Happy fall to all! Hopefully we are in store for some cooler weather in our Sunshine State.
Things are exciting in the Florida State Elks Association. Nine hundred eighty of us enjoyed the Elks Day at the Rays Sept. 4. We were recognized on the Jumbotron, as was our Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services (FECTS) CHAMP, Jasper Bobilin. A special thank you goes to Steve Harmon, PDD for arranging the event. Our FECTS major project continues to assist young children in need under the direction of our Director, Colleen Gallant. We currently have 30 therapists who are treating approximately 600 children per week. Our Youth Camp Director, Nick Miller, continues to keep our camp the best in the nation. You need to plan a bus trip and see what one of your major projects looks like in person. The Florida State Elks Association (FSEA) offers an allowance for buses to bring your new members. The Smith Conference Center (SCC) continues to grow and host corporate events along with civic groups thanks to our Meetings and Events/SCC Marketing Manager, Shannon Wilburn, and our Event Services Manager, Jen Scott. Needless to say, our COO, Carl Seibert, and his staff are at the top of their game.
Sandra and I had the pleasure of attending the 59th annual Florida Ladies of Elks (FLOE) conference. The event was almost as good as the members, but you can’t compete with these ladies. FLOE does so much good for the FSEA, and year after year they improve. It was a great experience with greater company. It is a great organization to be involved with.
MEMBERSHIP — We are on fire growing the FSEA. Thank you, all, who are bringing in new members and reinstating others. As a nation, we had a fantastic year last year and we are on pace to far exceed last year’s growth. We do great things and let others know. Please keep membership growing. As a reminder, the seating at the Grand Lodge convention is by priority gauged by the percentage gain of membership over the prior year. Let’s put Florida up front.
Mark you calendars for our midyear convention in St. Petersburg, Florida, Nov. 11-13. It will be an opportunity to visit friends and make new ones. Our Grand Exalted Ruler, Bruce Hidley, and his wife, Helen, will be joining us at the camp for our February quarterly Feb. 3-5, 2023. Make plans to attend. They are fantastic ambassadors of our order.
State Co-sponsor Bob Grafton, PNP; Sandra and I wish you and your families good health and happiness along with joyful holidays.
God be with you and remember to BE LOUD, PROUD and VISIBLE!
Michael F. Smith, PNP
Florida State Elks Association