2023 – Year #3
In the immortal words of Britney Spears, “Whoops I (we) Did it Again.” For the 3rd consecutive year, Saint Louis Lodge #9 was awarded All American Lodge status which, per the BPOE, “All-American Lodge Contest-A is the most prestigious of the Grand Lodge Awards, for it recognizes those Lodges best exemplifying that Elks Care – Elks Share.”
Contest A – All American Lodge. Below is an article in the August 2023 issue of Elks Tracks – the Saint Louis Lodge #9 newsletter. During the 158th Grand Lodge Session (aka Convention in early July) it was announced that Saint Louis #9 achieved coveted All American Lodge status for the third year in a row. Per the BPOE, “All-American Lodge Contest-A is the most prestigious of the Grand Lodge Awards, for it recognizes those Lodges best exemplifying that Elks Care – Elks Share.” Our Chicago based mothership (aka Grand Lodge) awards Only 18 winners, a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place among 6 divisions, equality divided by size. Of the current 1833 lodges, we achieved 2nd Place within Division 6, which means we’re between the 7th and 12th Best lodge in the Country, and one could reasonably argue we’re the best lodge in the district, state, and the Midwest as the closest winners are Green Bay Wisconsin #259 (500 miles away) and Grand Island Nebraska #604 (520 miles away). The Grand Lodge, for the second year in row, realizing the profound effort required to compete, announced 60 finalists, which included nearby lodges of Cushing Drumright OK #2712, Grand Island NE #604, Kansas City Northland #2376, Mena AR #781, South Bend IN #235, Eveleth MN #1161, Kearney NE #984, Salem IL # 1678, Chattanooga TN #91, Newport KY #273, and Fayetteville Springdale AR #1987. The contest was established in 1982 and only seven lodges within the MEA (Missouri Elks Association – established in 1909) have ever earned the accreditation which are Chillicothe #656, Columbia #594 (who had a recent multi-year run), Grandview-Hickman Mills #2088, Mineral Area Community #2583, Osage Community #2705, Poplar Bluff #2452, and Saint Louis #9. Bravo to Kansas City Northland #2376 who, of all 72 Lodges in Missouri, was the only Missouri finalist. Considering where the lodge was 10 years ago (treading water with 210 members), this is unprecedented as we’ve leapfrogged every MEA lodge (regardless of size) and all surrounding states, which includes Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. In the Spring of 2018 when I was the newly elected Exalted Ruler, I wrote in this newsletter how cool it would be to someday hit MAX-Q* which has happened if you factor in our Flag Related (aka Americanism), Auxiliary, Charitable Reporting, Elks National + Missouri Benevolent Trust Giving, Drug Awareness, Grants, Membership, Newsletter, Past Exalted Rulers, Public Relations, Scholarships, Veterans Services Committee, Wellness, Youth, AND especially our Enthusiasm, Leadership, and Unity. * When SpaceX blasts a Falcon Heavy into orbit, it tests the rocket’s ability to withstand maximum mechanical stress from the physical pressure of pushing against all that air in those first minutes. In aerospace, that maximum dynamic pressure is referred to as Max-Q. Shortly after takeoff, you might hear those in the rocket launch control center saying, “We’re approaching Max-Q” or “We’ve reached Max-Q.” Simply put, the Grand Lodge promotes an annual “Contest A” of 49 activities and up to 1217 points and Saint Louis #9 earned a higher score than at least 1827 of the 1834 Elks lodges on the planet. This is a Rare-Air Jordan level achievement that we must not only maintain but to use as a springboard to pursue a 1st Place in fiscal 2024 as the contest resets every fiscal year. I’d like everyone to get greedy about this accreditation and not lose momentum as we’re a third through fiscal 2024. To motivate, I offer a Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) quote from Wall Street (1987), “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will save that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.” P.S. When strolling through old newsletters I stumbled onto an article I wrote in the May 2021 Issue, which was two months into the Exalted AJ Ford era. I was opining about the following July when they were announcing All American Contest winners ** for the E.R. Lord era, which had ended that April. The paragraph read, “All American lodges are the Best of the Best, basically Tom Cruise sporing Aviators draped in the American Flag splashing MIG 8’s at will all over the Pacific. While researching websites for ideas I see lodges bragging about being All American 10 years prior, as this potential achievement (All American Certification) is the Top Gun, t he plaque for the alternates is in the lady’s room” of Elkdome. ** We won our first All American accreditation two month later (July 2021) for the first of three times All American Contest “A” Winners for 2022-2023 Division I (1-150 Members) 1st – Pendleton SC #2861 2nd – San Angelo TX #1880 3rd – Green Bay WI #259 Division II (151-225 Members) 1st – Santa Monica CA #906 2nd – Cedar Grove NJ #2237 3rd – Wheeling WV # 28 Division III (226-300 Members) 1st – Kearny NJ #1050 2nd – Grand Island NE #604 3rd – Page AZ #2498 Division IV (301-450 Members) 1st – Gilroy CA #1567 2nd – Sierra Vista AZ #2065 3rd – East Stroudsburg PA #319 Division V (451-700 Members) 1st – Rensselaer NY #2073 2nd – Dover DE #1903 3rd – Casa Grande Valley AZ #1957 Division VI (701 Members or more) 1st – Phoenix AZ #335 2nd – St. Louis MO #9 3rd – Manasquan, NJ No. 2534 Godspeed, Timothy Regan Luby – AAL Pursuit – 07/20/23
Per the July Grand Lodge Newsletter, during the BPOE National Convention we’ll know our fate. Will we retain All American Lodge status for Year 3?
