Dear Maine Elks Association Members:

I am hoping everyone made it through the wind storm we got without too much time without power.  At our house we have about thirty trees down but we have a generator so did not lose any food, and we stayed warm.

As for my visits, including our last meeting where we stayed at Sanford in the nice cabin again while we were there for their 100th Anniversary weekend.  We missed spending time with Sheri Frechette, as she was still recovering from surgery, so Bruce and Lisa Brunell took care of us for the weekend.

We arrived on Friday, checked in and when to the Lodge for their Pub Night dinner.  The following day Andy and Tricia Bolz drove us to Wells where along with other Elks who joined us, we had a great lunch at a nice restaurant.  After freshening up we attended the 100th Anniversary Banquet and enjoyed the delicious dinner along with lots of Elks for company.  We even met some new people from Grand Lodge that night, and saw some Elks we had not seen in a few years!  Sunday came the October State Meeting hosted by the Sanford Lodge.  We even had a few additional “Mikes” in the room that day!  Business was attended to and I thank the Sanford Elks for a fun-filled weekend and for hosting our State Meeting.

October 14th Dave and I attended the Learning Seminar held at the Augusta Elks Lodge.  No matter how many of these I go to, I always learn something I did not know before!

October 21st and 22nd we attended the State Association Soccer Shoot hosted by the Waterville Lodge.  What a great day watching the kids compete and a nice meal was served in the pavilion after the shootout.  Nikole Nadeau did a great job organizing this and had lots of great help from everyone on the committee.   A big thank you goes to the volunteers.

October 25th I attended the Veterans’ standdown at Togus with George Luckhurst and Darelyn and enjoyed spending the dg ay with all our Veteran’s and workers at Togus.

On October 27th we drove to Portland where we were met by ER Stephanie and Al Ingraham at the hotel, before heading to the Lodge for their annual Halloween costume party.  A nice dinner was served, and then we played 3 card challenge with their members and enjoyed the DJ.  If you have not seen the Stained-glass window Portland was able to recover you should make a trip down to see it.  This window is actually an unused panel from the original lodges’ Memorial Tablets.  PER Martha Binette found it, and was able to negotiate a deal to get it “repatriated” back to Maine.  It really is a quite spectacular artifact of turn-of-the-century grandeur of our order, you really should make the trip to Portland.

On October 28th we headed to Farmington for our visit.  We arrived at “The Pentagon,” the home of Jo and Steven Spielvogel, and got a tour of their beautiful home.  A short time later ER John Libby, Aaron Allumbaugh, Claris Ranger and their wives took us and Jo along for a tour of the Farmington area.  Aaron gave us an interesting and entertaining history of each landmark we visited.  Upon returning to Jo’s home Stephen took us down to their cabin, which is where we stayed for the visit.  It was more of a house than a camp, with a beautiful view of the lake!  We relaxed with some snacks and a few beverages till Jo and Stephen retrieved and took us to the Lodge for a Turkey dinner with all the fixings.  Then came the moment that every State President looks forward to – the presentation of “The Jacket”!!   I also presented a gorgeous hand carved eagle head cane to their oldest living Member that night.  In the morning we were joined by ER John, Aaron, Claris and their wives for a delicious breakfast prepared by Stephen and Jo at their home before leaving Farmington to head home.

November 3rd to 5th we traveled to Windsor, Connecticut for the Regional Soccer shoot.  Nikole again outdid herself with here arrangements for the MEA competitors and their guests.  Nikole drove down with me in the morning, we got checked into our hotels and then drove over to the Enfield Lodge to set up the greeting table for our winners, and distribute their warm-up suits to wear at the competition the next morning.  There was a fun pizza party that evening during which we were joined by Dave and Darryl who’d had to work that morning.  On Saturday we had breakfast at the Lodge and then drove to the Sports bubble for the competition, and I was able to help calculate the scores.  We then went back to the Lodge for the awards banquet, and Sunday morning had us back on the road home to refresh our suitcases.

November 6th we checked into the Fireside Inn in Waterville to prepare for Grand Exalted Ruler Randy Shook and his wife Wanda to arrive in New Hampshire, where we picked them the next day.  Taking Randy and Wanda back to Waterville we had the chance to rest for a while, then took them over to Peter Reny’s home for a viewing of his classic car collection.  Later in the afternoon we took our guests to our Lodge for a lobster and steak dinner and socializing, then back to the hotel.  After breakfast the next day we took them to the First Amendment museum in Augusta for a tour, then back to the hotel to change for the banquet held at the Lodge.  The next afternoon we drove Randy and Wanda to the airport to jet away for their next stop in New Jersey.

November 11th we met ER Darelyn and George from the Gardiner Lodge at the Senator Hotel in Augusta.  We got checked in and settled a bit before attending a delicious ham dinner and country show that evening.  The following morning Darelyn and George took us to breakfast before we checked out of the hotel.

November 19th we attended the 4th annual Train Ride for MCCP, Raising $3,616.00 for MCCP!!  Thank you, Jackie and Peter Reny and the crew of volunteers, and to the Belfast and Moosehead Railway for providing the train, fuel and crew all for a job well done!

November 22nd, we drove to Pittsfield and met ER Jeremy Thurston of the Sebasticook Valley Lodge for their annual pie and cake auction.  ER Jeremy presented me a nice bag of goodies to take home including some Harley glasses and more.  Dave and I took home a few pies that night which were delicious by the way!

After a much needed break, December 9th we arrived in Bath for our visit.  We then went over to the lodge and met ER Craig Johnson and his friend Annie where we visited with the members for a while before they took us to the Maine Maritime Museum.  I can tell you that you need more than a few hours to see all that they have to offer concerning the mid-coast’s maritime history and we found it all very interesting.  That evening we returned to the Lodge for their Jingle Jam and silent auction, along with a great meal.  I even won three of the baskets offered that night!!  The following morning, we were back to the Lodge for a huge breakfast, prepared by their volunteer kitchen team, before driving home.

What a busy but fun few months since I last wrote, Dave and I hope every one has a Happy and fun filled New Year and look forward to our next visits.



Sandi and Dave

State President and First man

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