Greetings Nobles and Ladies,
As the Potentate's Ball and Shrine Circuses are behind us, I have been able to travel to various clubs and units to see first hand the fellowship and the hard work that you all do for our organization and the children we serve. I plan to reach out to all units and clubs as much as possible so don't be surprised when I arrive to thank you in person. By the time this goes to print, my Lady and I will have returned from the annual Snow Birds event in Sarasota for their 30th year celebration. This is always a great time for those who winter in Florida or are able to make the trip from the north.
The Divan focus for the next 90 days will be on our finances and our future Strategic Plan. We have some great concerns for our future funding and budget. The black camel has taken many of our most dedicated Nobles in the past few years and the creations cannot keep up with our losses. Many of our members are Life Members who certainly have earned that status, but the facts remain, dues and workers are continuing to decline at a rapid pace. Due to these concerns, I have directed the Finance Committee to do a top to bottom review of all of our business practices to include income sources, expenses and investments. This committee is made up of some very experienced and dedicated Shriners, to include several Past Potentates and Treasurers, and is led by a Professional Banker, Noble Mark Storms. All of our books are open to any interested member as we want complete transparency with your business affairs. Feel free to make an appointment with our Treasurer if you want to look at any of our financial records. At the conclusion of this study by the Finance Committee, a written report will be delivered to the Divan of conclusions and recommendations. It is the intent of the Divan to implement all of those recommendations that make sense for the future of the organization. This information will be distributed to the membership as appropriate and will be a topic of discussion at all business meetings.
In addition, if you have had a chance to review our very busy calendar for this year, you will note many new fund raising events have been included. We need to raise more income than we can get from the circus and we really need your support for these events. Note the Kentucky Derby Party on May 5th and especially the ShrineFest event June 2, 3, & 4th. This will be our main summer event complete with a gigantic Car Show, Bike Show, Road Race, Kiddy Trot, Model Car and Bike Show for the kids, Kansas City Barbecue competition, and Blues Festival with numerous groups performing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Don't forget the beer and food. A great time for all. Please join us to make these events a success.
Robert L. Swartwood - Potentate 2017