A Brief Club History
Provided by Charter Member Gerald Starr
In 1982, Rotary International District 524 (now District 5240) voluntarily ceded 11 clubs in Tulare and Kings Counties to form a new District, 523 (now District 5230).  District 524 then made a plea to its remaining clubs to begin a Club Extension project within its remaining geographical area.
Bakersfield South Rotary Club answered the call, and created a committee which undertook the task of organizing a new Rotary Club in Bakersfield to meet in the morning.  Led by James (Jim) Barton Jr. the South Club held the first committee meeting to create a new club. on September 8, 1982.  A call went out to prospective members, and the first provisional club meeting was held on September 30, 1982, with 11 potential members.  The group considered three club names:   Breakfast, Sunrise, and Good-morning.  A formal Application for Membership in Rotary International was submitted on December 1, 1982. Jim, who was a charter member for the formation of the Bakersfield South Club many years earlier, later served as a District Governor in 1986-1987. Sadly, Jim passed away on December 14,2020 at the age of 90.
The application was granted and The Rotary Club of Bakersfield Breakfast was officially chartered on December 13, 1982.  The Club had 31 Charter members:  Two Charter members remain active in the Club: Gerald Starr and Dennis Scott. The Club met at 6:45 a.m. on Wednesdays at the Elks Club.  The admission fee was $50.00 and the membership dues were $60.00 per year.  The Club members were all men, and their wives were called Rotary-Ann’s, named after Paul Harris’ wife, Ann.
The Club’s first Charter Night celebration was held in conjunction with Bakersfield South’s 20th Charter Night Anniversary at Stockdale Country Club on February 26, 1983.  The Club’s Charter President who was from the South Club, John McWhorter, formally accepted the Club’s Charter that night.
In June 1987, BBRC formed the Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Foundation.  BBRF’s original purpose was to awarding money for local scholarships and for capital gifts to local community charities.  The purpose has since been expanded to include funding for BBRC community service, special projects, and funding temporary and emergency needs of individuals and organizations.  BBRF received its IRS 501(c)(3) status on May 26, 1990.
BBRC had the honor of passing on the Rotary new club legacy when we sponsored The Rotary Club of Bakersfield Twilight in 2008.  BBRC President Jim Bell led this effort.
The club has had several meeting homes: The Elks Club, Double Tree Hotel, Bakersfield Petroleum Club (two locations), and Old Church Plaza.
Our fundraising activity has been legendary: Donuts at the air show; $10,000 Hole-in-one at the County Golf courses! Our programs are always the best: Like stress management and the trampolines! But how about Wine, Place and Show, Evening in New Orleans, Twilight in Tuscany, Western BBQ and Bats and Brooms?
BBRC has been recognized as one of the top clubs in District 5240.  A partial list of recognitions includes:
  • Governor’s Citation
  • Super Club status
  • Mayor’s Certificate of Appreciation for Meet Your Special Neighbors Month
  • Nominated for Beautiful Bakersfield Award