ER’s Message

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ER’s Message October 2017

September was an eventful month at the lodge! I hope you were able to enjoy our first day of cooler weather at the Vietnam Veterans car show! If you haven’t tried our Fizz Brunch yet, put it on your calendar the next time it’s advertised! It was a great meal prepared by our chefs! Thank you to our own Elks volunteers for helping serve and get all of us through the buffet line quickly. The omelet station was amazing!

Jim Alford, District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, paid a visit to our lodge on September 27th. For those of you who don’t know, his visit is not only to share the message of our Grand Exalted Ruler, but to conduct an audit and physical inspection of our lodge to make sure policies and procedures are being followed. A business meeting was conducted prior to the lodge meeting where the committee chairs gave a brief statement on their activities. Our lodge was found to be in great working order and continues to be a gem in our District!

October kicks off our busy season at the lodge! The Elks State President, Chuck Nolan, and First Lady, Ginger, will be visiting our District the second weekend of October. Our lodge will be hosting a dinner, as well as our popular music line up on Friday, October 13th to welcome Chuck, Ginger, and the visiting Association Vice Presidents who are accompanying them on their tour of the North Valley. Please come down and join us in celebrating their year of Elkdom and the hospitality and friendliness that our
lodge is known for!

Football season is in full swing at the lodge, so gather your friends and family and come watch a game or two! Better start planning ahead for your creative costume at the Halloween party on Friday, October 27th! This event has been a huge success in recent years and I am sure this year will not disappoint!

This month, I would like to touch on the final virtue of the order of Elks, which is tied to the station of the Exalted Ruler ‐ Fidelity. It is symbolized by the Star which shines above our Alter. Fidelity implies strict adherence to our Obligation and faithfulness in the discharge of our duty as members of society. I know it can often be overwhelming to take in the specifics of the Obligation when you are initiated as a new member. In short, members commit to upholding the Constitution and laws of the Order of Elks, as well as those of the United States of America. We promise to bring in others who we feel would be an asset to our lodge, and that we will protect, respect, and defend our members and their families. In making this Obligation, we agree to treat each other as brothers (and sisters) through good times and bad. The Exalted Ruler’s final charge states “Our time upon the stage of action is but brief, yet in the drama each must play a part. The character is left for each to choose; a villain if we will, or person of honor.” My favorite line to give is the closing line which reads “Finally, strive diligently that the name of Elk as borne by you may be worthy of an American citizen – one who loves his fellow man.” I am very proud of our lodge and its commitment to each other. As a strong team, we are even more powerful in our community. Please remember to treat not only our members, but others with kindness and respect. That is what we are known for as Elks! Be friendly, ask questions, take pause before speaking, put yourself in another’s shoes, smile! As Elks and Americans, we all share the same joys and struggles in life. How we choose to spend our time and what energy we put towards those things can make or break the day. Choose to make it great!


Jen White Exalted Ruler

ER’s Message September 2017

The first day of Fall is September 22nd and I think we are all ready for some cooler weather! We have a few upcoming events to kick off the season – the Veterans Car Show will be on September 16 th , followed by the Fizz Brunch on the 17 th . The Elks Ladies are having a two day craft fair which starts on the 30th. Come down and show your support and start checking off your Christmas shopping list!

Our lodge room is once again fully functional and meetings will resume in the Kittridge room starting this month. For those of you who don’t know, we had a beam that was faulty and has since been repaired. Thank you Rick Schmid and crew for your handy work and to membership for your patience during this time. There has also been some construction downstairs with the addition of a women’s changing area for the gym – thank you Bill Morris and Ron Landini for your efforts in making this happen! Finally, we have started the RV park upgrade. Higher voltage electric service panels have been ordered and trenching will begin to bring the lines back to the park.

Jim Alford, North District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, will be paying a visit to our lodge on September 27 th . Please join us for dinner at 6:30, followed by the lodge meeting at 7:30 where he will give a message from Malcom J. McPherson Jr., Grand Exalted Ruler whose theme for the year is “Strengthening Elkdom Through Community Awareness”.

Brotherly Love – of the four virtues, this one is probably the most intuitive and relatable. The Esteemed Lecturing Knight’s charge states “As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto others, for we pass this way but once. We cannot retrace our steps nor call back the days that are gone; but the passing moment is ours long enough to grasp the hand in friendship, to lighten each other’s burdens, to bring rest to the weary, and to comfort those who mourn”.

Brotherly love is expressed in many ways. We show our support to each other and our community through scholarships, fundraising efforts, and grants. During the 1950s, the US Government asked BPOE to solicit blood donations from its membership – and members responded with 600,000 pints for soldiers serving in Korea. One event that I am always proud to be a part of is our Elks Memorial Service. What better way to pay tribute to our members and support their families and each other during this time of need? In our local lodge and in our daily lives, it can serve as a reminder of simple things – to hold the door open, a smile, to offer a kind word to our volunteers when times are hectic, and to respect that everyone has their own opinion  and that’s okay – we are still brothers and sisters. Ever practice Brotherly Love!

Fraternally, Jen White, Exalted Ruler

ER’s Message August 2017

July was a busy month for Elkdom – the National Convention was held in Reno from July 16 through the 19 . I was lucky to have all of my officers in attendance to celebrate with me. We spent some time at different hospitality suites with other members from across the Nation and we were able to enjoy the pool at the Reno lodge. A dinner was held to welcome in our new DDGER, Jim Alford, who is from the Red Bluff lodge, as well as an Associate Member of the Chico lodge. It was not all play, there were daily sessions to attend. Thank you to those officers who participated in the break out sessions. I’m looking forward to seeing what membership has in store for the 150 anniversary celebration coming next February! We also voted on resolutions to change the Statutes of the Order. A few that are of interest include removing the option for a shortened initiation and to allow a lodge to waive dues of a member who is on active duty in the military. It’s always nice to see friends from other lodges at these events to share ideas and to support each other. Chico was recognized by the Grand Lodge as being second in the nation for membership growth in our division. That’s pretty amazing!! Thank you to Joe Koshak, Membership Chair, and his committee for their efforts to help our lodge prosper!

