District No. 5160

April 2011 GER Message

GL Newsletter, April 2011 GER Message: New Officers: Initiate, implement & activate
A Message from the Grand Exalted Ruler
Hon. Michael F. Smith

To All District Deputies, Exalted Rulers, Officers and Members:

A hearty CONGRATULATIONS to all of you for accepting the challenge to take a leadership position and accept the challenges of our Order. Your membership has invested their trust and confidence in your ability to improve their Lodges, communities and Grand Lodge programs. With your budgets prepared and objectives set, it is time to make your year a benchmark of accomplishments that others will follow.

You have a great opportunity to play an integral part in the Future of Elks. It is essential that you and your Lodge Members focus on membership. As I visit each state, I find a common denominator regarding membership. Each Lodge indoctrinates and initiates new Members and then, for the most part, we abandon them.

We found in the survey done by Edmonds for our Order, that approximately one-third of delinquent Members would consider reinstating; however, they were never contacted personally. In my own state we did a similar survey and the findings were similar. Perhaps your Lodge could form a "mentor" committee whose sole purpose is to stay in contact with the newly initiated/reinstated Members for the first six or nine months. We must give our Members a reason to be a Member and welcome them into our Lodge.

I hear of Lodges using greeters; however, after the person walks in, they are alone. One Lodge I visited has a proven way to combat this that I recently implemented in my own Lodge. When new Members come to the Lodge, they are asked to wear a small name badge so that the other Members can introduce themselves and make the new Members feel welcome. (What a simple but great idea! Thank you, Mesquite, NV Lodge No. 2811.)

Your committees should be at full speed in accomplishing their objectives. Hopefully each Officer is a current member of the Elks National Foundation. You accepted the leadership role and your guidance and Passion will determine the success you, your Lodge and Grand Lodge achieves. Rekindle the spark in you, and the people around you will respond. Be PROUD...BE LOUD...and BE VISIBLE. It is your obligation to "Promote Elks Passion" throughout your communities.

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