Five-Alarm Barbecue is a success

Over $70,000 raised for the Grossman Burn Center.

BAKERSFIELD, CA - The grills are cooling off after the second annual Five-Alarm Barbecue benefiting the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital.

The heat might have kept some people away at first, but when volunteers reached the end of the lunch line, donations were soaring right along with the temperature.

Just over $35,000 worth of hamburger lunches were sold. Since Chevron is matching, that makes over $70,000 raised Wednesday.

All of that money will go toward helping burn survivors pay for their recovery.

Those with the hunger to help, lined up for a hamburger lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.

"Oh, delicious. I haven't been having a hamburger in probably two months, but it was very good," said Bessie Amos of the meal.

The barbecues were blazing, as was the temperature. But volunteers pushed on, filling lunch boxes that would fill the bellies of those fulfilling the needs of young burn patients at the Grossman Burn Center.

"I know it's the only one in Bakersfield so we need to support it," said Greg Thomas, who bought a lunch.

"Several folks have just said here, here's $50. I just want one burger. Thank you. This is for a great cause, thank you so much," said Kevin Burton, President of the San Joaquin Community Hospital Foundation.

"I was going to go to Subway and I heard that, and for a good cause. I was like, oh, let me go," said Mary Hernandez, who came to the barbecue.

Hernandez's change of lunch plans could help change a life, like that of 8-year-old Persaeus Davis. She was burned two years ago by a cup of soup.

"When she picked it up, the whole cup crushed, and it just boiled over onto her hands," said Annita Davis, Persaeus's mother.

"I was thinking what would kids say at school?," said Persaeus Davis about what she was thinking after she was burned.

Davis spent eight days at the Grossman Burn Center. Thanks to the Chevron Fund, she wore compression garments. They help smooth scar tissue and keep the skin flexible. But, they are often not covered by insurance, sometimes considered cosmetic.

Thanks to the procedures at the Grossman Burn Center, today the Davis's are thankful that Persaeus's scar is nearly invisible. To show their gratitude, Persaeus and her mother helped volunteer to someday help others.

"Kids are precious, and it just puts a tear in your eye when you think a child has to go through such a tragic incident. But to be able to get them back on their feet, it just means the world to you," said Kevin Burton.

The Grossman Burn Center this year has already spent over $40,000 to help burn survivors.

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Bakersfield, CA