State Sponsor Message
- Written by Michael F. Smith, PNP
What a great time of year this is: new blooms, new officers, new opportunities, new faces and a new lodge year! How can it get any better than that? You will determine that answer by your dedication and enthusiasm to the FSEA and the BPOE. Embrace the challenge and enjoy the feeling of helping others.
We had our largest attendance since inception at our officer training seminar March 16-18. This is a very unique event in our order, and fortunately, we get the benefits. We all need to extend a special thanks to COO Carl Seibert and his staff who participated in helping Florida be the premier state association in our nation.
We are on pace to set another record of hosting children at the Florida Elks Youth Camp. Please extend thanks to Camp Director Nick Miller and his staff for continuing to expand and inspire our youth. We all need to be extremely proud of the results the camp achieves and exceeds each year. The Smith Conference Center provides the camp a new opportunity to reach out to corporate America along with generating additional revenue to continue our growth. Our hopes are not only to provide the best corporate/civic retreat but also to have these leaders on campus take an interest in becoming a part of our order. Elks Pride
Through the leadership of Colleen Gallant, Director of the Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services, we continue to expand our services to the children of Florida. We have 26 active therapists and are seeking two additional to total 28. Currently through member donations to the Harry-Anna Trust Fund and the Elks National Foundation, we are providing therapy services to approximately 500 children at no cost to the families. Elks Pride
The FSEA state golf tournament was held April 7-8 at Spring Lake Golf Resort and had the largest field in many years. Fun was had by all (other than a few errant golf shots) and the function proceeds go to the Harry-Anna Trust Fund to help support our major projects. The tournament chairman, John Holbrook; vice chairman, Jim Lind; and assistant, Bill Spivey, donated many hours of preparation for this entertaining event. Elks Fun
The annual FSEA softball tournament was held April 27-29 in DeLand, Fla., and provided another great weekend of fun and fellowship. Proceeds support the Florida Elks Youth Camp. Tournament chairman, Chris Chatham, along with Jenny Chatham and Chairman Emeritus, Joe Rogers, dedicated many hours to make the event successful. Elks Fun
I hope you have made your reservations for May 24-26 at the Orlando World Center Marriott for our FSEA state convention. COO Carl Seibert and his staff have been working diligently to make this event informative and entertaining. You will not want to miss this event.
Our order is celebrating its 150th anniversary in San Antonio, Texas, July 1-5 and it is going to be outstanding. Make your plans to attend the Sunday evening opening and the exciting birthday party following the close of the session Sunday. There will be food, fun and big-name entertainment. It will be a night to remember.
As your State Sponsors, Bob, Val and I look forward to seeing everyone at the upcoming events.