Find Jack Banner OCT21

Making Strides With Strollers Mall Rally

Make strides towards a cure by joining a great group of ladies, gentlemen and their little ones in a safe environment. 9am at the Valley Plaza Mall Ming Ave., BKFD. Call for more details, see page 8.

Hopeful Harvest Offers Helping Hand

Who doesn’t enjoy fresh, delicious organic produce, picked locally and in season? But getting it means either a weekly trip to the Farmer’s Market, or paying high store prices. To help with that dilemma, Hopeful Harvest offers prefilled boxes of fresh, organic produce delivered right to your door with a different selection of fruits and veggies each week. To make this deal even tastier, a portion of the profits goes to support local families in crisis.

The business was started by Scott and Belinda Pursel in January 2013 to generate revenue for their newly formed nonprofit, Supporting Overwhelming Situations (SOS), which helps families dealing with children that have medical issues. It was the Pursel’s own family medical journey that got the ball rolling, when their daughter Anastasia, now age 4 and in remission, was diagnosed at age 17 months with Leukemia in July 2012.

“While she was undergoing treatment at UCLA,” said Scott, “we realized there is such a need for local families dealing with similar medical issues. Families have to be split up and incur heavy travel expenses and other hardships that go along with medical treatment, and we just felt that we wanted to help out.” For Belinda, it was a matter of making lemonade out of lemons, and using that six months in the hospital for an even bigger purpose. “During that time,” she said, “Scott and I threw around ideas on what we could do to give back and Hopeful Harvest and SOS were born. It helped us pass the time, gave us hope, and encouraged us to keep on going.”

So far they’ve helped about 12 families with food, Visa and gas cards, and other needs. But Belinda says her favorite thing is Christmas time, when she creates gift baskets for both the kids who are sick and their siblings. “I enjoy getting the gifts and making the baskets. When I was away at the hospital, the smallest thing brought so much joy to me. When I put these baskets together, I know what it’s like to receive something like that and it means a lot to do that for someone else, and to let the parents know that other people are there for them.”

Each box is $30 and can be delivered or preordered for pickup at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School Tuesdays 3-5pm or at Heritage Christian Schools Thursdays 2:30-5pm. Schools earn $5 as a fundraiser for each box sold at their school, and Hopeful Harvest is looking to add more schools to their onsite sales locations. To order produce, sign a school up for fundraising, contact SOS for help, or donate, visit or call 661-205-7932.

Share a Ride, Save the Air

We all know the air is thick in Kern County. Because of that, the Kern Council of Governments (COG) is asking drivers to seek alternative means of getting to work or school during Rideshare Week, October 6-10, by participating in its CommuteKern Rideshare Week 2014 program.

Rideshare Week is an annual statewide campaign that promotes carpooling, transit and other alternatives to driving alone as a way to ease traffic congestion and improve air quality. By pledging to rideshare just one day during Rideshare week, you will be helping our community and become eligible to win some great prizes, such as a bicycle donated by Snider’s Cyclery.

CommuteKern has several suggestions for taking part. You can try carpooling on October 6th by utilizing CommuteKern’s free carpool matching service. On October 7th, enjoy free coffee and granola bars at the Downtown GET Bus Depot from 7–9am or water and cookies at their Southwest Transit Center on Wible from 3–5pm. You’re encouraged to try biking to your destination on October 8th (call Bike Bakersfield for helpful biking tips), join a vanpool on October 9th, and walk or take a Brown Bag lunch on Friday, October 10th.

“Rideshare Week is a fun way to encourage people to consider a different approach to getting to work or school,” said Susanne Campbell, Kern COG’s Rideshare Coordinator. “The real key is to continue to inspire change in people’s driving behaviors and to think about ridesharing throughout the year.”

To sign up or get more information, go to and click on the Rideshare Week icon, or call (661) 832-RIDE (7433).

Tune in for Math Help

For more than a decade, Kern County kids in 4th through 12th grades have been tuning in to Do the Math for help with their math homework. Do the Math, a standards-based television math instruction and call-in tutor program produced by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, is available again this school year for struggling math students as part of the 60-plus hours of weekly K-12 educational programing offered by KCSOS’s Kern Education Television Network (KETN). It airs each Tuesday and Wednesday during the school year from 4-5pm on Bright House Network’s Ch. 15, Charter Cable’s Ch. 46 in Rosamond, and Charter Cable’s Ch. 19 and 180 in California City, Boron, Mojave and North Edwards.

KETN Coordinator John Lenko has been directing Do the Math since it first went on the air. He says in addition to the TV broadcast, students can take advantage of free phone-in tutoring when the show’s host takes a few questions and works out the problems on-air. The program also includes special guests, fun features and contests, and may be viewed live on television or online at

Do the Math tutoring helplines are open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:30-5:30pm. The call-in numbers are (661) 636-4357 or toll free (866) 636-6284. Hearing impaired students who have video phones can call (661) 369-8958 from 4-6 pm. For more information, visit

Come Horse Around!

Do you or your kids love horses? Mastering Abilities Riding Equines (M.A.R.E.) invites you to come on out to the barn for some old-fashioned fun at their Under the Harvest Moon event, a fall family fundraiser that includes a full evening of games, a M.A.R.E. rider demonstration, catered dinner, no-host bar, plus music and dancing. Proceeds benefit M.A.R.E., which has been providing therapeutic equine-assisted activities for people living with special needs and disabilities in Kern County since 1990, when Diane Hopkins, Mary Literilla and Dorothy Evans set out to create a place where horses and healing could come together. Since then, M.A.R.E. has been accredited by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, and become a member of the International Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship.  

Under the Harvest Moon takes place Saturday October 18th at 18200 Johnson Road (west off Nord Road). Dinner tickets are $25 for adults, $17.50 for children ages 12 and under.

For more info, call M.A.R.E. at 661-589-1877 or email

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