The Rotary Club of Tehachapi has been full tilt in giving back to the community since starting on Nov. 9. Numerous volunteers visited many seniors at their homes to replace the batteries in their smoke detectors. More than 90 homes were provided the battery replacement service throughout our area including the city of Tehachapi, Golden Hills, Old Town, Bear Valley Springs, Alpine Village and Stallion Springs.
The effort required over 250 new batteries and was carried out by seven Rotary work teams consisting of Rotarians, guests and Interact Club members from Tehachapi High School and Valley Oaks Charter School.
On Dec. 5, Rotary managed to feed 256 seniors a free turkey lunch with all the fixings. Reindeer greeted the crowd as they entered the hall at St. Malachy's Roman Catholic Church and Santa came by for a visit. The meal was spectacular including turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, green beans, cranberry and pumpkin pie. Many seniors left with a gift including the gorgeous poinsettias that were the centerpiece of the tables. City Manager, Greg Garrett, City Council Member, Mary Lou Zamudio and City Outreach Coordinator, Michelle Vance all joined in to help serve and provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the seniors. An enthusiastic group of Interact youth from both Tehachapi H.S. and Valley Oaks Charter School served lunch and distributed the gifts to a very enthusiastic group of vibrant seniors. All in all, it was an incredible event and a superb way to start the holiday season.
Rotary and Kiwanis joined forces to present Breakfast with Santa for the youth and their families on Dec. 7 at Jacobsen Middle School. This valued tradition, formerly hosted by Parks and Rec, was carried on and several Key Club members and Interact Club members from Tehachapi High School were on hand to help set up, clean up. It was a cold and snowy morning, but about 100 people made it through the weather to enjoy a delightful pancake and sausage breakfast. More than 30 families had their pictures taken with Santa Claus by photographer Jackie Woods. It may have been cold outside, but you couldn't help but feel the warmth and appreciation inside at the breakfast.
Rotary will continue it's valued work when on Jan. 11 a group of Rotarians will be headed to Tijuana, Mexico, to help the kids at Ninos de la Promesa Orphanage. They'll bring a collection of lightly worn childrens clothing and personal care produce and will be helping to do some badly needed improvements at the facility that houses the children.
The Rotary Club of Tehachapi's motto is "Service Before Self." If you would like more information about being a part of this organization, please call Judy Trujillo, President at 821-0086.
LINDA CARHART lives in Tehachapi and is a Rotarian.