Here it is July already, and it seems like the year just started. But to say that this is has been a normal year is an understatement.

It started off as a normal year with signs of promise, most of our units were well on their way to ending at a plus, with very good retention rates, and application production.  Then it happened, Covid-19, the shutdowns, the layoffs, and then the uncertainty. Were we ever going to open again, would things ever return to normal, would we be able to visit with our family and friends again?

But we made it through the troubled times, with several of our units taking this time to do some good; HOC projects, remodeling projects, and many cleaning projects.  Sadly, not all of our units took advantage of this down time. Several just took it as a vacation, time to stay away, not worry about our Lodges and members.  Those that did take advantage, thank you!

We are now in the process of reopening our Lodge Homes, but under new guidelines.  The new normal, “Social Distancing”, face masks, and limited gatherings.  I understand that some of our members do not agree with these new guidelines, but we need to follow them.  As we can see now, in just over a month of being back open, the number of reported cases is on the rise.  Whether you believe or not, we must follow the recommended procedures or face another shut down, like our Lodges in Florida are having to do now.

Myself, after spending over 60 days in captivity I have been released back into the wild.  During the month of June, I was able to visit 20 of 28 Lodges and complete their annual Lodge Survey.  I was also able to assist several Lodges and Chapters with computer issues. I plan on completing the Lodge Surveys within the first couple of weeks of July.

With the International Convention over, there are a few announcements that need to be made.  First off, I hope that everyone has heard by now that the application fee has been waived by the Supreme Council.  So, from July 1st, through September 30th, the $20 Application fee is waived.  Also announced was that there will be NO increase in the annual dues paid to Moose International.  But I guess the biggest announcement is the results of the One Moose vote.  With 2,538 Delegates voting, 594 voted NO, and 1,944 voted YES (76.60%) So effective May 1st, 2021, the LOOM and WOTM will become “LODGE” Members as one. Thank-you to all that voted.

The are also some congratulations that need to be sent out. There are so many, I don’t know where to start.  Let’s see, congratulations to Mark Penzkover for his Re-Election to the Supreme Council, congratulations to Linda Wren from the Watertown Chapter #34 on her appointment as the Incoming Deputy Grand Regent. Congratulations to incoming Deputy Supreme Governor, Kevin Wanggaard from the Racine Lodge #437, and to incoming Moose Legion Ambassador, Jon Hill from the Menomonie Lodge #1584. Also, congratulations are in order to the Muskego Lodge for their 1st Place Award for the Best Lodge Website (Cheryl Klabunde – Wed Master), and to the WMA News Letter for their 2nd place award for the Best Association News Letter (Amy Boivin – Editor).  We also had 4 Lodges earn their Premiere Lodge award, Bloomer #1077, Muskego #1057, Marinette #2327, and, West Bend #1398, congratulations to all of you.

In closing, I would like all of you to put forth a greater effort in signing new and former members, along with retaining our current membership.  Let’s get over things that happened in the past, and look forward to what we can do to help the future.  Let’s all get out of the “cliques” and act as a family, make all that enter our Lodges feel welcome, needed, and appreciated. I know that with everyone working together we can be the Association in the Fraternity.

Until next month,

Mike Rynearson, TM