Picture a starry night as Caribbean steel drums entice you and your sweetheart to sway to the music and begin to dance. That's exactly what Tina Case wants you to imagine as you sign up to attend Pleasanton North Rotary Club's annual gala and fundraiser, "A Starry Night in the Caribbean."

The event will be held Sept. 21 at Barone's Restaurant downtown.

"The community is invited to come and enjoy a fabulous dinner and entertainment," said Case, who is a past Rotary president and chair of the event this year. "The funds we raise benefit so many deserving organizations."

Case said these organizations include Keystone Adult Learning Center for developmentally disabled adults, Hope Hospice, School of Imagination and Happy Talkers, Pleasanton Partnerships in Education, Amador Valley Mock Trial, Open Heart Kitchen, East Bay Stand Down (benefiting veterans), Pleasanton Gardens (benefiting seniors) and more.

Founded in 1987, the Pleasanton North Rotary club has raised more than $2 million to improve the quality of life for countless individuals in the Tri-Valley and beyond. Most of these funds have been raised at the club's annual event.

"This year we're pleased to partner with Barone's Restaurant," said Case. "The venue will be terrific for what we have in store."

The $100 ticket price per person includes appetizers and no-host beverages, a buffet dinner, live Caribbean-style steel drum music, dancing, silent and live auctions, a raffle and additional music presided over by KKIQ radio personality Mark Davis. The ticket price increases to $125 on Sept. 1.

Guests are encouraged to dress in "resort formal," which means men should wear anything from a Tommy Bahama shirt to James Bond attire and women should arrive dressed in "Caribbean Elegance." The event begins at 4:30 p.m. and lasts until 11 p.m. Barone's Restaurant is at 475 St. John St. For tickets and details, visit www.astarrynight.org or call Case at 925-519-0669.

now for something completely different: These remaining column inches offer a moment for me to take a break from the relentless, hard-hitting investigative reporting found in my columns to update faithful readers that I've recently been hired as a full-time English instructor at Las Positas College.

Yes, after a career of 30 years in banking and having taught for many years as a part-time teacher, I've become a poster child for successfully transitioning from the business world into the academic and educational world.

While many of my experiences no doubt helped get me into the final round of interviews (such as serving on the school board in Pleasanton and pursuing my doctorate in education), I am positive that writing this column for so many years boosted my credibility with the hiring committee.

So with deepest appreciation to my editor, Kelly Gust, to this newspaper, and especially to all the readers who continue to subscribe and believe in print journalism, I thank you all.

Reach Jim Ott at jim- ott@sbcglobal.net.