from ovarian cancer 12 years ago.

"With increasing financial burdens due to these medical conditions, and the challenge of balancing all of these factors, our families are frequently stressed and overwhelmed," Brian Mendiburu said. "Our public-benefit organization tries to assist families by relieving these stressors and contributing towards healthy community strategy."

I have attended the event in the past, and it's especially heartfelt when the Mendiburus introduce a child and a family that has tremendously benefited the foundation's help. Of course, the great Basque and Latin food, as well as the entertainment -- Mento Buru will perform -- will be a draw to the event.

"The event is a great time for family and friends to come out and celebrate the local roots of Kern County," Mendiburu said. "You can't beat out some great Basque food and Mexican cuisine all in one great spot. We will have an auction, live music with Mento Buru playing, and a bar, inside and outside lounge area. The annual event is our only fundraiser every year, so special thanks to the volunteers that serve on the planning committee."

For tickets or sponsorship information, please contact Emily Poole at Emily Poole at or Valerie Mendiburu at

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