Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
One of the great success stories in California Odd Fellowship is the operation and continued success of our Odd Fellows Homes in Saratoga and Napa. The first home was established at the end of the 19th Century and today the operation continues to flourish, providing two of the most outstanding retirement communities in the Western United States. The homes are governed by a strong Board of Directors. It was my honor and privilege to serve as a Director and as Chairman of that Board a few years ago.
The continued success of the Odd Fellows Homes of California is attributable, in large measure, to the recognition by this Order that, over the years, evolution and change was required to make these retirement campuses viable to an evolving and changing population. Just like the homes evolved and changed to match changes in demographics and interests of residents and potential residents, so too must Odd Fellowship evolve and change to match changes in demographics and interests of our members and potential members. The success story of the homes is laid out, below, in an article submitted to this newsletter by a writer who prefers to remain anonymous. As always, we honor such requests.
(By the way, mark your calendars for the annual BBQ at the Odd Fellows Homes of California. All members of the Order and guests are invited. This year it will be at the Saratoga Retirement Community on Sunday, August 2, from 1 to 4 p.m. It’s always a fun and entertaining event, and a great social gathering. Hope to see you there!)
F – L – T
Deputy Grand Master
There is one part of the Order in California that has made dramatic changes in the past 15 years with very good results. The Odd Fellows Home of California is an effort that began in 1893 as an idea to take care of the elderly and indigent members of the Order, many of whom joined the Order during the California Gold Rush of 1849.
We came close to losing the Home in Saratoga because we did not change and maintain pace with modern times. The last part of the 20th Century brought major changes in medical technologies, information technologies, law and regulations governing minimum standards for health care and elder care, and new requirements for professional and institutional certification. We found a need to change the Home and how it did its business to hold onto it, and to move it into the 21st Century. If we did not make these changes, we would have surely lost the Odd Fellows Home.
Today, with modern state of the art senior care facilities located in Saratoga and Napa, the Odd Fellows Home of California now sets a standard in our state for premier senior residential living. Our facilities have expanded their mission to serve members of the Order and the public for independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care services while still holding on to the original purpose of caring for the least fortunate members of the Order at the end of their lives.
The Board of Directors for the Odd Fellows Home of California must possess competent expertise to consider and decide on the matters brought before it (in addition to the member qualifications described in Robert’s Code). We seek on an on-going basis those good folks who will be qualified to make meaningful contributions to our work and who will be available to serve on the OFHC Board for one or more three year terms.
Perhaps you are seeking (or somebody you know is seeking) a challenging not-for-profit Board experience and has expertise in one or more of the following or related disciplines. If that is the case, then we would like you to consider joining the OFHC Board. The Board seeks expertise and experience in the following:
- Residential Facilities (Management, Operations, Development)
- Health Care (Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, Geriatrics)
- Government Health Care Programs and Policy (MediCare, MediCal, MediCaid) Law
- Accounting, Finance, Auditing
- Strategic Planning
- Organizational Governance
- Events (Development and Management)
- Fraternal Affairs
The selection of new Board members takes place at Grand Lodge sessions in May. Contact the Grand Lodge offices as soon as possible for further information about joining the OFHC Board of Directors. Change can be a good thing.