We had a busy month at Viera Lodge!! We were honored to have a number of our “Old Timers” with us for the first Lodge meeting in August. Viera Lodge has thirteen members who have 50 or more years of service to the Order. Those thirteen members represent a total of 693 years in Elkdom. It was my awesome honor to be able to present membership pins commemorating those years to the Brothers in attendance. I was struck by the dedication still shown by these guys…for example: PDDGER Bob Coker helps me cook the corned beef dinner for St. Patrick’s day, PER Ron DiPrado attends nearly every event we have, Brother Dave Peer is a regular for breakfast, meetings and cards, our own PSP John Charles Harris (the “Energizer Bunny” of Elkdom) has over 54 years of service, while Brother Ralph Ressler attends our steak nights among other events and was the big winner with SIXTY (60) years as an Elk. Congratulations to all of you!!
Thanks to Brother Eric Evans, all beer taps and heads have been cleaned, as has the ice-maker. The cable boxes and display over the bar has been rearranged due to his efforts as well. Eric is yet another of the members who labors quietly behind the scenes. Brothers Al Renzi and Rich Shotwell have been busy with repairs as well. Please take a moment to say thanks when you see them around the Lodge.
Continuing on the Club/Lodge management side of things, we have completed some plumbing upgrades behind the bar and we have replaced the Southernmost (dining area) air conditioning unit. As we progress through the remainder of the Lodge year, we will continue to upgrade the air conditioning as funds for capital expenditures are available.
We initiated another five new members last month, and added two more thru affiliation. This brings our total new members for the Lodge year to twenty-eight. We are well on our way to a gain in membership at Viera Lodge. I spoke with State President Suzi Simonelli at the Melbourne Lodge D.V.P. Visitation and told her Viera Lodge would generate a net gain of ten (10) percent in membership this Lodge year. I encourage each of you to try to be one of the “PLUS ONE” members who bring in a new Elk this year. It is wonderful to see our Lodge growing and thriving. Thank you for your efforts.
Speaking of the D.V.P. visitations, we will be honored to have District Vice-President Paul Diaz and Mrs. Donna Diaz with their traveling party at Viera Lodge on September 18th. We will begin with cocktails at 5:00 P. M. and progress to dinner and the Vice President’s program beginning at 6:15 P.M.. Please plan to join us as we welcome our visiting dignitaries and show that “Teamwork Makes Elkdom Shine.”
On the financial front for a minute, I am happy to report to you that our Lodge finances continue to improve. This is a direct result of your support of our functions and events. I sincerely thank each of you for your investment in the Lodge. Our donations to The Harry-Anna Trust Fund as well as the Elks National Foundation are coming along nicely this Lodge year as well. Again, thanks to you for your commitment to our various programs. In this Covid time, your donations are more important than ever to support the good works the B.P.O. Elks does for others. The State Association has a sustaining donor program at a $.63 cents per day rate ($19.00 per month) to grow our Trust Fund. Please see either myself or Lodge Secretary & PDDGER Bill Orblych for more information on this worthwhile program.
Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy and MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!!
Jerry Harrington, PER II