Greetings Ladies and Nobles,
The year has gone by so fast that it sometimes feels like a blur. This will be my last message to you as your Potentate. This has been an interesting year not only for me but also for EKS. We have faced many challenges but also received many blessings. I prefer to remember the blessings.
As I step out of my current role, I will return to my duties as your General Legal Counsel and will also be the Chairman of the Finance Committee. We continue to focus on our finances and I can assure you that the Finance Committee is working hard to prepare data to provide guidance on all economic matters. We will continue to follow the finances very carefully and cut everything we can possibly cut to keep the doors open. Yet we are still in a very delicate financial situation and are dangerously close to being forced to sell assets.
Remember, next year is out 75th annual circus. We are going all out to promote this one. It is essential that we maximize profits on this circus as the results will be the major indicator as to whether we stay in the circus business or go another direction. We will have another comedy night at Circus Park on December 1 and our gun raffle, Christmas Party, and joint installation at Circus Park on December 2, hosted by Oasis Shrine Club. In addition, we will auction off several items culminating with the purse auction of about 50 slightly used purses, all of which will be stuffed with certain amounts of money from a few coins to $100 bills. Please join us and invite your friends and neighbors for this event. See Betty for the details on all of the above.
Our legal team was successful in returning $260,000 to the Shrine so far plus some miscellaneous personal property. We still have a civil case pending against the 2nd Defendant who is currently in Bankruptcy. Our claim will be exempt from the Bankruptcy but we cannot continue with this suit until his bankrupt status changes. In addition, we still have a couple of cases pending against the financial institutions that handled our accounts that are expected to settle in the future. All further information will be on our website as it becomes available and as it can be released.
Best news of all! One of our embezzlers has been arrested by the FBI and plead guilty to stealing our money. The details are on MLive. He will be sentenced in Federal Court to prison in mid-January. Check our website for details. It is suggested that as many Shriners as possible attend the sentencing and bring your Fezzes to display on your lap.
Lady Sandy and I want to thank you all for your services to our fraternity and for this honor. And thank God for his protection and faithfulness. All glory goes to him.
Robert L. Swartwood