The month of March brings us to the close of our Lodge year. Wow, does the time fly!
I hope all the Officers in your Lodge had a successful year in Elkdom. The work that was accomplished this past year is a tribute to your leadership and effort. The torch of authority is now being passed to the new Officers in our Lodges.
Congratulations to all of you who have stepped up to continue the great work in your community and, most of all, your Lodge. I wish you all success in achieving any new goals and successes in the programs for the coming year.
All may not be smooth sailing, but as the captain of the ship, I know you will guide its course to the best of your ability. Don't ever be afraid to ask a question. Utilize your Past Exalted Rulers in your Lodge to assist you. They have been there and can give you excellent advice. Ask them what worked for them--just maybe, this can also work for you. I encourage you to listen to your membership, as someone may have an idea for a fundraising event or Lodge function for all to enjoy. You can and will make a difference in your Lodges and communities by "Promoting Elkdom With Enthusiasm."
As the new leader of your Lodge, it is extremely important to put together a slate of dedicated committee people. Your committee members are the ones who work to make your Lodge great. They are the ones who will be promoting in each of your communities that "Elks Care -- Elks Share." As the baseball season has started again, I'll use this analogy: Step up to the plate and hit a home run with all of your Lodge programs. Score that winning run as you run the base paths of Elkdom. Win, win, win.
The month of March is also a time when many Lodges participate in St. Patrick's Day. Lodge St. Patrick's Day parties or community parades are celebrated. Please be safe during these celebrations. I'd like to close with an Irish blessing: "May your heart be warm and happy with the lilt of Irish laughter, every day in every way, and forever and ever after. May the luck of the Irish be always with you."
Thank you for all you are doing to make our great Order of Elks the greatest Order in the nation. God bless all of you. God bless our troops, past and present, and most of all, God bless America.