Let me start by saying what an honor it is to be your new OSEA President. I look forward to a very eventful year with my wife Cindy, who is your new first Lady. Our theme for the year will be Comradery.
Comradery is the spirit of friendship and community in a group, like the comradery of soldiers at war who keep each other upbeat despite the difficulty of their circumstances.
Who is a comrade? A close friend or a fellow soldier — in other words, someone who comes to mind when you say, "We're in this together." Comradery reflects that same spirit.
Comradery is a feeling of trust, a bond created by a shared goal or experience — you don't have to be best friends with everyone in the group to know you have their support.
I think this truly grasps our core values as Elks.
Our organization is evolving into a more information conscience organization. Our website has been resurrected to be a state of the art tool. Please look at again, oregonelks.org. Take advantage of the elks.org national website, all manuals, and national information is available there. Take advantage of the National Foundation webinars to assist in using their assets for your lodge.
A quick history of my relationship with the BPOE. I was in the Baker Lodge sponsored Boy Scouts until I was old enough to join the Lodge Explorer Scouts. At that time the Explorers were a Drum and Bugle Corps, known throughout the nation from performances at National Conventions. I am still a member. When I became 21, my father sponsored me in to Baker Lodge #338, that was 37 years ago. I spent 20+ years in the U.S. Coast Guard, allowing me to be an associate member at many lodges across the country. After retirement I started in the local Lodge chairs, spending 12 years, 2 as ER.
Cindy and I look forward to seeing old friends, and meeting many new friends in our travels around this great state during our year.
President, Oregon State Elks Association
Congratulations to Nadya Okamoto, sponsored by Beaverton Lodge #1989 for placing first in the 2016 Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student award.
Nadya will receive $50,000 to go towards her college education. She plans on majoring in Computer Science.