Russell Gerace
Plaquemine, La., Lodge 1398

Gerace to the Finish

Last year, Plaquemine, La., Lodge No. 1398 placed first in overall per-member giving with a grand total of $121.175. This year, the Lodge is holding strong in third place with a total of $63.280 per member through December 31. So, what does it take to achieve such a high per capita? Lodge ENF Chair Russell Gerace has a couple of secrets, and after some persuasion, decided to share them to help other ENF Chairs succeed in raising their Lodges’ per-member-giving totals.

Gerace’s Lodge holds a 50/50 drawing at every Lodge meeting. Half of the pot goes to the ENF in the winner’s name, and the other half goes to the winner. However, the past several winners have been very generous and have donated their share to the ENF!

Gerace promotes giving from the heart, and is lucky to have good-hearted Lodge members.

“Three or four years ago, we really started promoting the ENF,” says Gerace of their recent increase in ENF donations. “We kept talking it up and soon, everybody couldn’t wait to donate. It started a snowball effect and really took off!”

He also believes that some of the Lodge’s success is thanks to bringing in new Lodge members. Membership at the Plaquemine Lodge is on the rise.

“Slow, but steady,” explains Gerace “when we bring new members into the Lodge, we make sure we talk about what the ENF gives back and how we are putting the ENF grant money to work. Members of our town really take notice of what we are doing thanks to the ENF.”

With three more months left this fiscal year, the Plaquemine Lodge still has plenty of time to increase its per capita and reclaim the first-place spot. With Gerace’s fundraising leadership, perhaps the Lodge will be able to top last year’s total!

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