By Daryl Conley, Administrator -
I don't like to start my monthly rants on a negative note, but I want to take a few lines to redefine what it means to be a Moose. Too many times I am bombarded by members who are upset about the way another member has treated them or things that have been said to them.
First of all, we all need to act our age. We should have all stopped "name-calling" when we were 11 or 12. Just because someone is different than you is no reason to be rude to them or make nasty comments to them or about them.
Secondly, we are supposed to be a Moose Family. Maybe not all members of your family get along, but let's just pretend that our Moose Family is a family group full of love and respect for each other and let's all act accordingly. Every member of our family has the same rights as every other member and deserves the same amount of respect.
Thirdly, guests do not share these privileges. We all must observe the rules regarding guests as mandated by our Moose International by-laws. A guest can only be your spouse who you are legally married to or a prospective member, which is anyone, male or female, including family members, over the age of 21. Spouses may come in with the member an unlimited number of times, prospective members are limited to two visits before they are enrolled. Please don't abuse this policy, why should non-members be allowed the same enjoyment and access to our activities as those of us who have to pay annual dues? It is not fair to you and it is not fair to the other dues paying members.
A guest cannot come in multiple times just by having a different member sign them in. And, I just got this clarification from Alcohol and Gaming - a guest has to be pre-invited by a member. That means they either enter the lodge with you, or they meet you at the door and you escort them in, but you have to "invited" them prior to them just showing up. This little lesson cost the lodge a $500.00 fine. If a non-member asks you to meet them at the lodge and sign them in, ask them if they have been there before, and who with. If they have been here with someone else twice, do not bring them back in. Instead, take them an application and tell them they cannot come back until they join. Not only will you be protecting us, you will become a sponsor and will earn Rewards Points from Moose International and will be entered into one of our lodge sponsorship programs. And if they don't want to join? I guess they will just have to go to Raymond's or some other public bar.
And remember, guests can NEVER make purchases, this incudes playing the juke box, putting money in the pool table, etc. This is not only a violation of our International by-laws, it is a violation of IRS code 501(c)8 under which we are classified.
Lastly, remember what we are a part of - the big picture if you will. We are all members because we took an oath or signed an obligation to protect and insure the continuation of Mooseheart and Moosehaven, and that is where we need to focus our attentions. We are not a "bar" we are a social club; we are supposed to be working together, giving of ourselves and our time, to help the lodge and chapter raise funds for the benefit of Mooseheart and Moosehaven, and our local community. So before you criticize someone else or someone else's work; get up off that chair and try it for yourself. Those of us that do volunteer should understand how important and valuable other volunteers are and we should do our best not to scare them away or make them feel uncomfortable.
OK, got that off my chest, now let's talk some good news!! It's getting close to that busy time of year, with lots of activities coming up for our members and their families. Be sure to post this month's calendar on your refrigerator or wall, or come in and take a photo of our calendar, located in the new part of the entryway, with your smart phone so you will always have in with you.
Some of the events coming up are Toys for Tots benefit dinner October 1, Blood Drive and Open house October 15 (both of these events are also open to the general public) Halloween Party for our members' family members which includes children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, step-relations, foster children, etc. (cousins are not qualified under IRS code). Our Haunted Hall is even crazier and scarier than last year, so come on in and check it out on Saturday, October 29!!
We will also be handing out candy and gifts to local trick-or-treaters on Halloween evening. Now would be the perfect time to invite your friend, relative, or neighbor to one of these events and show them around the lodge at the same time, maybe you can convince them to join!!
Come in and see the beautiful new bar-top that was installed in our non-smoking area on Sept 27. They really did an outstanding job!! Our new area is getting used quite frequently as word gets out. As mentioned, it has its own air ventilation system that blows air out into the Social Quarters and keeps the dirty air from coming in. We have also installed a television in the room so you can watch your favorite sports or other program.
We have started lots of new programs and activities, which are covered in this newsletter, including baked potato Mondays, special drink prices for veterans on the last Saturday, Red Ticket Thursday, etc. This gives you lots of reasons to come visit your lodge!!
And with that, I will segue into the remainder of this article...
If you know someone who has not paid their dues or is thinking of not paying; go visit them or call them up. Statistics show that the best persuasive advice is a face to face visit, the second most effective method is a phone call, especially from a friend or acquaintance whom they feel comfortable talking to. I also invite any member to come see me and I will print you a list of expired members or those about to expire and you can call or visit each one of them. We have got to focus on retaining our current members or we will continue to see our membership drop year after year. Let's all get busy - I know we can do it!!
Two years ago, we went "Back to Basics," and re-established the reasons for being a Moose member, supporting our children and our seniors. Last year we "Built our Foundation," attempting to strengthen our order and providing a good foundation from new and current members to build on. This year the campaign is "Raise the Roof." Moose International's goal is to raise the roof on membership, and provide more benefits that will appeal to all member types, both current and new. What happened to the 'walls' you might ask. WE, the members, are the walls that provide stability between the foundation and the roof. When one of us leaves the Order, another piece of the wall falls to the wayside and the walls become weaker. BE THAT WALL and continue to support our Order and your lodge by remaining a true and loyal member.
Don't forge to keep track of your Members Rewards Points, You can earn points by sponsoring new or former members, then 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. Pamphlets are available that show how you can redeem you points or you can find the information on the Moose International website.
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.
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.
Remember, once you have given than prospective member an application, your job is not 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