I will never forget what I felt after hearing the words – written by a child and read by an adult. It was at that point where I felt the true meaning of being an Elk.
Throughout the years, I have seen the good that can come out of volunteerism. But I don’t think I ever really “felt” the good until I heard the words – written by a child and read by an adult.
The words were in the form of a letter, written by a female in her pre-teens. In it, she described a feeling of isolation, of being singled-out as “different” and not being able to participate in the normal activities of other kids her age. But the ending is what really hit me. At that point, she described the intense positive emotions she felt as a result of being included as part of a fun group of “like” kids and now being able to fully participate in all activities.
The letter was written by a camper who had just returned home from week at Elks Camp Grassick. It was read at a state Elks meeting by Camp Director Dan Mimnaugh. And there wasn’t a dry eye in the place!
Folks, if you’re looking for a reason to renew your membership or to get someone to join the Elks, that girl is your reason. You could say she is the “why” of our existence. She is our cause, our purpose, and our belief.
In his book Start with Why, Author Simon Sinek suggests that no matter what business you’re in or organization to which you belong, it is critical for paid and volunteer team members to always start with – and deeply remember – the “why” as opposed to the “what.”
For the Elks, the “what” are the goods and services we provide; TR Bar, the 1199 Lounge, the dining room, gaming, workout facilities and even your membership dues. However, these are but vehicles to help directly earn money or otherwise support the “why.”
The “why” are the children and adults benefitting from programs like Camp Grassick, the Hoop Shoot, Children’s Christmas Party, and Most Valuable Student Scholarships, as well as the many area charities to which your Social and Community Welfare dollars are donated.
As Sinek says, “Remember, people don’t buy ‘what’ you do, they buy ‘why’ you do it!
Besides renewing your membership, a great “what” to directly support our “why,” is our upcoming Car Raffle, Tuesday March 22nd. There, we will give away a 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker SCAT Pack along with thousands of dollars in other prizes. The event will be held on the Lodge floor. Doors open at 5pm.
Other March events include a St. Patrick’s Day Party Friday, March 18th featuring Johnny Green and the Greenmen and a Wine Tasting Thursday, March 24th. Tickets for all events are available by calling or stopping by the Elks Office.
On a final note, this is my last column as Exalted Ruler. It was truly an honor to serve! Next month the torch gets passed to Rich Skjonsby. I only hope you can welcome him as much as you welcomed me. Be well!
It is my sad duty to announce the death of Peter Horner, Ovide Gendreau, Robert Ehli, Floyd McAdow, Quentin Retterath, Donald Roesler, Alden Beggs, Gary Bracht and Lance Tryhus. May their virtues be written upon the tablets of love and memory.