Far and above, one of the most exciting and honored moments of my 20 years as a Moose member was being elected the Vienna Moose's Governor. I am truly honored to be surrounded by so many helpful volunteers, board of officers, and employees. The year started early with getting back to some basics around the lodge in regard to activities. We set up our basic schedule in early February and March for the next two years. The schedule is on our lodge website. Go check it out for yourself! We believe we have something for everyone from great themed food events, Karaoke Saturdays, to campfire socials, to cornhole tournaments! We are constantly looking to find even more events to keep you entertained and coming back to the lodge.
We have had some major upgrades around the lodge too! We have finished our renovations to the men's and women's bathrooms in the Main Hall. This was made possible by a Lodge Grant by Moose International. They look amazing with the new Marble floors and Granite sinks! Many thanks to Greg Kunstbeck, Bruce Chappel, and Carl Thomas for working through all the issues to make this happen. If you get a chance please check it out and thank them.
We are in the process of standing up a new (MLC) Moose Legion Committee at the lodge. Our first meeting is on Saturday, July 27, 2019, starting at 6:00 pm. The meeting is the same day as our first Cajun Seafood Boil party too! Come early for the food and stay for the meeting. We are also hard at work to re-start our Women of the Moose Chapter. I cannot say it enough; we are only half a lodge without a Chapter. I can only hope if you are asked to come to help us re-start our Lodge Chapter, your answer will be YES!
I personally want to thank a few members of our order. I want to thank Tom Rockett and Elizabeth Rockett, Gwen Smith, and Bunky for coming in to help with our first Sunday of the Month breakfasts. We have been putting out a huge spread with lots of bacon. I especially want to thank Mark Los for the great donations of the new cocktail tables and comfortable chairs in the pavilion. This is going to make going non-smoking easier! I am sure I am forgetting some great deeds that our members have contributed, but at this point, it is slipping my mind. Please know that all your efforts are appreciated!
Now on to the non-smoking vote! We are investigating ways to make the pavilion more comfortable for everyone and especially smokers. With the vote at this year's Moose International convention being 404 against and 1397 voting yes, the lodge will be going non-smoking as mandated by Moose International beginning January 1, 2020. This was approved by 77.6 percent of the voting members.
We are also considering a vote to have our lodge go non-smoking early. We are discussing this and will send out a message to members if we get enough interest in jumping early. There is a 2019 – 2020 Lodge Renovation Grant program that is earmarked to help lodges make a special area for smokers with a deadline of August 8th, 2019. Our lodge is applying to make updates around the lodge. If you have any ideas, please come to our next meeting to let us know what you think!
So, there was so much going on at Moose International Convention this year! Wow, where to start? Our lodge for the first time ever was awarded the Premier Lodge Award. This was quite an honor! It was because of all the hard work that our administrator, board of officers and members did this last year. We also won 3rd place in this year's Moose International Journalism Award process for the best website of the year. I want to thank everyone on our Communications Committee for helping us to attain this award. If it was not for your continued help, we would not be progressing like this within our fraternity.
Finally, sometimes in life, you cannot say "No" to a request. It was a few months ago where Scott Hart called me personally to request that I join Moose International's Communications Committee at Mooseheart. Well, you know the answer! I said Yes. I am greatly honored as a lodge member to help Moose International in this way! I cannot wait to see Mooseheart for the first time next year when the committee meets.
As I said, it was a busy convention, and I did not even talk about Jon Tapper of Bar Rescue address to the troops at the convention. Let's just say it was riveting and inspiring to hear! I know in the coming year there are going to be some hiccups and problems to deal with, and god willing we will make it through. In the words of Jon Tapper, we have a lot to be proud of as Moose members! Let's keep our Legacy going strong and protected!