Posted by Mindy Wilmot
Hello, my friends, and welcome to a new Rotary year! Rest assured; the marvelously eloquent Frank Wooldridge will continue to author The Beacon! I’m just filling in for the day.
Before we even get to the meeting, I must comment on the elegance that is Lino’s Venue. It is a beautiful space, the staff is incredible, and they totally upped the breakfast game with red velvet pancakes. RED. VELVET. PANCAKES!!! BBRC has found a fantastic new home. We were welcomed by our greeters for the morning, Teresa Ramos-Alvarez and Jeff Schwartz.
The meeting began with our new President, kilt-clad Jeff Haynes, being led into the meeting behind four bagpipers. What an opening!! BBRC’s 40th president’s first order of business after ringing the bell was welcoming Ken Quarnberg up to the stage to give the invocation. Ken quickly said, “You sure you wanna start with me? Well, ok. Should set the tone for the rest of the year.” (Ken, we all know what we’re doing; we saw you on the same stage a few weeks ago giving outgoing president Dave Spalinger a proper roasting). Mike O’Doherty followed with the flag salute. Then our songstress Carol Smith led us and the bagpipers in a few choruses of “Amazing Grace.” How sweet the sound indeed.
Welcome to our guests and visiting Rotarians: Twilight’s President Robin Paggi, East’s President Michele Brown, and Li Gibbs serving as Assistant District Governor Group 2; soon-to-be new member, William Gordon who was accompanied by his father, Frank; and President Jeff’s family: brother Scott (who’s also Denise Haynes’ husband), wife Cheryl, and mother Celeste.
Happy Club Anniversary to Bani Singh (1 year) and Heath Niemeyer (2 years).
Happy Wedding Anniversary to Craig and Carole Holland (July 4) and Sally and Bret Selby (July 12).
Happy Birthday to Tom Burke (July 9), Donna Schwartz (July 13), and Nick Simmons (July 19).
Welcome to William Gordon!
It is very special treat when we grow our club. It’s extra sweet when it happens at the new president’s first meeting. Pat Thompson inducted our newest member, William Gordon, whose classification is Real Estate. I always love to hear the background of Rotary that Pat gives when welcoming new members; it reminds me of the reason I joined Rotary in the first place. William comes very highly recommended from many members and he is Craig Holland’s next-door neighbor. Welcome, William!
The Year Ahead
President Jeff shared with us his vision of the coming year.
Shekhar Mehta of India is this year’s Rotary International President. He has chosen as his theme “Serve to Change Lives.” Mehta urges Rotarians to “become more involved in service projects … caring for others is the best way to live because it changes not only other people’s lives, but also our own.”

