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Cheers to Charity donates to local nonprofits

On Thursday, Oct. 12, Cheers to Charity handed out checks totaling $65,500 to local nonprofit organizations.

What began in 2014 as a small fundraiser in a parking lot, has grown into the most anticipated community fundraiser of the year. The Cheers team funded 11 nonprofits with grants ranging from $2,000 to $15,000.

The August 2023 event, featuring food, wine, craft beer, home brews and spirit-free mocktails, brought together more than 800 people to raise money for charity. Tehachapi's Aviator Park lit up with thousands of sparkling lights, vibrant conversation and festive laughter as supporters raised money for charity.

The Cheers to Charity committee, including Becca Dillenbeck, Marcia Thompson, Theresa Dineen, Mary Beth Garrison, Curtis Nelson and Linda Carhart met at Woods Pavilion (a first-time Cheers sponsor) to thank everyone and hand out checks.

The Cheers team acknowledged the importance of sponsors, ticket buyers and partner nonprofits.

"We are extremely thankful for everyone who made Cheers to Charity an amazing evening of generosity," said Cheers to Charity President Mary Beth Garrison. "Feedback has been great; everyone had a wonderful time. Being one of the most anticipated events of the year, it is important to do things right and keep things fresh. We did that – and everyone who supported us helped to make it happen.

"Today is the reason we do what we do. The Cheers committee logs in hundreds of hours to put on this important fundraiser – but our time and energy are worth the reward. Cheers to Charity is a way to contribute to causes bigger than ourselves," finished Garrison.

Funds were distributed to the following nonprofit organizations:

Have a Heart Humane Society: $15,000 for Spay and Neuter Clinics

Motherhood Collective: $8,000 for Prenatal and Postpartum Programs

Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra: $8,000 for Community Symphony Orchestra

Tehachapi Roller Hockey: $8,000 for Roller Hockey Arena Restoration

Tehachapi Rotary Foundation: $5,500 for Community Outreach

American Legion: $5,500 for Veteran Program Support

Tehachapi Valley Wrestling Club: $4,000 for Wrestling Program Improvements

Tehachapi Mountain Search and Rescue: $3,500 for Safety Equipment and Training

Tehachapi Friends of the Library: $3,000 for Community Reading Programs

Stallion Springs CERT: $3,000 for Safety Equipment and Training

Central California Animal Disaster Team: $2,000 for Animal Rescue and Care

Since 2014, the Cheers to Charity team has contributed $377,458 to 34 different nonprofits.

The committee will take the rest of the year off but begin preparing the 2024 event in January. Cheers to Charity 2024 will mark the 10th anniversary of the event and is on the calendar for Saturday, Aug. 10 at Aviator Park. The committee has already started to talk about 10-year celebration ideas for this annual evening of "fun"-draising under the stars.