GER Mike and First Lady Donna’s visit to New Hampshire
September 28 – September 30 2016
Donna and I arrived in Lebanon, NH and were met by Special Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Robert A. Jones and his wife Sandra. Bob and Sandy escorted Donna and I by car to the Keene, New Hampshire Lodge for a casual luncheon.
New Hampshire State President Chris Woltering with First Lady Donna and GER Mike
In addition to the New Hampshire State President, Chris Woltering, and a group of the New Hampshire State Elks Association Officers and Dignitaries, Exalted Ruler, Richard Chayer also greeted us along with many Officers and Members of the Keene Lodge.
Also in attendance at the luncheon, were Keene Mayor Kendall W. Lane and the Keene Chief of Police, Brian Costa.
Mayor Lane presented me with an Official Proclamation Welcoming Donna and I to the City of Keene.
On Thursday evening, Donna and I attended the New Hampshire Grand Exalted Ruler’s Reception and Dinner, hosted by the Derry-Salem Lodge No. 2226, home lodge of President Woltering. We both enjoyed a delicious meal prepared and served by the members of lodge.
After dinner, Donna and I addressed the membership and thanked them for their hospitality and many kindnesses shown to us during our visit.
I also congratulated the membership for “Leading the Way” in the many worthy community activities that the Lodges and the State Association provide to their respective communities. Last year, 24,411 New Hampshire Elks and their helpers provided services to 74,423 participants in the communities were Elks live and work. Their State Charitable Report Summary indicates that the total cash value of hours worked, miles driven, cash and non-cash contributions totaled $1,965,012.83.
I also congratulated them for surpassing PGER Ron Hicks’ per capita of $4.65 to the Elks National Foundation with a per capita of $9.41 statewide.
At the Banquet, Donna and I were presented with several beautiful gifts. State President Chris presented Donna and I with a beautiful decanter and set of goblets from the State Association. Donna received a Pandora Charm from the Derry-Salem Lodge Officers to add to her collection of charms she has received from each of the states visited. The lodge also presented us with a granite plaque commemorating our visit to the Granite State.
Representing the State of New Hampshire was State Senate President Chuck Morse who presented me with a Resolution from the State Senate. Senator Morse also presented Donna and I with a jug of pure New Hampshire maple syrup. The lodge also presented me with a Commendation issued by Governor Maggie Hassan.
After the speaking program, the lodges throughout the great State of New Hampshire, and Judie Dionne, President of the New Hampshire State Emblem Clubs paraded to the rostrum to present checks made payable to the Elks National Foundation. Collectively the checks amounted to $18,038.
Donna and I, being from neighboring Massachusetts, decided to stay an extra day to allow us the time to visit New Hampshire’s State Project, Copper Cannon Outdoor Education Center. The mission of Copper Cannon Camp is to enrich the lives of under-served youth of New Hampshire by providing, tuition-free camp experience.
While at the camp we enjoyed a light lunch and a slide presentation provided by Camp Director Peter Christnacht. The slides were pictures of the campers enjoying the many activities provided at the camp.
Above is a photo of the new dining and recreation building at Copper Cannon.
On Friday morning, after having breakfast with SDGER Bob Jones and his wife Sandy, Donna and I were headed home for the official visit to our home state of Massachusetts.