Posted by John Guerard

Rotarians were greeted by Carole Smith and Robert Provencio with smiling faces and warm handshakes. Invocation by John Guerard; flag salute by Pat Thompson; song lead by Carole Smith; and guest Rotarian Alan Chambers from East Rotary was introduced by the Rotarian duo Cheryl Scott & Neil Walker. There were no other guests.

*** The Program***

 The program was given by three ladies; Melanie Farmer- President – President/CEO of the Downtown Business Association (DBA) and Downtown Business Development Corp; Dixie Brewer- owner of “In Your Wildest Dreams” store; and Cassie Bittle- owner of “KC Steakhouse”.

The three of them share information on the Block-to-Block program which is an informational based project started in 2019 by the downtown business owners to improve the downtown businesses, combat crime, and fight homelessness. It is basically a large neighborhood watch program for downtown businesses that identifies problems and comes up with solutions.

Block-to-Block is broken up into business street blocks; a local business owner is chosen as a block captain to report problems in their respective areas to each other and to the police or sheriff. Block-to -Block has helped fund a “street ambassador program” that patrol the downtown businesses to reduce crime and help clean up the “bodily function messes” left behind by homeless.

This program has also helped fund shelters for the homeless like the Brundage Lane Navigation Center. The presentation was excellent and demonstrates that solutions to crime and homelessness can be made when businesses stick and work together.

***The Rest of the Meeting***

Special days this week:

Celebrating their birthday: David Perkins, Jacque Alexander, Connie Bensusen and John Guerard.

Wedding anniversary: Marlene Heise and Ben Horn (2 Years);

Club anniversary: Michele McClure (12 Years); Cheryl Scott (29 years) WOW!

Congratulations to all!

***Recognitions***

Ken Quarnberg was recognized for his store remodeling attempt; some robbers stole a car and rammed the front of his store trying to steal guns and whatever else they could get. Luckily, they were not successful, but they did a lot of damage to his store.

Michael O’Doherty gave the “Past President” presentation in person for his 2004-05 Rotary president year. He talked about the club’s accomplishments in his year such as buying a paper shredding truck for BARC ($80,000+) and having the last “Evening in New Orleans” fundraiser event.

Greg Desme correctly answered the hidden question in the bulletin- What is the suggested pledge for the Rotary Foundation” -$250. Today’s hidden clue is: who is the owner of KC’s Steakhouse?

***Announcements***

The Rotary District Conference and Foundation Gala is going to be held on January 28-30, 2022, at the Santa Barbara Beachfront Hilton. You can register at this link.

We need to buy our tickets for Wine, Place, & Show fundraiser, you can buy them online at www.bbrc.org. We also need more volunteers to help out that night. See Willie Gordon, new member and WPS volunteer coordinator.

***BIG CHANGE***

Our Christmas party has been separated from our 40th aniversary Charter Night. The Christmas party is still December 3rd. Dave Spalinger has graciously offered to host it at his house. Charter Night will be held February 12th at the Bakersfield Country Club.

Athena Collup announced that we are collecting toys for the Toys for Tots program. Boxes were at our meeting and they will be there for future meetings, so bring in some new, unwrapped toys!

Denise Haynes is calling for help with the Thanksgiving Project - See her email to the club for more information.

***Happy Fivers***

Marlene Heise offered to pay $20 for theall-male table at this morning’s breakfast, not realizing that we can all be any gender we want now!

Willie Gordon traveled recently to the Maldives with his wife, Nicole; he was $20 happy.

David Perkins traveled to Austin Texas and brought back doggie treats and a duck call to President Jeff; he was $10 happy.

Jeff Bell mentioned that his son recently married and his daughter got engaged at the same event! Jeff was $100 happy.

Jacque Alexander mention that her daughter was in a car accident recently and she was very grateful she was able to walk away with only bruises. We are all very thankful she is okay.

The drawing was won by Craig Holland (who never wins, Ha!) for $63; and Carole Smith donated three bags of Brown Butter Cookies bags of cookies from her trip to the coast which were raffled off to three lucky winners. Thanks Carole!