Dignity Health Leaderboard 2

Dear Reader


"Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd, Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don't care if I never get back…"

I know I'm supposed to be loyal to the LA Dodgers, living so close and all, and I am a huge fan, but my first love will always be the Chicago Cubs! There is no better afternoon spent than sitting in Wrigley Field watching America's greatest past time, eating peanuts, and belting out Jack Norworth's 1908 classic during the seventh inning stretch (and when we lived there, the legendary Harry Caray actually lead the crowd in song!)

So, when my six-year-old son signed up to play his first season with the Bakersfield Southwest Baseball League, I knew he was assigned the right team – the Cubs! Talk about kismet!

With their mighty Coach Dent, the Cubs are learning how to play this beloved game; and they are fortunate to have a premiere ballpark (thanks Aera Energy) where they can hit, throw, run, pitch, and catch! The recent opening ceremonies hosted a beautiful day – the clouds never spilled the rain it forecasted – and the 1,200 baseball players, ages five to 18, ran out on the field with their managers and coaches. After a few words from attendees such as Mayor Harvey Hall and League President Darren Billesbach, the day included fund raisers, games, bounce houses, and food!

Once again, I reveled at the sense of community we have in Bakersfield. Think of the number of adults who volunteer their time to make this season happen from the coaches to the organizers to the team moms. So, whatever team you are rooting for, just keep rooting! Your kids will thank you one day! Cubs… Diamondbacks… Orioles… are all just names anyway, right?

After all, what's in a name? Shakespeare says, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Well, in Rick Epstein's Fatherhooding article, "Five Tests for Baby's New Name," on page 11, he says you really should put a lot of thought into what you name your little bundle of joy. Think of his or her name from every angle such as playground taunts, practicality, nicknames, and more. And, he says, with just the right name, you'll have a greater chance of raising a well-adjusted, happy child!

Another way to raise happy children is to keep them reading. In this month's book review, "Jokes, Poems and Crazy Creatures Keep Kids in Literary Stitches," on page 16, Tracie Grimes recommends fun and exciting books to entertain every age – even moms!

This month, Tracie's unique perspective on life and motherhood has us in stitches. In her Humor at Home column, "What's Your Point?" on page 10, she writes about Weight Watchers' point system and what constitutes exercise, and can you get extra points for doing that? She has the answer: have her sweet tooth pulled!

In the Mother's, Shakers, and Community Makers article on page 12, I feature three amazing women who help organize a world-class event in the community: The Bakersfield Women's Business Conference on Thursday, April 22 at Rabobank Convention Center. These women, Graciela Griebling, Colleen Bauer, and Anne Schoolcraft, volunteer their time and talents to ensure that thousands of women find inspiration and motivation. Don't miss this event with keynote speaker Joan Lunden!

In April, find time to bag up your peanuts and Cracker Jack, and hit the ballpark to root for whichever team warms your heart or just enjoy the Spring weather by reading a book outside. Take full advantage of Spring Break and have a Hippity, Hoppity Easter Sunday!

See you at KCFM's Summer Camp and Adventure Fair on April 8th!!!

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