It’s March and my hope is the weather will be gentle on us and allow us to enjoy some great early spring weather. It’s amazing that my year as Exalted Ruler is almost finished…time truly does fly when you are having fun!
This past year has indeed flown by and I have enjoyed being in this position and thank you for trusting me with this high honor. I would like to thank all of the past, current and future Officers and Trustees for their dedication given and to come. Thanks also to the Past Exalted Rulers for their willingness to help out in so many ways. When starting as an Officer, you are “promised” that it will only be a time commitment of “two meetings per month.” By the time you reach the Exalted Ruler level it can be two meetings per night on some occasions, but it’s all worth it knowing that you are working on behalf of the largest Elks Lodge in the nation. I have faith in the judgment, care and concern that the future slate of Officers and Trustees have for this institution and know that they will do their best in seeing that any issues that need improved are handled and we maintain a high level of service to our community as well as to our members. I would also like to thank our Lodge Secretary, Arlan Scholl for his work in keeping everything going in so many ways. The job as Lodge Secretary has many facets that most of us don’t even realize and I appreciate his efforts in seeing to it that things happen in a timely manner. I have met on a regular basis with our General Manager, Tresha Peters, and know that she possesses a great deal of care and a concern for making a visit to our Lodge a great experience for our members and their guests. Whether it is by filling out an Elks survey in this newsletter or sending her a note or having a brief conversation with her, I would encourage you to communicate with her if you have ideas about how to help our Lodge improve, particularly in the way of getting more of our members to visit their Lodge more often. Thanks also to the amazing Elks Staff, many of whom could easily work somewhere else (probably for more money) but stay because they truly have a deep love for all that the Elks stand for. For fear of missing someone, I won’t try to name all of the people who I have observed helping our Lodge in so many ways these past years. We have a tremendous team of volunteers that help in so many ways and all of us in leadership roles at your Lodge are extremely grateful for that. If you help in some way, THANK YOU! If you aren’t on a committee or helping at an event or events, please consider getting involved soon. Talk to any Officer or Trustee and we will get you plugged in! A special thanks goes out to my wife, Di, for her patience and understanding in having me gone for so many evenings for meetings, events, etc. Thanks also to the other member of my household, my grandson Jamison, for understanding that leading an institution as great as the Bismarck-Mandan Elks Lodge takes time and dedication. Even though it has taken up a considerable amount of my free time, I do believe that he has future plans of becoming an Exalted Ruler someday.
In the limited space that I have left I would like to mention a couple of things. The raffle for the sporty new Camaro and other great prizes is underway and we just have days left to sell tickets before the car is given away on March 19th. This raffle is our largest fundraiser of the year and we want to be able to give as much as possible to Camp Grassick and other charities. Please dig out those tickets that were sent to you and either purchase them yourself or sell them to friends who wouldn’t mind winning a new car. Remember, you do not have to be an Elks member to win. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend this exciting event! Thanks in advance for your efforts on behalf of the kids at Camp Grassick!
2015 promises many fun events so please check out what’s coming up by reading the front of this newsletter, become a friend of Bismarck-Mandan Elks Lodge on FACEBOOK or just stop in when you get a chance. Please check in on the newly created Bismarck-Mandan Elks Lodge website at www.bismanelks.com.
I am particularly excited to announce a new program that your Lodge is undertaking in the coming weeks. The Dictionary Project works to place free and informative dictionaries into the hands of third-graders, many of whom are “at risk.” These are not your average dictionaries. From facts about planets and animals to copies of the U.S. constitution, these valuable resources are interesting and fun to read and in many cases will be the first book that the recipients will own. Your Elks Officers will be presenting dictionaries to 3rd graders from three Bismarck area schools in the next couple of weeks as the first stage of getting involved with this project. We would love to see it grow from there as the interest and support grows. If you are interested in supporting this new project I would ask that you consider a contribution to the Elks Lodge to offset the costs that are being incurred to implement this program. Who knows, perhaps this could grow into something that positively impacts ALL of the Bismarck and Mandan third-graders?!
The Installation of Officers is scheduled for Saturday, March 28th. This event marks the last of my term, yet promises a bright future with what our newly installed Officers have to offer. It promises to be a fun-filled event with a great band and party on the Lodge floor. Congratulations to all of the Officers and thanks for the efforts you give to make this organization great!
In closing, we continue to be the largest Elks Lodge in the nation with nearly 4500 members. We are always looking for more members, but more importantly we need the members that we have to utilize their Lodge as much as possible. Being a Benevolent and Protective Order, we thrive on the business generated by our true and upright members to do great things in our community. Please support your Elks Lodge and thank you again for allowing me the privilege of being the Exalted Ruler of the greatest Lodge in the nation!
Terry Lincoln, Exalted Ruler
Bismarck-Mandan Lodge #1199