Cliff Suazo, owner of Savannah's Old Town Saloon, coordinated a barbecue and car wash fundraiser Saturday outside the bar to raise money for the funeral and cremation of Cheyenne Watkins, 23.
Her body was found Friday, June 1, in Golden Hills, in what the coroner's office said was a homicide.
Some family members, including Watkins' sisters, came to Saturday's event and even helped wash cars.
Sister Shannon Spears said she would want Watkins to be remembered by her "bubbly attitude and smile." She said her sister loved to draw, listen to music and be around people.
Watkins lived in Tehachapi her whole life and attended Tehachapi High School.
"She definitely was a sweet young soul, and it's a tragedy that this happened to her, she was so young," said Bridgette King, Watkins' cousin.
Approximately 20 volunteers came to wash cars as Suazo cooked hamburgers and hot dogs. Vehicles consistently rolled into the parking lot to get car washes and make cash donations.
"We're a tight community," said Suazo, who donated the food and said that whatever does not get raised he will pay.
Suazo said that through Savannah's and his other business, Dog House Saloon & Bar, he has helped raise funds for eight funerals in the past in addition to money for other needs in the community.
"I don't mind helping people that need help," Suazo said. "I feel sorry for the family, and especially the parents, as a father."
Volunteers and attendees included friends of the family as well as people who simply heard about the event on social media and wanted to show support.
"I think (Watkins) would be impressed by the turnout of people that came out to help her today," King said.
Jim Gillen, a regular at Savannah's who came to the fundraiser, said although he and others did not personally know Watkins, Tehachapi is a close community.
"We're all kind of like family...we all help out when somebody needs it," Gillen said.
The fundraiser also happened with the support of Andrew Dickey, owner of a detailing service and a friend of Watkins' brother, who provided a mobile detailing vehicle and played the music.
Samantha Strong, Watkins' sister, said there was no tally of how much money had been raised since donation jars were put out by Suazo last week, but that $500 had been given to Wood Family Funeral Service by an anonymous donor. She and other family members said they are grateful for all of the community's support.
Watkins is survived by an extended family, including four siblings, two cousins and a stepdad she was close to.
"She was a happy person and enjoyed life to the fullest," said Shirley Allred, Watkins' aunt. "She was a beautiful girl."