State Sponsor Message
- Written by Michael F. Smith, PNP
What an amazing and exciting time it is to be a part of the Florida State Elks Association (FSEA)! We are on such a positive mission that it has to make us all want to be “Loud, Proud and Visible.” How about the banners reflecting your donations for your community service? Thank you, Laz Suarez, for helping.
Sandra and I hope each of you and your families had a great holiday experience. All of you are working so diligently to make membership a priority. We need to set the pace nationally with another gain in membership. If you want to feel really good about 2020, sponsor a member (or five) and then have your lodge schedule a bus trip to the Florida Elks Youth Camp for a tour along with an overview of the Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services. The FSEA will pay for the bus providing you meet the criteria. What should really capture the moment is if each of you would go online to floridaelks.org and become a sustaining donor with a monthly deduction from your credit or debit card or checking account to continue our mission of helping children and veterans in need.
Are you aware the BPOE is on a fundraising mission to help restore the Pearl Harbor National Memorial? Elks will never forget our veterans. Visit enf.org or ask your lodge about this.
Join us at the February quarterly meetings and meet our Grand Exalted Ruler, Robert Duitsman, and his wife, Beth. They are great ambassadors and he has a fabulous message for you Feb. 8. Why not bring some of your newer members and make it an adventure? Join us Friday evening at the camp for food and friendship and entertainment by Re-Creation, a group that travels year-round to VA facilities to provide incredible entertainment for veterans.
Our Florida Ladies of Elks (FLOE) hosted their 57th annual conference at Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, a great venue. These ladies provide unselfish service and support to the FSEA every year. I encourage all lodges to have an active FLOE organization in your lodge.
What a great organization we have in the FSEA. Our COO/State Secretary, Carl Seibert, and his staff seem to never miss a beat. Dana Allshouse, Meetings and Events Coordinator, supports the Smith Conference Center’s user groups with all their needs. Dan Masi, Director of Development, reaches out to corporate groups for financial support. He is making us “Loud, Proud and Visible.” Barbara Shepard, CFO/Director of Accounting, ensures we are financially secure. I send my thanks from all of us to Rachael King, Editor and Manager of Publications, for making our Florida Elks Magazine the premier publication within the Elks order. What an amazing organization you have as a member of the FSEA.
Our Florida Elks Youth Camp Director, Nick Miller, and his staff are taking your camp to heights never imagined. Colleen Gallant, Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services Director, is expanding our outreach to approximately 550 children per week.
Come enjoy Baltimore for the Elks national convention. I can assure you that Baltimore is “not your momma’s Baltimore.” We are fortunate to be staying at the Marriott Inner Harbor directly on the water. It is beautiful with lots of shops and restaurants nearby. We will have a celebration and entertainment after Sunday’s opening events with Re-Creation.
Bob Grafton, Sandra and I look forward to seeing you and thank all of you for being an Elks member. Have a fantastic 2020!
Michael F. Smith, PNP
Florida State Elks Association