Retooling a former Kiwanis affiliated group was a big step for Bob Bersch and his longtime Kiwanis comrades, but they are satisfied with the new group they have formed, now affectionately known as “The Millionaires Club.” Bersch et al are a group of men, many retired, who came to realize that while they had long enjoyed Kiwanis and still hold them in high esteem, they wanted to better use their club dues.
By dropping out of Kiwanis, they could actually lower the dues and still have more funds to contribute to local projects, which is a primary focus. Bersch says the group is comprised of men who are from all sorts of backgrounds, including lawyers, doctors, folks who are retired from GE, APCO; “they come from all across the board.” The move made sense, so as of October 1, they formed the new group which Bersch describes as “more of a fellowship group than a true civic club.”
The group’s new official name is “The Big Lick Breakfast Club,” but “The Millionaires Club” is their nickname that better catches the spirit of the group—“A million smiles and a million happy times. If you added the financial net worth of all our members together, you might get a million dollars.” Anyone worried about a serious commitment can relax, they promise to be a gathering of “primarily good fellowship but also educational and entertaining . . . totally voluntary . . . no one is required to do anything!”
While many of the guys are retired, and a few hail from the “Greatest Generation,” they welcome men and women of all ages and would like to see the group add more members. They meet weekly, and feature a program that is planned by members on a rotating basis, which typically includes a speaker on the agenda, with some months set aside for a “members’ forum.” The forum allows members to choose topics of interest that are open for discussion.
Bersch jokes that once the “rules” are stripped away, “we don’t do anything, but we do it well!”
The Breakfast Club has also adopted a policy which they hope will keep the door open to any and all prospective members—the Invocation will be handled on a rotating basis and it is open to anyone of any faith who wishes to offer it. Bersch says it is important to the group that people feel welcome and know that they will not experience any censorship.
While they have gone to great lengths to set up new guidelines, the BLBC is really about fun and fellowship. They promise: “We don’t do projects! We don’t sell anything! … [and] we have such a good time everyone wants to come as often as possible so they don’t miss something!”
The Big Lick Breakfast Club meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. at The Roanoker Restaurant (in one of the private rooms) and lasts for about an hour. Guests are always welcome. Email Bob Bersch at [email protected] with questions, or drop in any Tuesday.