Greetings and Aloha to all California-Hawaii Elks Members. First Lady Ginger and I have started our travels to visit the Districts and Lodges as we carry the message of our Elks programs.
Our first event took us to the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo. What a great community event sponsored by Santa Maria Elks Lodge #1538. It was a full four days of rodeo events shared with the Lodge members and the local community, including almost 6,000 third grade school kids and 40 plus military members from Vandenburg Air Force Base who handed out US Flags to the students as they entered the rodeo grounds. What a sight to see so many young students waving their flags and cheering for the cowboys and horses. After the rodeo, the next week we went to the Metropolitan District for the Luncheon Club meeting where I presented the programs for the year along with my slogan to encourage everyone to Reach Out – Share the Experience. We visited with members of the Burbank, Santa Clarita, San Fernando and Glendale Lodges during the weekend. The visit to Santa Clarita Lodge was highlighted by witnessing the annual Elks Flag Day Ritual. We also had a tour of the Entertainment Tonight studios and the Nethercutt Auto Collection.
Our next trip took us to the West Central Coast District where we visited the San Luis Obispo, Lompoc, Santa Ynez Valley and the Oceano-Five Cities Elks Lodges. At Lompoc we were treated to a demonstration of the New Life K9 project which trains service dogs to help military members who need assistance. We toured the San Luis Obispo Tolosa Mission and the Solvang Classic Motorcycle museum. The next district on our itinerary was the Orange Coast District which included stops at the Buena Park, Westminster, Santa Ana, Mission Viejo, Garden Grove, Fullerton and Newport Harbor Lodges. The Santa Ana Lodge was a Luau celebrating their 115th Lodge birthday. We also squeezed in a tour of the Nixon library in Yorba Linda. My sincere thanks go to Rick and Debra Adams, Metropolitan District Vice President; Jay and Kristi Dupler, West Central Coast District Vice President and Scott and Mary Kay Stephens, Orange Coast District Vice President for the excellent job they all did in hosting Ginger and me during our visits.
On all of our visits, we had a great time meeting Lodge Officers and Members and learning about their Elks programs and the great impact they are having on their local communities. I continue to express the importance of my slogan for this year to have all members Reach Out – Share the Experience. I ask all members to welcome their newly initiated members and invite them to join our committees and get the firsthand experience of becoming an active, involved Member of the Lodge. The goal of this message is for our membership to take the message of our Order into our local communities and Share the Experiences of what we as Elks can do to help them through the many times we interact with them. We can show by demonstration what we as Elks can do for their local community by allowing our local Lodges to become partners within their local charities for children and veterans.
In closing, let me remind all Lodge officers to concentrate on reducing the number of members on the Lapsation lists. We are nearing the half-way point in our fraternal year and we all need to work diligently to retain those members so they can enjoy the full benefits of their Elks membership.
Chuck Nolan, President
California-Hawaii Elks Association