Hello and Aloha to all the members and guests of the California-Hawaii Elks Association. Shirley and I cannot believe that February is here and it will soon be our Homecoming in Anaheim. As you can well imagine, this year has gone by very fast – at least for us. However, there is still time to complete the goals that were set early on: the goal of having the highest per capita donation to the Major Project in your District or in the Association, or the goal to double the Grand Exalted Rulers request of $4.50 per capita for the Elks National Foundation. It is time to complete whatever goals each Lodge has set for the Community, Veterans, Youth activities programs, or other special projects. As we celebrate the 145th birthday of our Order, we look to the incoming Officers for guidance and a renewed energy for the next Elk Year. The outgoing Officers should be commended for all of their hard work this past year and for the two months they have left in Office.
It is also time to concentrate on your Lodge’s lapsation rate and contact those members who will soon be dropped for non-payment of dues. Just writing them a letter and telling them that they are past due does not work. We must make personal contact, either by phone or by going to their home, knocking on the door, and talking face to face. I know most Lodges have a contingency fund to help members in distress or to at least pay their dues. This will pay dividends for many years to come. As I have said many times in my visits to the Lodges in California and Hawaii, it is important to get the new and longtime members involved in Lodge and Community activities.
On a personal note, Shirley and I have had the best time on our visits to the different Districts. We were welcomed with open arms in each and every Lodge we visited. The hospitality and warmth of the members and officers could not have been better. We have four more months to go and look forward to many more adventures and memories to come. Thank you one and all.
Please take time to enjoy the rest of this Elk year, and don’t forget to celebrate the 145th birthday of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and continue to “Reach New Heights by Soaring with Elkdom”.