By Daryl Conley, Administrator -
It's been a busy summer (as usual), traveling to Nashville for the Moose International convention, then scarcely a month later, to Scottsdale, AZ for the AZ/NM Association convention. A lot of things have changed both for us and at Moose International. Moose International has done a fairly major reorganization of departments and employees, eliminating some 16 positions, and combining some departments to take up the work load.
AZ/NM has been seeing some difficult times as well, especially with sudden death of our mentor and Past Supreme Governor Jim Henderson. Our Regional Manager Bill Cavanaugh had to undergo surgery and radiation treatments for throat cancer so he has been recovering and not able to do much since early in the year. And, at the convention, we got the sad news that our Association Secretary, Jerry Stewart is retiring after 16 years of dedicated service to our Association. While his retirement is well deserved at 82 years of age, his experience and knowledge will be sorely missed, although he has promised to hang around and assist whenever needed.
Our lodge had good attendance at the Association convention, with eight LOOM members (and I think six WOTM members) in attendance. For the LOOM we had the second highest attendance out of the thirty-four lodges that make up our Association. We were topped only by Albuquerque Lodge 1517, which had eleven LOOM members in attendance.
Our special visitor was Moose International Director General Scott Hart. In true AZ/NM fashion, we gave him a good ribbing, especially about his age; at 46 years of age, Scott is the youngest Director General since our first one, James J Davis, in 1909. In his closing remarks, Scott commented on how warm and friendly our members were and how everyone had made him feel right at home since the day he arrived. He was also impressed by the nearly $100,000.00 in donations that were contributed during the banquet. Not bad for a small association!
Our lodge contributed $17,839.78 to Moose Charities, plus another $2,535.00 to Camp Ross from our Moose Legion Unit during the banquet. We also received the Gold level - one of only two lodges to do so - for our community service programs and another Premier Lodge Award for 2014-2015 - that makes four in a row, and Governor Pete Padilla received the Governor's Award of Excellence for his 2014-2015 term.
On the negative side, our membership is still down 25 from where we ended last year. We are at 739, down from 764. It seems we are not getting as many new applicants as usual, and worse yet, we are losing more every month. Since April 30, we have 76 members who have not renewed. I am not sure why, if they attended an enrollment then they heard about Mooseheart and Moosehaven and how our lodge contributes to its community. If they did not attend, photos in our local paper tell the story of our contributions and our newsletter at http://lodge2050.moosepages.org gives a calendar of events and other newsworthy information. they can also go to www.mooseintl.org and read about all the wonderful things that other lodges do throughout the fraternity and learn about valuable member benefits that are available to them by being a member, not to mention the cheap meals and refreshments available at the lodge.
The old "RETENTION, RETENTION, RETENTION" slogan has been modified to "RETENTION, RETENTION, RECOVERY." "Recovery" is getting our old members - those have dropped out over one year ago - to re-join. Our new AZ/NM President, Roy Austin has also issued a "Challenge Coin" membership recovery program. He purchased several "coins" that he will give out to any member who gets five former members to re-join. As of convention time, there were three in all of AZ/NM - one of which was he himself and I am proud to say I was one of the other two. So let's challenge each other - let's see how many and who can be the first (or second as it were) in our lodge to receive their own personal Challenge Coin. You will be doing your lodge and fraternity a favor and earning a nice token for your efforts. I have also posted a count board near the ATM so that we can track those members who sponsor a former member into the lodge.
Brand new this year is a Members Rewards program. Members can earn points by sponsoring new or former members, they earn additional points when their sponsored member renews their dues after their first year. We can earm points by attending training sessions and conventions, being elected into office, joining the Moose Legion and/or earning higher degrees of the order, and the list goes on. Once earned, these points can be redeemed for gift cards, credit at the Moose Store, payment of dues, or cash. Hopefully, this new program will provide incentive for our current members to go out and sign up new or former members while earning credits for themselves. To check on your points, go to www.mooseintl.org and click on My Member Benefits. Here you will find all your membership statistics, including number of members sponsored, last time you attended and officer's training, date you were enrolled, your original sponsor, etc. If you have never logged in before, follow the instructions and enter your Moose ID number as your log-in name then create your own personal password.
So let's not wait until March or April, or even January or February - let's all go out and try to sponsor a new or former member now - or try to convince that friend or acquaintance to renew their dues before they are dropped. Remember - we will pay half the application fee all year lodge, so a new or former member can join for just $10.00 plus $40.00 for the first year's dues.
The rest of this article I will leave the same as it was before for your information:
MI has also introduced several new ways and new programs where you can donate to Moose Charities. Remember that any donation to Moose Charities is tax-deductible. Check out the Documents section of this newsletter for downloadable applications and information.
Last year's campaign was Back to Basics. This year's campaign is Build our Foundation. It is time to start afresh, with the core values of our fraternity - an increase in membership and an increased knowledge and awareness of our two great humanitarian endeavors, Mooseheart and Moosehaven. MI has provided a new video that explains what the Moose is and how we support Mooseheart and Moosehaven and our communities. We show this during our orientation on the second Thursday of each month. You do not have to be a new member to see it; any and all members are invited to attend the orientation and view the video. It will give you insight and knowledge about our order. Knowledge is the key to selling a product. As members, we are selling the product of membership and fraternalism. You dan do this by passing on your knowledge to others and to prospective members.
If you know someone who has not paid their dues recently, PLEASE try to convince them to pay up. Remind them of all the benefits of being a Moose member, even if they don't come to the lodge. Come and get one or more of our Member Benefits brochures to show them. If you yourself have not paid please reconsider, come see for yourself what the Moose and our lodge has to offer. Let's not wait until April 1, 2016 to try to reach our goal of 764 - my nerves can't take it!!!
Remember, if you need to pay your dues, you can pay them at the lodge. If I am in my office, I will be glad to pay them on-line for you, either with cash, check or your own personal credit card. If you don't catch me at the lodge, simply pay the Social Quarters Attendant on duty (cash or check) - they will give you a receipt and I will pay it on-line as soon as I get back. I am normally in my office from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, except for lunch which I usually take from around 1:00pm - 2:00 pm.
Another issue that prevents people from joining or keeps them from renewing is second-hand smoke. Over the years we have addressed this issue numerous times by installing more smoke eaters, adding a fresh-air ventilation system and repairing non-functioning systems. We also began a no-smoking policy years ago in the dining hall during meals, and have recently added a no smoking section to our Social Quarters, near the entrance to provide adequate ventilation. While we have received both positive and negative response to this, we feel it is our duty to provide a comfortable environment for all members, non-smokers and smokers alike. So please, if you've quit us or plan on quitting us, give us a second chance and continue to help us support our community, our children at Mooseheart, and seniors at Moosehaven.
Sponsors, once the application is filled out, your job is far from over. You should try to get them to attend an enrollment. After they are enrolled, you should call them periodically and invite them to join you at the lodge for dinner or drinks, and while you are here, introduce them to the officers and to other members so that they feel welcomed and not left out. Hopefully, this feeling of belonging will also prevent them from dropping out in the years that follow.
Have a great month!
Daryl Conley - Administrator