After being elected Grand Exalted Ruler at the convention in Minneapolis, Wanda and I are humbled and honored to represent our great Order this year.
We have truly been blessed by the aid and support of so many people throughout the years. We owe a great debt of gratitude to our family, friends, and to you, our Elks family. We say thank you, one and all, for everything.
My slogan for 2023–2024 is "We Are The Elks." I am sure you will be hearing more about this at your District Deputy Clinic this month.
As we travel the country, Wanda and I are committed to promoting our Elks programs like never before. It is our belief this will make our Lodges stronger and improve our image throughout our great Order.
We will be promoting community service programs throughout our travels. These programs build stronger communities while stimulating a response that motivates worthy members of the public to seek Elks membership. In this way, our community service builds the foundation for our future.
Successful Lodges of the future will create and develop local projects that will become signature accomplishments in the eyes of the community. In turn, members of the community will see these projects mature over time and want to become involved.
If we work together toward our charitable pursuits and remain faithful to our programs, I'm confident we will soon see an increase in membership--not mere temporary gains, but a new era of growth where participation becomes commonplace.
A great source of funding for some community projects is the Elks National Foundation, known as the "Great Heart Of Elkdom." The ENF helps build stronger communities through programs that support youth, serve veterans, and meet the needs in areas where we live and work.
The Foundation has allocated almost $16 million for Lodge Community Service Grants. This grant program allows your Lodge to complete more for your communities. This is once again a way for you to show your communities that Elks Care--Elks Share.
Make the Elks presence felt in your community by using these grants. What is your Lodge known for in your community? What reputation would you like to have? Find that need in your community and get it done. This will ensure people in your community know that "We Are The Elks."
The support we provide makes the Foundation's work possible. The goal we have established for the 2023–2024 fraternal year is $4.80 per Member. That is not much when you consider the outstanding achievements of this program.
Remember "Elks Care--Elks Share" and "We Are THE Elks."
God bless our great Order, our troops, and the United States of America.