Donations trickle in for B Mtn Star repairs

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Although next Christmas seems a long time away, members of the Ridgecrest Exchange Club noted that repairs need to begin by April in order to restore the damaged B Mountain Star in time to light it for the coming holiday season.

During the club’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, co-treasurers Andy and Jean Anderson gave an update on the contributions that have begun to come in for repairs.

“So far we have about $1,360,” reported Jean. “We are very pleased to see the community support.” However, she said, that’s a far cry from the estimated $35,000 needed for the effort.

The landmark star, located on China Lake’s B Mountain, survived this summer’s earthquake only to be damaged by a November aftershock just 10 minutes before the star’s scheduled pre-Christmas lighting.

Exchange headed up the community-wide effort to restore and maintain the star back in 2013, when the dilapidated lights were about to be permanently retired.

Local contractors stepped in to make repairs, and the club set up a maintenance account to fund ongoing maintenance of the new star.

However, experts said, in order to avoid future damages, the structure should be moved out of the path of subsequent rockslides and other natural hazards.

Club members are working with base officials, contractors and volunteers to re-establish the star in a safer location and fund repairs.

Donations can still be made directly to the Exchange Club at P.O. Box 558, Ridgecrest, CA 93556.

Accounts have also been set up at Navy Federal, Desert Valleys and AltaOne credit unions, as well as at Mission Bank.

For more information contact the Andersons at 760-384-1551 or rcstardonations@gmail.com.

Updates will be posted as they become available.

Story First Published: 2020-01-10