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Bakersfield brought the “McFamily” together for the 'Walk for Kids 5K'

Local residents were on the move, walking, and dancing for a good cause to benefit families in need
Posted at 5:15 PM, Jun 01, 2024

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House takes off from the Kern County Museum, raising funds that go right back to the community.

  • The Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House takes off from the Kern County Museum, raising funds that return to the community.
  • Each step and each dollar raised at the walk for kids supporting families throughout Bakersfield.
  • Families took a stroll for the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House fundraiser on June 1, 2024, for the annual Walk for Kids 5k.


Keeping active and supporting the community.

The Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House celebrates 15 years of helping families in Kern County.

Each year, BRMH brings people together for the Walk for Kids 5k, where families raise funds to keep the program going.

For some families, this means giving back to a program that supports them.

23ABC reporter Avery Elowitt walked with Emma Rae Sandene for the Flying Kites with Emma team, who says her story starts at just six months old.

“Everyone has their own story,” said Sandene. “And when you wanna give back to the community, it just touches your heart for the rest of your life.”

In Kindergarten, Sandene received an envelope from her teacher, hosting a fundraiser for the BRMH.

When Sandene showed her mom the envelope, her mother shared their own family’s experience.

“I was diagnosed with glaucoma and cataracts eye disease and had to see an eye specialist in LA,” said Sandene. “And I remember sitting in the hospital room, my mom was crying and I was just like, ‘What’s wrong?’ She’s like, ‘I have nowhere to be.’”

This story has been the driving force for this family for the past seven years.

The BRMH assisted another family where their child was 20 years old.

“...My son was in a crash on the Grapevine 15 years ago. It shut down the Grapevine on a Sunday afternoon,” said Mark Buxbaum.

The Buxbaum family said BRMH gave them peace of mind 15 years ago.

“They initially thought he was dead on the freeway,” said Buxbaum. “But he moved under a blanket and somebody saw that, and he got airlifted to the Kern Medical Center.”

Since the family was from San Diego, the BRMH offered a helping hand.

“Even though he’s a 20-year-old long hair rock star drummer, he’s not some little two-year-old cutie pie with Leukemia as you see in all the ads,” said Buxbaum. “They made a horrible, horrible situation a little more bearable. And that gave us a little more strength to help our son.”

For others, the Walk for Kids is a way to support those around you.

“The feeling of being with your family, even though we’re all coworkers, it’s family at the end of the day,” said Jacob Ramirez with Team Gallo. “That’s what we call each other, you know, we’re our McFamily, right?”

Walk for Kids 2024 raised over 200,000 dollars, with nearly 1,000 supporters.

While this 5k has already crossed the finish line, next year's race is scheduled for May 31, 2025.

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