Fall is upon us! We had a great time with our State President, Chuck Nolan and First Lady Ginger. Thank you to everyone who came out on Friday to show them our Chico Lodge hospitality! It was nice to spend time with the Vice Presidents and learn more about what other Districts are doing to promote Elkdom. Chuck’s message for California lodges this year is “Reach Out-Share the Experience”. I would like to remind you to continue to invite friends and family down to the lodge for the great events we have coming up through the end of the year!
A special thank you to John Strattard, Esteemed Leading Knight, and his crew for your hard work on Italian Night. Members always look forward to the Purple Pig Fundraiser which supports local children with disabilities!
John also did a great job filling in for me at the first lodge meeting of the month while I was in Philadelphia on a business trip. Philadelphia is the home of BPOE #2. Unfortunately, they closed their doors in 1979, but their beautiful lodge building is standing! I like to visit other lodges when I travel. I have found that in most large cities, the lodges that once prospered have closed and smaller lodges on the city outskirts have sprung up. There are many reasons for this to happen. It’s important that we focus on sustaining and revitalizing membership with great activities to participate in that also support worthy causes.
In the spirit of giving, I wanted to let you know about two grants our lodge used this year! The Beacon Grant used $2,000 to support the efforts of Food From the Heart. They serve a free dinner every Wednesday to about 55 deserving people from many walks of life – senior citizens, veterans, families, as well as the homeless.
The Gratitude Grant provided $2,300 toward the Jesus Center’s new transitional housing program for women. Beds were purchased for the seven women who will be living there while being assisted with getting back into the workforce, going to school, and gaining life skills to transition into living on their own.
Midterm will be held in Sacramento the weekend of November 3rd—5th. I will be attending with Matt Goddard, Chairman of the Trustees; John Strattard, Esteemed Leading Knight and Norm Stump, Secretary. It’s a great opportunity to review the progress we have made throughout the year and share ideas with other officers.
October wasn’t all fun and games. We faced some great tragedies locally in our state with many fires and nationally in the Las Vegas shooting. All of us were touched by these events. If not by people in our direct circle, we knew someone with a loved one in danger. Both give us pause to stop and reflect on what values are important to us and why. It also gives us opportunity to show support toward each other and lend a helping hand when needed. With Thanksgiving approaching, it is a good time to express our gratitude toward our friends, family, and fellow Elks.
Fraternally, Jen White Exalted Ruler