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State Sponsor Message

Smith Mike GER

For those of you who had the opportunity to attend our Grand Lodge convention in St. Louis, welcome home. Once again, the opening session on Sunday night was invigorating as well as entertaining, finishing with a great show by the Party Crashers. Sunday night is always one of the highlights of the convention as the State Presidents present their state flag. Our State President, Tom Ludwick, made the Florida State Elks Association proud. The business sessions were informative and inspirational recognizing our order’s achievements. Attending the national convention rekindles the spark that drove us to be an Elk. For those of you who had the opportunity to attend our Grand Lodge convention in St. Louis, welcome home. Once again, the opening session on Sunday night was invigorating as well as entertaining, finishing with a great show by the Party Crashers. Sunday night is always one of the highlights of the convention as the State Presidents present their state flag. Our State President, Tom Ludwick, made the Florida State Elks Association proud. The business sessions were informative and inspirational recognizing our order’s achievements. Attending the national convention rekindles the spark that drove us to be an Elk.

The FSEA is fortunate to have representation on the Grand Lodge committees. David Lake, PSP is the chairman of the G/L Activities Committee, Geoff Dobson serves on the Committee on Judiciary, Dan Tabor, PSP was installed to serve on the G/L Public Relations Committee, Carl Ledig, PSP was installed to serve on the G/L Government Relations Committee, and Carl Gerace, PSP was installed to serve on the G/L Auditing and Accounting Committee. Just to really have bragging rights, we had the Grand Lodge male winner of the Most Valuable Student Award, Victor Ramirez, who was sponsored by South Miami/Coral Gables Lodge #1676.

These are the resolutions that passed:

  • Merger of two or more state associations.Merger of two or more state associations.

  • No lodge jewels or regalia worn outside the lodge except for special ceremonies.

  • Caregivers/drivers for disabled members can remain in the social quarters during the lodge meeting unless they are a member. If they are a member, they must attend the lodge meeting.

  • A member suspended from club privileges is still a member in good standing unless suspended pursuant to Section 16.041.

  • Confirms ANY member suspended is an unaffiliated Elk. 

  • Membership responsibilities are directed by the Public Relations and Marketing Committee.

  • An executive order issued by the Grand Exalted Ruler may suspend a member’s social privileges.

  • Lodges MUST meet twice in February, March and April and provide an alternative method of notice for special meetings called for the sole purpose of initiation.

  • Replace annual financial report with a standardized online financial reporting system.

  • Provide how the board of directors positions in a for-profit corporation shall be constituted.

Once again, our FSEA State Secretary/COO, Carl Seibert, and his staff hosted an outstanding Florida dinner Tuesday night. Florida hosted our Grand Exalted Ruler, Mike Luhr, and his wife, Barbara; 12 Past Grand Exalted Rulers; Bryan Klatt, Grand Lodge Secretary/COO; and nine Past State Presidents of the FSEA. The three Special Deputies from Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi were also our guests along with our friends from Panama and Puerto Rico. 

Moving our attention to Florida, we all need to count our blessings to be a part of the Florida Elks Association. Summer camp was in full swing this year and the beds were full of children creating a lifetime of great memories and friends. It is truly amazing to see the organization that Nick Miller, Camp Director, and his staff have assembled to provide maximum fun and development.

The success of our camp would make any Elk proud, but we have another crown jewel in our Children’s Therapy Services. We are treating/helping over 500 children a week guided by our Therapy Services Director, Colleen Gallant, and her staff of outstanding therapists. The two projects are pillars in our order and in our nation.

The Florida State Elks elected to continue our outreach and opened the Smith Conference Center to host corporate and private groups for teambuilding retreats. Last year we hosted over 90 functions. We do not have these retreats when children are on campus. Take a big breath and be proud, loud and visible. We need to share our stories and good deeds.

In closing, Bob, Sandra and I wish you all well. We ask that you give a moment of silence for a good friend, good Elk, good Co-sponsor, and very good human being, C. Valentine Bates, and Claudia and their family. We will miss him but not forget him.

 

 

Michael F. Smith, PNP

State Sponsor

Florida State Elks Association

 

 

 

Louisiana State Legislature Increases New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax

The Legislature of the State of Louisiana has acted to increase the New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax from 13% to 14.75% effective April 1, 2014. This will affect our convention room rates and they will go from $128.56 to $130.52 per night.

Convention Attendees With ADA Transportation Needs Urged To Contact Grand Lodge

In order for the Grand Lodge to support the transportation needs of attendees with disabilities you are urged to contact the Grand Lodge if you require special assistance. Special coaches capable of kneeling to accommodate wheel chairs will be placed along the routes for those in need. If you require assistance please contact Tina or Jessica at the Grand Lodge as follows:

TinaH@elks.org

JessicaR@elks.org

 

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