$ 95,000 for 95: Peggy Darling celebrates her birthday by giving gifts instead of receiving them
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Gifts will be in abundance at Peggy Darling’s upcoming 95th birthday party. But they are not for her, they come from her.
Twenty giveaways, to be exact, for 20 local nonprofits that somehow touched her heart – 20 giveaways totaling $ 95,000 – one large for each year in the life of a great lady. until now.
âThere is something about making someone happy, helping someone who has needs that make you feel good,â she said.
This isn’t the first time Peggy has donated to charity. She has done a lot, especially for downtown Bakersfield, helping to restore the Historic Fox Theater and more recently donating a building behind the Fox to the Bakersfield Firefighters Historical Society for a fire museum and a community hall.
Peggy’s birthday is actually Tuesday, but she gave KGET a glimpse of her plans. One aspect of her plans is the element of surprise – most recipients don’t know they’re on her birthday gift list, and none have been told how much they will receive.
But four that we know of are the Bakersfield Museum of Art, the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, the California Living Museum, known as CALM, and the Christian Youth Film Society, which teaches teens all the elements of the process of making a movie. Joe Brown runs the film school and he is grateful.
âHaving that in the first place is great, but then giving itâ¦â he said. “She’s so good to this community because I think she’s an example that we can all follow, you know, in our little way.”
Stan Eschner isn’t just a board member of the CALM Zoo, he’s the guy who suggested what is his highest-grossing fundraiser today, the Lights at CALM. He and his wife saw a similar exhibit in Denver 21 years ago that appeared to be very popular. He brought the idea to the CALM Foundation Board.
âAnd I said to the foundation, I think we should start a light show,â he said. âSo it became a major fundraiser. “
Last year admission to Lights at CALM was $ 30 per car. Peggy Darling thought some families might have trouble with that much money, so she sponsored dozens of them. This year, she continues.
âI think it’s a wonderful idea to give to a community that you love and appreciate because – I mean, she’s 95,â Eschner said. âI’ve seen people go by and then they give it away, and they don’t get any pleasure from it because they kept going. The hearse does not come with luggage racks.
Peggy, who moved to Bakersfield in 1990 after marrying the late Curtis Darling, hopes others who can afford to give are remembered in their community.
âAbsolutely,â she said. âIf they like me, they should give gifts to any charity they like. It has nothing to do with me at all.
The Kern Community Foundation will administer the distribution of all donations.
And what are you doing to celebrate your next birthday? You might not have $ 95,000 to burn a hole in your pocket. But as Peggy Darling might tell us, it’s not always what’s in your purse, it’s what’s in your heart.