State Sponsor Message
- Written by C. Valentine Bates, PGER
February is coming, and once again we look forward to the arrival of our national president and Grand Exalted Ruler, Malcolm McPherson, and his wife, Pat, at the Florida Elks Youth Camp for our February quarterly. They are from the great (and loud!) state of New Jersey, the state that loves to make a lot of noise and drown out all the other states at Grand Lodge conventions.
The McPhersons are scheduled to arrive in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 7, and will be greeted by a large contingent of Florida Elks. After touring Saint Augustine Thursday, the official party will travel to the Florida Elks Youth Camp and FSEA offices for a weekend of rest, relaxation and meetings to acquaint our guests with Florida Elkdom at its finest and to show off our world-class Youth Camp and Therapy Services.
Malcolm McPherson is a great friend of Florida Elks and has been a very active Elk for many years. He has been active in his lodge as an officer and as a committeeman in his district and state association. On the Grand Lodge level, he has served on the Ritualistic Committee, Judiciary Committee, the Pardon Commission, and the Grand Forum as Justice and then Chief Justice. Malcolm and Pat have been dedicated to our order for many years. Please introduce yourself to them both. You will find them friendly, down to earth and very glad to meet you.
We ended 2017 with many blessings. We have the two greatest major projects in all of Elkdom guided by very outstanding leaders and staff. We have a trust fund second to none that was set up many years ago by forward-thinking Elks to help fund these and many other projects. Florida Elks are proud to sponsor the Army of Hope to assist our military families, the Hope Scholarship to help second-tier high school graduates attend college or a vocational school, and the Van Duren scholarship for outstanding youth camp staff members to attend college. We do all this in addition to what is done at the lodge and district levels. You are all to be congratulated for your donation of time, energy and resources to help Florida Elks be at the very top tier of our national order.
On a personal note, I want to thank all of you for your cards, emails, texts and especially prayers during my recent medical ordeal. My doctors (one of them our son, Jeff, in Texas) assure me I am on the mend and I will be in celebration shape by the Grand Lodge convention in San Antonio, Texas, this summer to celebrate BPOE’s 150th anniversary.
God bless our service members all around the world, all of you and your families in 2018.
C. Valentine Bates, PGER, State Sponsor
Florida State Elks Association