Exchange wants help in saving B Mountain Star

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Many in Ridgecrest express their delight each year as the star on the side of B Mountain is lit up every holiday season. That star was first established in 1945, and it immediately became a beloved holiday tradition. Today, however, it is no longer in working condition.

“There are two people in the Exchange Club whose grandfather helped build it, Patty and Nellavan Jeglum,” said Andy Anderson, Exchange Club member and chairman of the Repair the B Mountain Star Project.

“The star on B Mountain has always been an iconic symbol to the people of Ridgecrest,” said Anderson. “It is a symbol of the dedication and patriotism that has always been the heart of this city, a gift to the people that have chosen to spend and share their lives with the friends and neighbors of this great valley.”

Anderson and other members of the Exchange Club have started a fund-raising drive to have the historic star properly repaired and protected so future generations can enjoy it.

The job will be to replace the entire wiring and lightbulb display with up-to-date wiring and a removable LED display. The club also hopes to build some sort of protective cover for seasons when the star is not lit, to mitigate damage from the sun. Also hoped for is an ongoing maintenance fund to keep up with repairs so the star can become a permanent fixture.

“We at the Exchange Club think now is the time for citizens, fraternal organizations and businesses to take on the task of restoring this symbol, to keep this star shining bright,” said Anderson. “We are soliciting funds from the general public, the people of Ridgecrest, and the businesses of the community.

“We are also challenging all the Ridgecrest fraternal organizations and service clubs to match the Exchange Club’s contribution of $2,000.

“Anyone who wishes to donate to this worthy project can drop off checks at the office of the News Review, 109 N. Sanders St., or Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union, 100 E. Ward Ave., or deliver funds to any Exchange Club member. Checks should be made out to ‘CA/NV District Charitable Foundation,’ and note “‘B’ Mountain Star Fund” on the check.

“There is also a tax-free fund at Desert Valleys Credit Union, to receive donations, called the “B Mountain Star Fund.”

Anderson estimates that the project will cost about $10,000. If some materials and labor are donated, that would also be greatly appreciated. For more information about the work involved, call Anderson at 760-384-1551.

You can also look for “Star Jars” around town to donate spare change. Sponsorships are available for corporate and other large donations. “The more the merrier,” said Anderson. “We’ll take pennies, nickels and dimes, we don’t care.”

Anderson is trying to promote the star as a patriotic emblem rather than strictly a Christmas decoration. He suggests that the star could be lit as part of other patriotic celebrations.

Burroughs High School Student Aaron McCain is also working on the star for his Eagle Scout project. The Exchange Club welcomes all other organizations, businesses, and individuals who would like to get involved, with volunteer labor, fundraising or donations of materials.

“Most local residents grew up with that star. It’s kind of a gift to everyone in this valley. We’d like to keep it up there,” said Anderson. “We’d like to have it up and operating by Thanksgiving. Don’t know if we can make it, but it would be great to have it up for this year’s holiday season.”

See related article from the Pleistocene Foundation, which is hosting a Randsburg Walk to support this cause on Dec. 8.

Story First Published: 2012-10-31