GER Mike and First Lady Donna’s visit to Rhode Island
September 26 – September 27, 2016
Donna and I along with PGER David and Penny Carr were met in Rhode Island and welcomed by Special Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Leo R. Blanchette and his wife Nancy and State President Rick Baccus and his wife Patti.
On our way to the hotel we were driven to the Rhode Island Veterans Home for a visit . We all put on hard hats and safety vests to view the construction site of the new housing complex, which is currently under construction to replace the old Veterans Home.
After our visit of the construction site, the traveling party toured the existing Veterans Home facility, had lunch and then visited with many of the home residents. I had the opportunity to address the veterans that were gathered in the activities lounge and were enjoying live entertainment. I thanked them for their service to our Nation and for the sacrifices each of them made, during their tour of duty.
After the visit, we were off for a brief stop and tour of the Bristol County Lodge #1860.
After our brief visit to the Lodge, we were off to the Bristol Harbor Inn which is a beautiful Bed & Breakfast facility overlooking Bristol Harbor.
On Monday evening, we attended the GER Reception and Banquet that was held at the Coventry-West Greenwich, Rhode Island Lodge #2285. During the reception, Donna and I had the opportunity to meet and greet the Rhode Island members and their guests and to present one of our pins to all in attendance. The meal was delicious and very enjoyable.
After lunch, the traveling party headed to Rocky Hill, Connecticut and checked in at the Sheraton Hartford South hotel.
On late Sunday afternoon, we headed out to attended the Connecticut State Reception and Banquet held in our honor at the Middleton, CT Lodge #771.
During the reception, Donna and I had the opportunity to meet and greet the Connecticut members and their guests and to present one of our pins to all in attendance. The meal was excellent and very enjoyable.
Pictured at the Grand Lodge side of the head table are Aid to the GER Tony Piccolo and his wife Maureen, Penny and PGER Dave Carr, Nancy and SDGER Leo Blanchette and First Lady Donna. Shown below is a delicious desert cake.
After Dinner, Donna and I addressed the membership and thanked everyone for their warm welcome and gracious hospitality. It was truly a pleasure making new friends as well as spending time with many old friends.
During my address to the membership, I thanked all the Rhode Island Lodges and the State Association for their community service and for aiding those who are less fortunate or need assistance and for their participation in all our Grand Lodge Programs. They are truly demonstrating my motto for this year,
“Elks – Leading the way”.
I also congratulated the membership and lodges for surpassing PGER Ron Hicks’ per capita of $4.65, to the Elks National Foundation, with a per capita of $9.17 statewide.
At the Banquet, Donna and I were presented with beautiful gifts by State President Rick and his wife Patti. Donna received a Pandora Charm to add to her collection of charms, received in each of the states we have visited. I was presented with a very handsome Lotuff Leather Bag.
I also received a donation for the Elks National Foundation from Rhode Island State Emblem Club President Celeste Cunningham.
On Tuesday morning after breakfast, we said our good-byes and Donna and I and Dave and Penney Carr were off for our official visit to the State of Vermont. Administrative Aid to the GER Tony and Maureen had joined us for both, the Connecticut and Rhode Island visits.