To this end here are a few items Pres. Jeff has planned (more information to come):
  • Internationally - Rotary Day of Service
  • Our Rotary Group– Clubs will join together to make a greater impact in our community
    • Collaborate to assist people transitioning from homelessness to independent living. There are so many essential items that new homeowners need and we can help!
    • Rotary Reach - Each club picks one local business that has been negatively impacted by COVID for all the clubs to patronize each month of the Rotary year. There will be a festive kickoff day complete with champagne and Rotary signage. This is a great way to promote local businesses and Rotary. East Club has chosen Lemonade Locks located at 1712 K St. Their kickoff was July 17, but they have decided to donate 20% of all sales to Rotary through the month of July. Be sure to drop in and support them. Share the word!
      BBRC is able to pick the businesses for December and June. If you know of a worthy business, let Jeff know.
HINT: Pres. Jeff asked me to include a hidden clue in this week’s newsletter. HERE IT IS!!! What is the name of the program area clubs formed to help local businesses? Answer is Rotary Reach!
  • This year’s District Governor is Dana Moldovan of Westlake Village. Her primary area of focus is peace projects; in particular, training women in peace building and leadership to create a worldwide network of women peace builders. The newly formed Peace Committee headed by yours truly is looking forward to getting off the ground this year. (Please let me know if you would like to help plan).
  • Club – Pres. Jeff would like for BBRC to participate in one service project each month. And he would like to see 100% participation (meaning each member participate in one activity during the year). We can all handle at least one project a year, right?
Where were you in ’82? I was a sophomore at Arvin High, and Cheryl Scott and I were undoubtedly passing notes in class. Why bring up 1982, you ask? BBRC is celebrating its 40th year! If you looked around the room and on the tables, there was memorabilia from past club projects and events. Jeff briefly walked us through the club’s history, but I recommend you read the extended history here
And did you see the cool logo for the year?! Check it out!
Other Club Stuff
Pres. Jeff has done away with Happy Spots. Why should you pay when good stuff happens?! Instead, he has resurrected the Fine Master, also known as the Wheel o’ Fines. Some lucky soul (should we take bets on who will be first?) spins the wheel to decide their fate. Fines range from $5 to $40, but there are also 40 points toward a Paul Harris Fellowship available. I see this generating lots of laughs.
Great speakers are already lined up for this year thanks to Pete Leveroni. Our first program will be American labor leader Dolores Huerta. You won’t want to miss that!
Important dates include:
  • District Conference in Ventura October 8-10.
  • Wine Place and Show at Luigi’s Warehouse November 13. This year’s Fund-A-Need will be 999 Foundation which recognizes fallen peace officers and supports the families left behind.
  • Charter Night + Christmas Party at Bakersfield Country Club December 3.
After hearing the date of Charter Night, Mike O’D stood up and asked across the room if founding member Dennis Scott would be available to attend. New Sergeant-at-Arms, Dan Johnson, was quickly on Mike for not raising his hand. Swiftly, the past presidents stood and decided on a $40 fine for Mike.
One other quick announcement was about Paul Harris Fellowships. Wouldn’t be awesome if everyone in the club had at least one?! Foundation will be working on it. I’m sure there will be more details to follow:
Pres. Jeff introduced us to his board:
President-Elect/BBRF Chair   Karen Bonanno
Vice President                        Dave Spalinger
President-Elect Nominee        Pat Thompson
Secretary                                Teresa Waller
Treasurer                                David Lari
Club Service Director             Sandra Parnell
Community Service                Athena Collup
Vocational Service                  John Guerard
International Service              Mike O’Doherty
Youth Service                         Donna Schwartz
Membership                            Pat Thompson
Fundraising Director               Denise Haynes
Awards                                    Stephanie Baker
Sergeant-at-Arms                   Dan Johnson
AV                                           Temo Lopez
Programs                                Pete Leveroni
Family of Rotary                     Leslie VoVilla
Social Media                           David Perkins
Beacon                                    Frank Wooldridge
Songmeister                            Carol Smith
            And I’m going to add these so everyone’s in one place…
            Website Administrator            Kay Pitts
            Peace Chair                            Mindy Wilmot
A few notes on Jeff’s board: (Consider this a warning!)
  • Rotary was founded as a business networking organization. Therefore, Vocational Services is a fundamental part of any club. If/When asked by John Guerard to talk a little bit about what you do for a living, agree or you could face the Fine Master.
  • Sergeant-at-Arms Dan Johnson WILL look to fine you if you are not wearing a Rotary pin at meetings. He is even encouraging snitching!  
Dan Johnson and his wife Char gifted Immediate Past President Dave Spalinger with an autographed DVD of their movie “Rock Camp.”
Twilight’s President Robin Paggi invited us to a few events her club is sponsoring.
  • “MTV Turns 40 (music) Trivia Night”
    Wednesday, August 4, at Four Points Sheraton
    • 5:30-6:30pm cocktails and appetizers
    • 6:00 -7:00pm trivia contest
    • $20 fee
  • “Yoga with Twilight Rotarian Shonna Shearson”
    • Saturday, August 7, at Bakersfield Museum of Art
    • Will continue to be held the first Saturday of each month
    • 10:00-11:00am
    • $20 fee, bring your own mat
And Finally
Cheryl Scott somehow willed Sandra Parnell to draw her ticket and was the winner of $68!
Thanks to Frank for allowing me to write this first newsletter of the new year.

I am so excited to see the good we do during 2021-22.

Stay cool, stay safe, and do good in the world. Peace!