It was also a big month at the Chico lodge. At the July 12 meeting, members approved that we move ahead with the solar project through AES, which also includes upgrading the power to the RV park. We also voted to remove the ceiling in the bar and to open the wall between the bar and the pool room to create a members only bar. This area will not only be open for everyday use, but will also create a space for our members to enjoy our lounge during outside events. Now that the scope of work has been determined, you will start seeing these changes come about. I would like to thank the members who attended the meeting and voted. Your continued support of and  patience for this project is appreciated. It is important that we all move forward together in the best interest of the lodge.

We are also going to make some changes to the House Committee and Trustee meetings, which are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. Effective August 23 , the meetings will once again start at 5:30 p.m. Going forward, we would like to invite any members wishing to make a presentation to either body, to do so at the first meeting of the month. We would like to quickly move through the second meeting of the month so the officers can be available to meet our new members coming in for initiation on that evening.

The lodge held many events in July – Vietnam Veterans Rib Cook-off, Clam Bake, Wine Tasting,  the Tightwad Tuesday takeover…you would get the idea that we like to eat around here! I hope you were around and available to enjoy some of the events last month. Don’t miss the 14 Annual Hot August Day Car Show on August 5 ! Charlie Carroll and the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America never fail to bring in a beautiful showing of cars!

In the July bulletin, I discussed Charity. This month I would like to touch on Justice. Justice is the motto of the Esteemed Loyal Knight’s station and is symbolized by the bible – the book of law. In the Loyal Knight’s charge during initiation, it is stated that “the Order of Elks not only exacts from you the strict performance of the duties of membership; it likewise bestows upon you cherished rights and privileges which its whole power and authority will ensure and protect.” The “Laws of the Order” can lead one to think about consequences and restrictions. I like to look at it this way…the rights of our membership is extended to you, not impressed upon you. It is a sentiment that creates brotherhood and allows an environment where we, as Elks, provide an opportunity to enjoy fellowship with each other and are able to extend our hearts in the form of service to those in need. It’s the Justice within each of us that allows the Great Heart of Elkdom to thrive and be protected.

After the National Convention, I took a much-needed vacation to Kona on the big island of Hawaii. The owner of the condo where we stayed is a member of the Order and the manager of the facility is a PER from the Kona Lodge. Go figure! As always during my travels, I try to visit any lodges that are nearby – Kona was no exception! Thank you to my Esteemed Leading Knight, John Strattard, for filling in for me on birthday dinner! I was sorry to have missed it and I hope all of the July birthdays enjoyed the time together.

Fraternally, Jen White Exalted Ruler

Exalted Ruler’s Message July 2017

Recently I was reviewing the bulletin from July 2015 and noticed that it mentioned that our lodge had surpassed 1,000 members – the first time in 15 years. I’m proud to say that Chico Lodge #423 is now approaching 1,500 members just two years later!

June was an amazing month for lodge events! I was so proud to be a part of the bench dedication at Chapman Elementary School on June 2 nd where the lodge donated $2,300 to assist with their replacement. The 3 rd Annual Sporting Clay event was a huge success again! Thank you to Nick Ghimenti, event chairman, and the ladies of the Chico Posse Foundation for your efforts!

The Elks Ladies had a successful yard sale and fun was had by all at the Father’s Day BBQ. Our North District Vice President (NVDP), Robert Lenk, and his wife, Heather, visited our lodge on
June 14 th followed by our Flag Day presentation on June 15 th .

Summer is typically a slower time at the lodge as people are traveling more. Be sure to come back for the Clam Bake on July 28 th and share your summer adventures! There will be no lodge meeting on July 26 th or August 9 th . The lodge will still be open and ready for some great events including the Hot August Day Car Show on August 5 th . Several of the officers and I are looking forward to attending the Elks National Convention in Reno, Nevada, from July 16 th through the 18 th .

As things are winding down a bit, I would like to take the opportunity to remind all of us about the principles of our order – Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love, and Fidelity – and expand on each them in the upcoming months. Since the founding of the Elks in 1868, the order has worked diligently to live out these principles. Starting in July, let’s focus on Charity – the cornerstone of every Elk structure, the highest virtue of every Elk creed. Elks act quickly in times of need as evidenced in our own lodge when we had the scare with the Oroville Dam Spillway. Going back in history, in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the Elks had already set up a tent city for those left homeless. This was prior to the government stepping into help. It’s also the little things we do for each other and our community – benches at an elementary school, spaghetti feeds to cover medical bills, support of Sober Grad nights for our teens, updating our own lodge playground, and assisting veterans in transitional housing. There is work involved in applying for the grants we receive and implementing their use. This year our grants have gone to support Wheelin’ with the Cops, Food from the Heart of Chico, and to the Holly House (transitional home for women). Sometimes we give our time, sometimes we give financially. Every event, every dinner, every raffle ticket you purchase at the lodge ultimately goes out in some form of Charity. The legend given in the Leading Knight’s charge during initiation states that Charity is the greatest of all the virtues; and that it should ever rule us in our hearts and in our lives, leading us to speak no unkind word, to harbor no evil thought, to bear no malice, to support no wrong; but to nurture, love and protect; to condone, forgive and forget. This credo is one we can all put to good use in our private lives, as well as when we are at the lodge.

Stay safe in this summer heat and have fun!

Jen White E.R.