I am so very humbled to become your MEA State President! Seems like it was yesterday that I was Second Vice President, but now it seems pretty quick! My Motto for this year is “Strengthen our Lodges and Save the Children”.  When you see my pin there is a Dragonfly on it, and that signifies Strength, and the rest is for the MCCP kids.

It is hard getting people to run for office or to get members to volunteer for committees, which is needed to provide a strong support system for your Lodge.  We need to have a strong Membership Committee to recruit and mentor our new members.  Cathy Macarthy has volunteered to be the new Membership Chairperson this year, so welcome her to our team.
There are a few more new people on my Committees this year, It is nice to see new people getting involved!

I have always said “All you have to do is ask”! You never know when a person wants to join but does not know how or just needs that small nudge of asking to join.  A few lodges are now doing a Membership drive and that seems to really help bring in a nice group of people. You do need to also have that written in your By-Laws and that is easy to do with an amendment to the By-Laws.
We need to be diligent to bring back our unaffiliated members.  Do a reinstatement drive; At Waterville in October and November we do a $1 to reinstate plus prorated dues, but that also must be in your By Laws.

My goals for this year:
1. Help keep all Lodges up and growing strong.
2. Raise $120,000.00 for ENF (But I think we will do better than that!
3. Raise as much as we can for MCCP with a goal of at least $300,000
You all know my heart is with Maine Children’s Cancer so I am hoping for some strong support in fundraising for our kids.
Already, Tom Welch who owns Mainley Hand Rails has started building the MCCP pot by donating a fire pit for our Sportsmen’s Night and donating the proceeds to MCCP and then did a surprise auction of a bag of money with the proceeds to the kids.  I am sure he is thinking of other things to make money for MCCP.
We have the event at the Forks coming up this summer and preparing to beat last year’s donation.
I have almost half of my State Presidents meetings scheduled and the only month I cannot do any visits is July as it is National Convention and we are traveling to see our kids, grandkids, and great grands that we have not met yet. So let me know if you have a date and we will be looking forward to a visit at your Lodge.

I would like to thank a few people:
    My Husband Dave for standing by me and giving me encouragement all along the way and toasting me yesterday.
    Jim Ferland for being my mentor, friend and for doing the ceremony today! 
    Bob and Myra Drisko who are good friends always being there for me and also for
mentoring me.
    Ken Eaton who has been my spokesman from day one of my running. Every time there was a vote he was there to stand up and say nice things about me! Also, for doing my toast for me and now being my Sgt. At Arms.
    Carlette Eaton who has helped me in so many ways. She made my invitations and labels to match, ordering them and picking them up when I had to work a week and a half while an employee, I work with was on vacation and I was stressing to get everything done in a time to get the invitations out! No matter what she always seemed to be there when I needed anything and now, she is my Chaplain.
    Karen Grenier who ran a raffle to earn money to help me with expenses and offering to help in any way she could along with all those who helped sell tickets.
    Nikole and Darrel Neadeau who made the beautiful planter and raffled it off also to help defer my costs for the toast and other costs.
    Thanks to all the members at Waterville 905 who have stood behind me and helped.
    Thank you Vassie for all your hard work and for helping me with all the things I needed to do and for the support you have given me.
    Michael Zellen, thank you so much for coming to my Installation. I know you and Donna had another  convention to go to in Massachussets, but you got someone else to do that and that means a lot to me!  I thank you both for your support and I can call Donna for help if I have a question, I also appreciate you being my Gambling partner! Thank you again!
If I have missed anyone, I apologize as I know there is someone I have probably forgot.

    I know it has been a long weekend and everyone is ready to go home so have a safe trip home and thank you for attending the Convention this weekend.

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