By Daryl Conley, Administrator -
There are so many things that make me proud to be a Moose member and a member of this lodge. Often times I look around the Social Quarters and see every seat filled and simply think to myself "wow, look at this place and look at all these people."
Then there are the many things we do for our community and to support Mooseheart and Moosehaven that also make me proud to be a member of this lodge. Each year, we donate around $40,000 - $50,000.00 to our local community and an equal amount to Moose Charities. Then there are the special times that we get to see first hand what our charity work can do, such as our Thanksgiving basket distribution or presenting scholarships like we did on the evening of May 21. We handed out scholarship award letters to 36 graduating seniors of Hot Springs High School in the amount of $500.00 each. Our Moose Legion Unit added four more at $500.00 each,and our WOTM Chapter added another four more at $500.00 each. For one single lodge in a relatively small community, that is pretty amazing.
This year gave me yet another reason to be proud - our first annual Pat Oberg Memorial car show. We had 34 entrants from all over the state. We had donations for door prizes from numerous auto parts manufacturers and local businesses. The Moose Legion Unit made $580.00 net on drawings and entry fees. The WOTM made $750.00 selling hot dogs, hamburgers and burritos; and everyone had a great time! This money will be used to further our community service endeavors.
In addition to our Halloween, Christmas, and Easter parties for our members' families, we will now be starting a summer Junior Olympics. This year's date is June 20. Our young ones will compete in a variety of activities and earn bronze, silver, or gold medals for their efforts. Sounds like a lot of fun!!!
Another reason to be proud - we made our membership goal plus 12. The official count of active members, according to Moose International records was 763. I must admit, at the beginning of April, when we were down to 707 and needed 45 members to reach the magic number of 752, I didn't think we were going to make it. But thanks to the diligence of our officers and members, we made it and then some. Lots of phone calls were made, lots of letters were sent out, and lots of members whose dues had expired, paid up. We are now guaranteed to receive the Premier Lodge Award.
But, do me, and all of us a favor...let's start on membership retention NOW. If you know someone who has not paid their dues (we dropped by 37 on May 1) 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.
I am going to leave the remainder of this article as it was last month, as I feel there is some very important information and reminders here...
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.
Moose International has added some features to the My Membership Record portion of the site. Now, you can review your history as an officer in the Moose or Moose Legion, as well as training dates, which became mandatory for all officers a few years ago. As always, you can also check your dues renewal date, dates you joined the Moose or Moose Legion, received degrees, and your sponsorship history. To access our own membership records, go to the Moose International website and click on My Membersip Record. You will need to create a username, which is your Moose ID number, and a password of your own choosing. Check it out!
Have a great month!
Daryl Conley - Administrator