Making Memories Part Deux! December-January, 2014
Greetings Fellow Minnesota Elks!
It seems like just yesterday that I was writing Part 1 of my travels. I can’t believe how fast time is moving. Tammy and I have been travelling almost every weekend and have been meeting so many wonderful Elks and friends.
My first visit of December took me to Dakota Lodge #2832 and their annual Memorial Service and Children’s Christmas Party. Exalted Ruler Dave Zimmerman and his Officers conducted a very excellent service. Afterwards, many families showed up for their annual Christmas Party. Dakota Lodge invites many children of deployed military parents. It was a great time watching the magic show provided by the Elks and the children receiving their gifts from Santa. Oh did I forget to tell you that I was informed 15 minutes before Santa got there that I was expected to dress up like one of his reindeer. I guess if that is the worst thing that happens this year, I can live with that.
On December 6, Tammy and I traveled to Red Wing Lodge for their annual Silent Action and Christmas Party. Exalted Ruler Lydia Klenke treated us to a fabulous dinner and made sure we had enough to drink to over bid everyone on a couple of items. Does anyone know how to play Yard Dice? The money raised by these Elks goes to the National Foundation and Local Charities.
The next day we traveled up the road to Minneapolis for their annual Toy Dance. We were invited to a cocktail party hosted by Past State President Jerry Shoults and his wife Brenda. Afterwards Jerry chauffeured us to the Lodge for the night’s activities. After a delicious dinner Exalted Ruler Scott Erickson presented us with a beautiful wooden plate that had been painted by his mother. It had our names and wedding date on it which I assume was so I would never forget our anniversary. It will be cherished by Tammy and I forever. A dance followed and even though PSP’s Richmond and Rohlf said it was tradition to dance with Chairman of the Trustees Don Harju, I managed to escape that one.
December 14 Tammy and I went to Owatonna for their annual Christmas Party. We were joined there by South District President Dick Ledebuhr and his wife Judy. After being picked up at the Hotel by PSP Wayne Hermanson and Janell Salcedo we were taken down to the Lodge for appetizers. Whoever considered that spread appetizers was sadly mistaken. There were so many choices of delicious food that I could have grazed there all night. Exalted Ruler Melissa and her husband Gordy were perfect hosts. I don’t know where Melissa gets all the energy having just hosted the Fall Conference.
The next Friday, December 20 we ended up at my old Lodge, Willmar #952. It always feels like returning home when I go there. Exalted Ruler Tim Hanson and his wife Kathy had the huge job of trying to coordinate their annual Yankee Gift Exchange Christmas Party and visit with everyone. We were joined by Past Grand Exalted Ruler Dwayne Rumney and his wife Sandy, District Deputy Paul Ryan and his wife Stacey and Central District President Bill Meyer and his very special friend Marilynn Fahlin. Their Christmas Party draws a huge crowd every year and we definitely saw “ Minnesota. Elks – Making Memories”.
Christmas and New Years came and went and then it was off to Hopkins for the State Ritual Contest on January 4, 2014. Even though there were only 2 teams competing everyone watching witnessed a great contest. Hopkins Lodge and Minneapolis Lodge squared off again this year with Hopkins coming out on top this time. I’m sure they will make us proud in New Orleans at the Grand Lodge Contest. A big thanks goes out to Craig DeForge for chairing the Ritual Committee all these years.
Saturday, January 11 Tammy and I drove down to Rochester Lodge #1091 to visit with Exalted Ruler Christopher Holloway. We went down to the Lodge and visited with many Officers and members. The next morning was their annual Pancake Breakfast to raise money for the Eagles Cancer Telethon. It’s nice to see an Elks Lodge be able to work in conjunction with another Private Club for the good of the community. The following weekend was ER101 in Wadena. As usual Wadena Lodge did a great job hosting this event. We wish more Leading Knights could have shown up, but I think the ones that did went away with a wealth of information.
Friday January 24th Tammy and I took another trip to Hopkins Lodge #2221 for their first annual roast. I can’t imagine two people more deserving of being roasted than Metro District President Elect, Pat Wright and Metro District Deputy Brandon Miller. Exalted Ruler JoAnn Bohn picked us up at our hotel and brought us down to the Lodge for a great Bar B Q Rib dinner. Hopkins Lodge puts out excellent food at every event they have and it is done with volunteers. Any Lodge would be proud to have them working in their kitchen. There were many memories brought up at this event and if you missed it, you missed one of the highlights of my year. I don’t think I have ever seen Pat and Brandon at such a loss for words.
January ended with a visit to St. Cloud for their 5th Thursday get together. This Lodge even without a club operation still manages to get together outside of the Lodge. Exalted Ruler Stephanie Larson invited us to this event that was hosted by Aaron and Julie Lundblad at their new home. Many of St. Clouds Officers were in attendance and we had a great time meeting them and their spouses.
It doesn’t look like things are going to slow down yet so I will update date everyone in April. As February comes in and nominations and elections of new Officers takes place, make sure you get behind the new leadership and help them to be “Minnesota Elks – Making Memories”.
Don't forget we are "Minnesota Elks – Making Memories"
Minnesota Elks Association President