Dear Sisters and Brothers,
How exciting that we have begun another year in our Grand Chapter of Ohio! In this year of the Journey of Life, we celebrate our membership and honor our members. This is our 125th year of the existence of the Grand Chapter of Ohio. We honor our heritage as we look to the future. We cherish our traditions as we accept new challenges.
This year we want to concentrate on the beauty of our ritualistic work and to encourage participation by all of our members. We want our chapters to re-claim members this year - those who might have been suspended previously, those who have not been able to attend meetings, and those who have gotten out of the habit of attending our meetings. We want to stress the importance of building our membership by actively encouraging friends to join us. It is important that we recognize our members, that we educate our members, and that we mentor our new members. And, we must always remember the importance of Communication, of showing Courtesy to all, and the importance of Kindness to others in all we do and say.
Plan to participate this year in the opportunities for fellowship, for fun, for learning, and for service in your chapters and in your districts. We hope to see you at the Schools of Instruction in your region. Plan to attend the Schools on Site that will be held in January and February in each district. Come and join the fun at our Charities Extravaganza at the Crowne Plaza North in Columbus, Ohio on June 7. Save this date: August 9 will be a Happy Birthday celebration of our Ohio Eastern Star. You will not want to miss that. Support your own chapter with your attendance. Know that you make a difference!
We want our chapters to be successful, well-rounded, and effective in all areas: Ritual Quality and Officer Excellence, Membership and Public Relations, Charity and Service, and Social Activities and Fellowship. We hope every chapter will strive to accomplish goals in these four areas and to acheive the Chapter Excellence Award. Chapters receiving this prestigious award will be recognized at Grand Chapter.
Our charities are important to us and we are known for the generous support of our charities. This year there are many opportunities for charitable giving. The Eastern Stars in Ohio will support ESTARL (Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership), our Youth groups, Children’s Dyslexia Learning Centers, our Ohio Eastern Star Home, and Heart and Cancer research. Our Eastern Star Home is working to improve the facilities there for our residents and we wholeheartedly support their endeavor. Our own one-year project for Eastern Stars at the OES Home is “Raising Moo-lah for C.O.W.s.” (computers on wheels) It is important that the Home make the transition to electronic records. We will raise the funds for the special carts (called COWS) and the computers that go on the carts. Our goal is to raise $25,000.00 for the C.O.W.s. We hope you will help us achieve this goal, as it is ‘udderly’ possible for us to succeed in raising these funds for our Home when we work together.
Perhaps you know that we now have a 501(c)3 Charitable Foundation for our Order of the Eastern Star in Ohio. Many of our donations will now be tax-deductible. Our district Charities Directors are receiving directions so that we may learn how to designate our donations and how to receive the paperwork to indicate they are tax-deductible. We will work together to learn how to work with these new procedures. Support your Charities Director in the projects and events that are planned in your districts, as we will enjoy working together and learning from each other as we support our charities.
Remember to extend a helping hand to each other in our Journey of Life, always remember that Love is the Key.
Gail L. Walsh, Worthy Grand Matron Steve Farus, Worthy Grand Patron