Rotary Club of the Kern River Valley


By George Stahl/ Special to the Kern Valley Sun | Wednesday, November 4, 2015
On Tuesday, Oct. 27 the Rotary Club came home with the Third Place trophy in the Annual Ethics Team Competition held in Bakersfield. The group, consisting of Luz Polcik, Bob Woods and Lisa Stephens showed their skills as debaters for the Youth Financial Literacy fundraising event.
Set at the Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar on the downtown corner of 19th and Eye Streets, The KRV Rotary Team competed against seven other two to four person teams from Kern County. Among them were Rotarians from Bakersfield, students from Cal State University Bakersfield, Ronald McDonald House and the Kern Federal Credit Union as well as a team representing the office of Bakersfield’s Edward Jones Financial Advisors.
The twenty questions the teams had to draw from were dealing with ethics in law enforcement, social topics, religious freedom and community policing. Each of the eight teams was given a chance to select two questions randomly. The three judges included Robert Price, Executive Editor of the Bakersfield Californian, Dr. Christopher Meyers, Director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics at CSUB and Vikki Del Pellegrino, Retired Kern County Prosecutor.
Kern Valley team member Luz Polcik was selected to answer the teams first question dealing with the ethical issue of what is known as the ‘broken window’ approach to law enforcement. This method is used as a means to curtail would be criminals from advancing in their criminal activity. The idea is to lay down the law on them for lesser offenses in the hopes of changing their attitudes towards breaking the law. Polick and her team members took the stand of supporting the method and in an attempt to explain their position, she gained the approval of others in the audience with her clear and direct approach to answering the question and the follow up questions by the judges.
When Kern Valley’s turn came around again, the question concerned the ethical and moral responsibilities that teachers might be faced with on a daily basis. On the Kern team, this question was fielded by Bob Woods, who, after consulting with fellow team members delivered their persuasive argument to the panel in a style equivalent to a member of congress with the ease of a seasoned litigator.
The judges deliberated, tallying their results. Third Place went to Kern River Valley Rotary Club, Second Place went to the Bakersfield East Rotary Club team and the First Place trophy and banner was awarded to the Bakersfield Twilight Rotary Club.
The Youth Financial Literacy Program’s mission is to encourage high school seniors and emancipated youth to set life and financial goals, and to provide them with the basics of money management while increasing their overall level of financial literacy and success. To date, 105 students have completed the program and 55 students including some from the KRV have been awarded scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000. Proceeds from Tuesday’s event help support the scholarship component of the program. For more information on the program please visit
PHOTO: From left to right, Bob Woods, Luz Polcik and Lisa Stephens from the Kern River Valley Rotary Club sit down for dinner. The group took third place in the Annual Ethics Team Competition. Photo by George Stahl