State Sponsor Message
- Written by Michael F. Smith, PNP
Bob, Val and I hope all of you have recovered from a very busy storm season and are moving forward with promoting our order. We have had many opportunities to help our lodges that sustained damages and it is inspiring to see the resiliency of our membership.
The FSEA is at full throttle helping us all achieve a positive membership growth this year. Make your plans to attend our midyear convention at Crystal River Plantation and hear our guest speaker, Rick Gathen, Grand Lodge Membership and Marketing Director, give us inspiration and direction on how to maximize membership. You can find the details on the FSEA website.
Our order will be celebrating its 150th anniversary at our national convention in San Antonio, Texas. This convention will be one to remember with a huge opening evening with top-ranked entertainment and many other special events. Make plans to join us for the festivities and celebration. Information is on the Grand Lodge website, elks.org. You do not want to miss this convention. If you need additional information, you may contact our State Secretary/COO, Carl Seibert, and the competent staff of our FSEA offices.
Congratulations to our Florida Ladies of Elks (FLOE) for their recent 54th convention in Maitland, Fla., Sept. 22-23. We all thank FLOE for their caring and continuous support they provide the FSEA. Their generosity and volunteering seem to have no limitations. We thank the officers and members for their dedication.
We want to recognize the great achievements of our Children’s Therapy Services guided by our capable Director, Colleen Gallant. We are treating more children than ever and growing. We need to be very proud of our dedicated therapists for their caring.
Our Florida Elks Youth Camp is having another record year in spite of our maintenance building burning down with the laundry and camp supplies included. We had one more week of camp and our Camp Director, Nick Miller, and the staff never missed a beat. We hosted 2,265 children at this past summer session. It is exciting to see us grow. In addition to summer camp and all our visiting groups, they have managed to complete the Smith Conference Center which is now opened to host groups for educational and team-building conferences.
Bob Grafton, Val Bates and I attended the August Past State Presidents workshop in August where we review our position and adapt for the future growth of the FSEA. We spent approximately 10 hours planning and responding to the issues of the FSEA.
Mark your calendars for some of our upcoming events. On Nov. 11, our members and lodges should plan to honor our veterans with a Veterans Day activity and let your respective communities know of the event. The memorial service is to be held the first Sunday in December (Dec. 3). Make this a special event remembering our departed members. The Florida State Elks golf tournament will be held April 7-8, 2018. Information and registration will be on the FSEA website. Come join the fun, get a villa and we will find you golfing partners. The FSEA softball tournament is April 27-29, 2018. Come support and have fun.
Don’t you love our quarterly publication’s new format?!
Bob Grafton, the Bates and Smiths wish you and your families a safe and enjoyable holiday season.