2022 – Year #2
During the 2022 Grand Lodge convention it was announced that Saint Louis Lodge remains an ‘All American Lodge for the second year in a row. We finished 2nd Place within Division V which means we’re one of top 18 lodges in all of Elkdome.
January 2022 Newsletter Article – Contest A, “Go at Throttle Up” With three months to go in the fiscal 2022 All American Lodge competition the Saint Louis #9 Rocketship has propulsion at Max-Q. “It’s a term, ‘Max Q,’ that’s about achieving a certain level of performance. It’s really based on us, not on the opponent, of us reaching the highest level of competence and execution. We talk to our guys about it all the time, and I think we came pretty close to it today.” – Mike Martz, 2000. -Achieving the Impact Grant was a 50-point pickup. The 14 other winning lodges are from California (2), Idaho, Iowa, Maine, New Jersey (3), New York, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Washington, Wyoming, and Missouri (us). Neither of the other two All American Division III winners (1st: Casa Grande Valley, AR #1957, 3rd Place: Vestal, NY #2508) earned the grant which has us racing in clean air with our flanks guarded. -Beth has already achieved 90 of the 100 points available within the ENF Challenge. -After reviewing the current contest, of the 1,217 possible points I estimate we’ll earn between 1025 and 1045 which’ll leave between 172 and 192 on the table. Last year our 827 total earned a 2nd Place so it’s feasible we’ll defend and may achieve a 1st which will take us from a Top 12 to a Top 6 lodge. To be surpassed a competitor must be doing everything we’re doing and have less than 5% non-payments (annual membership), fund raise up to $5,000 dedicated to Dictionaries, have an Antler program, and compete in Ritual (requiring conducting the Initiation Ritual without visual aids). “Let’s face it, we have so many playmakers, this is an offense that makes you just shake your head. Maybe there’s some team out there that can shut all of us down, but we don’t think there is such a defense. We have too many weapons.” – Torry Holt, 2001 Godspeed, Timothy Regan Luby – Quest to maintain All American – 01/04/22
2021 – Year #1
Below is an article in the August 2021 issue of Elks Tracks – the Saint Louis Lodge #9 newsletter. Greed Works During the July BPOE Annual Convention it was announced that the lodge achieved coveted All American Lodge status. Per the Grand Lodge, “All-American Lodge Contest-A is the most prestigious of the Grand Lodge Awards, for it recognizes those Lodges best exemplifying that Elks Care – Elks Share.” Note, the Grand Lodge awards 18 winners (a 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place) among 6 divisions (D1 = 300 members or fewer, D2 = 301-500 members, D3 = 501-700 members, D4 = 701-1,100 members, and D5 = 1,500 members or more). Of the current 1882 Lodges (down from 1884 last year) we achieved 2 nd Place of Division 3 so one could reasonably argue we’re the top lodge of our size in the District, State, ‘Area 5’ (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, & Wisconsin), and in all of the flyover. The only other winner in the ecliptic is Fayetteville-Springdale Arkansas #1987 who are 333 miles to the southwest (3rd Place of Division 4) and the only other non-boarder/coastal winner is from Utah (St. George Dixie #2534) which leaves the rest from Arizona, California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Statewide, I’ve been notified that only six (the Grand Lodge has yet to confirm) other Missouri lodges have earned the accreditation (Chillicothe #656, Columbia #594, Grandview-Hickman Mills #2088, Mineral Area Community #2583, Osage Community #2705, and Poplar Bluff #2452) since the contest began in 1982. Considering where the lodge was in 2014 (treading water with 210 members) this is unprecedented as we’ve leapfrogged every weak, average, and top performing lodge, regardless of size within 333 miles in every direction. Back in the summer of 2018 I wrote in this very newsletter how cool it would be to someday hit MAX Q which has happened if you factor in the new Club Room, this Certification, membership up-kick, unity, enthusiasm, leadership, tight compliance, site strategy committee working towards a smoking solution, and website. How I wish Pete (rest in peace) was here to be a part of this. The quest to achieve All American status takes a mammoth buy-in from the Board