ROOFBBees Give to Community

A Pine Mountain Lake women’s club known for helping others has a name that could be misunderstood. The Royal Order of Full Blown Bitches has given away about $100,000 since it was founded in 1994 by three women sitting around a table complaining about life in general. One of them made the following comment: “All we ever do is bitch, bitch, bitch. We should start our own club”

None of those three women still belongs to the club (one died and the other two moved out of the area), but their idea has evolved into a social and philanthropic group with about 70 members who call themselves ROOFBBs, pronounced roof-bees.

Their main fund-raisers are weekly dinners at the Pine Mountain Lake Country Club during televised Monday Night Football games and an annual golf tournament.

In addition to giving away $2,000 in scholarships each year and donating to such agencies as the Mountain Women’s Resource Center in Sonora, the women look for people who are destitute and need help. “People know who we are and that we have money to spend,” said President Jackie Baker. “They find us when someone needs help.” In addition to Baker, the board of directors includes Nancy Whitefield, vice president; Leanna Mattea, secretary; Patty Stevens, treasurer; and Bettie Hunt, historian.

The women require documentation before helping people, and they give away things, not money. For instance, when a woman needed gas to visit her husband in an out-of-area care home, they set up an arrangement with a gas station owner to keep her supplied with gas.

Another woman was helped the same way so she could visit the Bay Area for cancer treatments. They give about 50 low-income children each $25 gift certificates for a shopping spree in December, and provide gifts for the eight participants in Tuolumne General Hospital’s Adult Day Health Care program in Groveland. Last December they learned about a family in which the mother and older children all worked but still couldn’t afford firewood and other necessities. They gave the family a cord of oak firewood, gift certificates for clothes and groceries and movie passes.

“They were so grateful,” Baker said. “That kind of thing is what we are all about.”
The Union Democrat