Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
In case you missed it in past DMC Newsletters and letters to Lodges, allow me to remind you about three very important programs that have been launched this year for your direct benefit. If you fail to take advantage of one or more of these programs, then all I can say is “have a nice nap.” These programs were developed to benefit YOU and YOUR LODGE. And the cynosure of all the programs, at bottom, is helping us to address the Number One challenge facing Odd Fellowship (and a major focus of my year as Grand Master): Increasing membership of the Order and in your Lodge. Please take a moment to read about them, and then follow up.
Membership Development Grant. This program provides grants of up to $1,000 from the Grand Lodge Membership Fund. It is administered by the Membership Committee, chaired by Deputy Grand Master Peter Sellars. Any Lodge may apply for the grant money. It is all about providing funds to Lodges to help them in their membership development activities. Since declining membership is a concern to all of us, I encourage all Lodges to apply. It’s easy. All the Lodge need do is send a letter or an e-mail to the Grand Lodge, making a request for a specific amount (up to $1,000) and outlining the membership development program the Lodge seeks to fund. The programs and activities you choose to fund are completely up to each Lodge to determine. Let your membership development imagination be your guide. Past grants have been awarded to help fund Lodge open houses, the creation of a Lodge tri-fold brochure, and Lodge activities that include the public, etc.
Membership Development Grant applications may be mailed to the Grand Lodge office, attention “Membership Development Grant”, at 14414 Oak Street, Suite B, Saratoga CA 95070. Or e-mailed to Peter Sellars at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year, we have already given out some 16 or 17 of these grants, which is an all-time record – yet that’s only 14% of our Lodges. We have 118 Lodges in this Jurisdiction, and every single Lodge is eligible to apply for the grant. Why hasn’t your Lodge applied?
Membership Educational Seminar in Reno. You may recall that, in year’s past, we have organized various gatherings in Santa Nella (an isolated spot sort of in the middle of California) that we have called “Noble Grand and Vice Grand Training”, or “Officer’s Seminar” or the like. This year, under the leadership of DGM Sellars, we are doing something different. We have organized a gathering open to any and all interested members (whether you are an officer or not) of the Order, and it will take place in Reno, Nevada. All are invited, and I know that all members will benefit from this weekend of education and social time. Plus, it will take place in Reno, so there is lots to do.
The event takes place in an excellent location – Reno’s El Dorado Hotel and Casino on January 16 and 17 (a Saturday and Sunday) with arrival on Friday, January 15. The cost is $190, and that price tag covers two night’s stay at the hotel, meals and materials. Really quite reasonable, and only about $10 more than we paid in the past at Santa Nella. I have attached to this Newsletter the details of the seminar and the application form. Please do not hesitate to fill it out and apply. Note the registration deadline of December 10 – which is not that far away. If you wish to attend, I recommend that you apply NOW.
I would love to see members from all over California attend this important gathering. I will certainly be there. We will cover topics of interest and concern to all of you. And experts will be there to answer all questions.
Lodge Beautification Challenge. Let’s face it. Some of our Lodge Halls, on the outside, look dowdy and run down. In fact, some of our Lodge Halls haven’t been upgraded in years, and are virtually invisible in our communities. How can you attract new members if no one knows about you, or if they look at the outside of your Lodge and see a shabby, unpainted, run-down building? What message does a dowdy, run-down Lodge building send to the public about the state of our Order or the state of your Lodge?
Enter the Lodge Beautification Challenge. I have launched this program to help Lodges spruce up the outsides of their Lodge Halls. This sprucing up can take many forms: New signs, painting, new doors or windows, new trim, clean up, landscaping, etc. Lodges need to accomplish the tasks during the period October 2015 to March 2016. Deadline is March 30, 2016. On or before that deadline, please submit “before” and “after” photos and a brief narrative of what was done to upgrade or beautify your Lodge. Entries should be submitted to the Grand Lodge, attention “Lodge Beautification Program” at the Grand Lodge address I have listed above.
I have appointed Past Grand Master Rod Metoyer to chair a committee which will evaluate the submissions and pick winning Lodges. This evaluation will be done in April, and the winning Lodges will be recognized in May and at Grand Lodge Sessions. Plaques will be given for up to 10 Lodges. In addition, the first place Lodge will receive $500, the second place Lodge will receive $300 and the third place Lodge will receive $100 – plus up to seven Honorable Mention Lodges will be recognized.
Take the challenge and beautify your Lodge Hall.
F – L – T
Jurisdiction of California