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Give Big Kern preview event coming to Bakersfield this weekend

Saturday's Give Big at the Park at Riverwalk event will give the community the chance to learn more about the nonprofits participating in Give Big Kern 2023.
Give Big Kern (FILE)
Posted at 4:04 PM, Apr 18, 2023

Give Big Kern is back for 2023, and this year, 23ABC is a Diamond Sponsor of the county's premier annual community charity event.

The event officially happens on May 2, but at a preview press conference Tuesday, organizers revealed that more than 60 non-profit organizations will be participating in the Give Big at the Park event taking place Saturday, April 22 at the Park at Riverwalk in Bakersfield.

This weekend's event is an opportunity for the community to learn more about local non-profits and how they can donate.

"This can be a game-changer for some of them," said Aaron Falk, president and CEO of the Kern Community Foundation, who launched the Give Big Kern initiative in 2016. "We've had organizations that were just getting off the ground and came into Give Big Kern and raised one hundred, two hundred thousand dollars, and it really kickstarted what they were able to do in the community."

Tuesday's press conference also discussed how much of an impact Give Big Kern has had on non-profit organizations here in Kern County, and also allowed service organizations to network with one another.

"We've had other organizations who were already established and were able to use Give Big Kern to raise money to hire a bilingual staffer and double their reach of services," said Falk.

One of the non-profits involved with Give Big Kern is Bakersfield Recovery Services. According to Program Director Gilbert Laroque, BRS has participated in Give Big Kern for 4 years and has seen firsthand what type of impact it can have.

"It's been very beneficial getting to be able to come out to the community. People know us as a staple on the east side, but being able to educate more people, being able to partner with other people has made a big difference in us being out in the community," said Laroque.

Laroque says Give Big Kern is not only helpful for the organizations involved but also for the community.

"As we grow, we get to meet new partners that come in and help them navigate and help them get to know, and there's always room to help more people," said Laroque.

The Give Big at the Park event will be held this Saturday at the Park at Riverwalk and will feature food trucks and music. Give Big Kern will culminate with the online donation event on Wednesday, May 2.

"Give Big Kern is our online day of giving that the Kern Community Foundation hosts to raise unrestricted dollars and volunteer hours for our local non-profits," said Falk.

If you are interested in learning more about any or all of the non-profit organizations participating in Give Big Kern, visit the Give Big Kern website to search for an organization, read its profile, and learn about how it helps the community.