As I write this article in early November, I can only speculate on how some of the final events of the year have or will turn out. Nonetheless it is a bittersweet thought to know that the year you worked and waited so many years for is coming to an end. I hope you had as much this year as I did!

Membership was, is and will continue to be our largest challenge. We had some great membership events such as the Seis de Mayo, Poker Run and Veterans Night and created a lot of new Nobles. Unfortunately, the Black Camel and suspensions will probably outrun the gains and we will be down a bit for the year. Hopefully the forward momentum will continue and increase with the new membership team in 2018. Imperial Sir Gary Bergenske, has created and is promoting the I AM R U Committed to Membership program. I encourage all of you to nominate some good men that you know and let’s work on them together to join our great fraternity.

When this year began, I had many plans and goals I wanted to achieve. I believe that with the help and hard-work of many, most of those goals were achieved. We had our first ever Sportsmen’s Raffle which was quite successful. First Lady Kim managed a fantastic Macho Mania fundraiser that did exceedingly well. The Circus, despite the challenges of having new management, did well. By the time you read this, The Big Party will have happened and I’m certain it was a tremendous success. All these events and many more, including the Presentation Ball, Circus Parade and Kick-off, Imperial Session, CSSA, Holiday Ball, Santa’s Lunch etc. require the help of many people and all were fantastic.

There is no way in this little space to thank everybody, but I would like to offer a HUGE Thank You to Chief Aide Rich Viner, his special Lady Cheri and all the aides and others that helped throughout the year. Thank you to the Divan and their Ladies that have been involved in everything throughout the year, giving untold hours of their time for the betterment of Moolah. In addition, thank you to the Moolah Staff; Illustrious Sir Gale Bennington, Monica Smith, Lauren Whittington, Pat Dodd along with Robby Gruver and his maintenance crew that have helped with the many tasks, projects and events throughout the year to make them successful.

The profits from these events are allowing us to move forward with some projects that will enhance the rentability of our building. By the time you read this, you should see progress on the Gazebo, our new website will be up and operating, you should notice improved wi-fi through much of the building, the parking lot has been patched, sealed and re-striped, many LED lighting upgrades have been installed etc. There are other projects in the works, including Ballroom upgrades, that will be happening as we move forward.

To all the Units, Clubs and Committees that work so tirelessly to raise money and awareness for our Hospital, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. To my crew of jokesters, I thank you for providing some levity in the meetings as one of my goals for the year was to work at making the meetings more fun. I think we succeeded and still managed to keep decorum when important or serious matters needed to be handled.

In the end, the primary goal of any Potentate, or any other leader for that matter, should be to leave the organization better than he or she found it and that the groundwork has been laid for further improvement going forward. I thank Illustrious Sir Lenny Martin for leaving Moolah in a great place for us to build upon during this year. I believe that, with all your help, Moolah is better than we found it and is positioned to grow and prosper in the upcoming years.

Finally, I cannot thank my lovely, gracious and devoted wife and First Lady, Kim, enough for putting up with me during this eight-year adventure and for caring about Moolah and the Hospital as much as I do. Additionally, though I tried to be everywhere and do everything, I thank my children, Kaitlin and Erik, for being the great children and now young adults that you are.

Soon, we will have our annual elections. I look forward to seeing all the fantastic things that Kyle McEvoy has planned for 2018 and the future growth and prosperity of Moolah. I wish the best of luck to Moolah and the Divan in 2018 and the years to come.

Yours in the Faith,

Illustrious Sir Dean A. Isbell