of Directors and Committee heads as the Grand Lodge judges ENF, membership, delinquents, grants, most valuable students, scholarships, recognizing Scouts, drug awareness program, hoops/soccer shoots, youth activities, organ donations, veterans’ programs, Americanism, essay contest, Flag rituals, internal awards, earning citations, charity reporting, current bylaws, newsletter, website, indoctrination of incoming members, earned media (local & national), social media, and additional rituals. Simply put, the Grand Lodge produced a list of 47 activities and up to 1217 points and St. Louis #9 earned a higher score than at least 1870 of the 1882 lodges on the planet. This is a rare-air, Jordan’esk, podium achievement that we must not only maintain but to use as a springboard to pursue a 1st Place in fiscal 2022 as the contest resets every fiscal year. In closing, I’d like everyone to get GREEDY about St. Louis #9 and this certification going forward. To motivate, I offer a Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) quote from Wall Street (1987), “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will save that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.” Thanks for reading, Quest for AAL + Past Exalted – Timothy Regan Luby 07/24/21
On Thursday July 22 AJ Ford, Exalted Ruler of St. Louis Elks #9 received the 2020-2021 All American Lodge (2nd Place, Division 3) award from the Grand Lodge. Per the Grand Lodge July 2021 Newsletter, “The 2020-2021 Lodge year was one of unusual circumstances. Nevertheless, our Lodges continued the great works of Elkdom as exemplified by the high quality applications received for the Contest ‘A’ — All American Lodge Contest. Complements to the many hundreds of Lodges that entered district contests and congratulations to the Lodges that achieved honors during their subsequent state competitions. One-hundred and thirty-four (134) applications were forwarded for judging in the national competition. Each Lodge offered examples of fidelity to our Order and extraordinary service to their communities. You are models for us to follow. You make us proud to be Elks!”
Here’s our 2021-2022 scoresheet which was turned over to our District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Wednesday March 30th. Last year, our point total was 835 which earned as a 2nd Place so I believe our latest score of 1,032 should fend off any comers and perhaps snag a 1st Place. Questions – Contact PER Luby – firstname.lastname@example.org – with questions.
November 2021 – Winning All American Badge Selected
We Have a Winner – In the November Newsletter the Elks All American Contest ‘Badge’ was announced.
The rumors are true, during the 2021 BPOE Natation Convention it was announced that St. Louis Lodge #9 achieved All American Lodge Status. The lodge will soon announce a logo creation contact followed by swag commemorating the achievement. Expect this to be well covered in the August Lodge Magazine.
Our 2021-2020 Scoresheet. I’ve requested (07/10/21) the point total of the Division 3 winner (Casa Grande Valley, AZ #1957), ours (we may have been docked off our 835), and the 3rd place finisher (Vestal, NY #2508). Leadership is working on a legacy/signature project for the Impact Grant which will greatly enhance our 2022-2021 score.
Timothy Regal Luby – PER & Trustee Chair – All American Lodge Team email@example.com / 314-486-2675 = mobile
Per the Grand Lodge, All-American Lodge Contest-A is, “This is the most prestigious of the Grand Lodge Awards, for it recognizes those Lodges best exemplifying that Elks Care – Elks Share. You must, however, enter in order to have a chance to win.”
The entre form for the fiscal 2021 contest was published in September 2020 which has been a labor of love of P.E.R. Luby’s since. Per Grand Lodge guidelines, our four page Activities and Points entre forms (see below) were provided to our District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler in late March 2021.
Winners will be announced during day two of the general session of the Elks National Convention Tuesday 6 being held in Tampa Florida.
Fiscal 2021, Activities & Points, Saint Louis #9, Page 1 of 4.
Fiscal 2021, Activities & Points, Saint Louis #9, Page 2 of 4.
Fiscal 2021, Activities & Points, Saint Louis #9, Page 3 of 4.
Fiscal 2021, Activities & Points, Saint Louis #9, Page 4 of 4.
Grand Lodge Press Release announcing the contest in September 2020.