What the heck is the Fraternal Committee?

An often heard question and something as the chairman of the committee I have to remind myself exactly what it is on a regular basis – you are not alone in that question.

To paraphrase section 13.022 of our Grand Lodge Statutes;

The Fraternal Committee shall implement the patriotic activities planned by the Grand Lodge. It shall handle the arrangements for Flag Day services. It shall secure applications for membership in the Order, conduct a planned program for Orientation, indoctrination and investigate the character of all applicants for membership and reinstatement.  Furthermore, it shall investigate and report on all delinquencies, encourage Members to pay their dues and promote the reinstatement of lapsed Members.

It shall implement the activities program of the Lodge, its State Association, and the Grand Lodge. It shall Arrange for the observance of Elks Memorial Day.  It shall publicize the Elks National Foundation, its programs, activities, and charities, it shall encourage and solicit contributions, and recognize all gifts made to the Foundation. It shall implement the program of the Elks National Veterans Service Commission.

That my fellow Elks is a lot of stuff!  Think of the fraternal committee is as a tree with its roots grounded in our Grand Lodge and our lodge being the trunk that’s reaching upward and with each branch representing our various sub-committees extending out into the membership and our community.  The tree doesn’t exist without its roots – its life and direction from our Grand Lodge Statutes and Programs.  Without a solid trunk, our lodge, the branches are left with nothing to support them and all they want to do. Without vibrant and active branches and leaves reaching out and creating the energy needed to continue the efforts of the roots and trunk the tree fails over time and falls back into the ground from which it came.

So here’s the thing – your lodge needs your help to make sure the branches and leaves are as vibrant as they can possibly be.  The Fraternal Chair can do little more than help each of these committees succeed, there is simply too much to do.    There is no way one person could do all that is needed in each committee.

Each committee can do oh so many great things, but only if they had enough members filling the committee positions.  Some of our committees are doing great work and have large groups of members helping them out – but they can always use more.  Many of our committees have just one or two members and these committees could do so much more with your help.  A few of our committees lack any member at all to do the great things they could be doing – these leafless branches are not contributing to the vibrancy of our lodge and need your help.

Please talk with me about how you can get involved and help make this place more amazing than it already is.

Ben Braden
Fraternal Chair

Committee opportunities and manuals can be found here: http://ballardelks.org/get-involved/the-fraternal-committee/