Hello, Florida Elks and families!ello, Florida Elks and families!
Have you ever had more opportunities in your life? What a great time to show the resilience our order has shown since inception. Think of all the times in our history that we were challenged and accepted the challenge. These are the times we rise to the occasion. We all have been affected by the pandemic in many degrees. We have been ordered to close our lodges in the height of our membership dues renewal. Well, it is time for us to engage and serve our communities and our membership. We have recently been cleared to open our lodges and we all need to focus on making up for lost time. Our friends and neighbors need some goodness shared. Contact the people in your community and invite them to be part of our fraternity. What a fabulous time it is to make a positive impact on people. Let’s lead by example.
Our therapists with the direction of Colleen Gallant, Director, have adapted to the challenge by administering treatments virtually. The good news is they are transitioning into home service as of Sept. 8. The other therapists have reached out to the families with a COVID-19 questionnaire and a hold harmless agreement to protect everyone possible.
Children could not come to summer camp so Nick Miller, Florida Elks Youth Camp Director, and his staff brought the camp to the children virtually. We are now working our way back to our normal workplace with all precautions being exercised.
Our COO/State Secretary, Carl Seibert, determined that the Florida State Elks Association (FSEA) staff could not work in our office space due to distancing and safety restrictions, so they worked from home and our service did not suffer. The staff is back in Umatilla, Florida, and at full speed.
We all had adjustments and we move forward with the resilience as always.
Our Florida Ladies of Elks (FLOE) recently hosted their 57th annual conference in Lido Beach, Florida. FLOE continues to excel and support the FSEA in all areas.
Make time in your schedule to join us at the midyear convention in Tampa, Florida, and let’s all share stories and enjoy the fellowship that we all need. We will be back in Tampa the week of the Fourth of July to attend our national convention. We need volunteers for this event. Details are on floridaelks.org.
Grand Exalted Ruler, Paul Ryan, and his wife, Stacey, will be joining us at our February quarterly along with the entertainment group Re-Creation. Come join us and let’s have fun!
Don’t give up on this year. Keep fighting for the good. Keep showing up. Keep loving. Keep giving back. Keep being brave. Keep caring. Keep trying new things. Keep showing grace and determination. We need you to believe and respond to good.
Bob Grafton, Sandra and I encourage you to rekindle the reason you are an Elk and make us better. Be safe and healthy. Be Loud, Be Proud and Be Visible. God bless.
Michael F. Smith, PNP
Florida State Elks Association