We’re completing our first year! The Ballard Past Exalted Ruler Association, in the process of being reborn, is now coming up on its first complete year of meetings and activities in longer than any of us can remember. A significant achievement and one our lodge and fellow Elks are beginning to see a benefit from.
Our association now has 12 members, eleven Past Exalted Rulers and one Honorary Past Exalted Ruler. We have Past Exalted Rulers that are members of 3 different local lodges and are looking forward to adding our 13th member in April when our newest Baby Past Exalted Ruler Erik Howes joins our association and helps us succeed as our new president. You are all welcome to just call him Baby for short…
This past year our association has raised over $5000 through dues and donations and event proceeds from things like a spaghetti feed, our annual crab feed, a jacket raffle, our annual car show, the Saints and Sinners ball, our Thanksgiving dinner event and more.
With these funds our association began the year with a wonderful bouquet of flowers for our outgoing first lady and thank you gift to our then Baby Past Exalted Ruler for their time and efforts serving our members the previous years. The association helped defray the cost of our Baby Past Exalted Ruler attending our national convention to help represent our lodge and members to our nation of Elks.
The Association provided funds to present Anti-Bullying plays, free of charge, to youth in our community by hiring Taproot Theatre to perform their educational programs in our lodge hall while also making a $500 donation to the theatres financial assistance program so this important message can reach more of our communities children in their schools and community centers. Recently the association has filled the request from our cub scout pack for $1000 to help them reach their funding goal for a new metal pinewood derby track – you’ll see it around the lodge soon.
Each month our Association meets at our lodge to discuss business and remember our absent Past Exalted Rulers, because you’re not truly gone until you are forgotten, and each month during this meeting we discuss the great things our members are doing around our lodge and take the time to nominate and decide upon who we think is going above and beyond for our lodge and members. Our Elk of the Month program, articles, gift certificate and award certificate are all decided upon and created by our association members.
Most importantly, we as a group have been active and accessible to the members and officers of our lodge to answer questions and knock down perceived barriers while at the same time providing the camaraderie our past officers need to continue those needed feelings of fellowship and belonging after their long service as officers of an Elks Lodge. The inclusion of Past Exalted Rulers from other lodges has been paramount in creating new ideas and viewpoints and helping invigorate the groups energy and ideas.
As we come into February the Association will be helping run the Ballard lodge meeting and officer nominations. We are excited to share with the Ballard lodge members the ritual form of the opening and closing of our lodge meeting. A quick and important ritual that reminds us why we are there and reinforces our beliefs and motivation. Then in April you will find the association members once again serving our lodge by helping install all the new officers of the Ballard Elks Lodge #827.
The Past Exalted Ruler Association looks forward to continued growth and expansion of what we can do for our lodge, our community and more importantly our fellow Elks. As we continue to rebuild and grow our association please keep an eye out for our fun events, fundraisers and accomplishments and jump in and help with your treasure or time so we can do just a little bit more.
The first fun event of the 2020/21 Elks year is April 26 with the BaconOff competition. Come up with a tasty salty bacony concoction and help us have a good time and raise funds for our Past Exalted Ruler Association.