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Finally spring has arrived. Winter has released its cold grip and Mother Nature once again has started to paint her tapestry of flowers. There is just something about springthat gives us hope. Hope for a new beginning. Hope for renewed life. Hope for a better tomorrow. I have visited many of you and asked you to help secure our future by supporting our new home. Many of you have had great questions about our new home and I have enjoyed answering them. I would ask that even if you are not willing to make a financial contribution to our future that you support the inspiration for the move. As we travel into the next 100 years our Temple’s needs have changed. We must ensure we have a home that meets our financial goals as well supporting the needs of our future Mizpah Shriners. If you have not seen the architectural drawings I would invite you to come to a stated meeting and see what tomorrow looks like. I think you will be surprised what we have in store. We are truly blessed to be part of history. When we are brave enough to do the right thing, we guarantee that Mizpah will continue to thrive forever. The children we serve deserve to know that we will be there to lift them up and carry them into a new life. Our new home allows us to promise our kids they will never walk alone.

There are less than 100 men who have ever be honored enough to call themselves the Potentate of Mizpah. Over the decades the task of leading our great Nobles has change dramatically. Through the good times and the bad, great men have walked the path before me. I wish it was all just shaking hands and kissing babies, but it is not. When you elect our Temple leadership you entrust us with the task of making the tough decisions daily. As the Potentate I have only been able to make one easy decision…..Who will be the name sake of the Mizpah 2013 Spring Class? For me it was as simple as watching one man work until his hands hurt with a smile on his face. Then seeing him give with all his heart to what he believes is just and right. There are many men who talk of character, but I know a man that lives it. I am honored to announce the upcoming class will be named after Noble Robert “Bob” Krider. I believe Bob embodies everything that makes a great noble. In a time when others choose to do things halfway, Bob continues to show us all that anything worth doing is worth doing right. I have never seen him try to push his way to the forefront to receive accolades. I have never seen him rudely vie for attention. What I have seen is an entire room of men stop to listen when he speaks. We lean in to hear what he thinks. Bob serves as an inspiration to all of us as we search for ways to give freely and without acknowledgement. Please take the time to congratulate Bob with a healthy handshake the next time you see him.

On Saturday April 13th the Nobles of Mizpah will gather to welcome our newest members as well as enjoy the social benefits of being a Shriner. Registration will start at 5pm for those who have chosen to walk the sands to join in our caravan as well as their ladies. The First Section starts at 6pm in the Ballroom. In conjunction with the traditional Ceremony there will be a ladies program that also begins at 6pm to be held in the Foot Patrol Room. This program is designed not only for the new members, but also for all Shrine Ladies. The program will include information about the Shrine Hospitals for Children as well as how women can be involved in our fraternity. The Divan wives have been working hard to make this program both fun and informative. At 7pm the ladies will join their Nobles to witness the Arch Degree. This presentation is a unique way to learn about our great organization in the past, present, and future. Remember Bob Krider will be recognized for everything he has done for the Shrine in his many years of service so come out to support him. To conclude the night the entire Shrine will be an Open House. Each part of our fraternity will be urged to create a display explaining what they do. You can enjoy heavy Hors De Voyeurs and libations as you visit with the many clubs and units that represent Mizpah. Please plan on bringing your lady to this great event.

Mark your calendars now. Mizpah Mardi Gras is approaching fast. This is your chance to put your lady in a pretty dress and dance the night away. On May 18th the famous New Orleans tradition of great food and entertainment will come to Fort Wayne. Bright colors and a festive mood will adorn the Landmark Center on Ellison Rd. in Fort Wayne as we get away for the night. A myriad of entertainers will welcome you as you enter a world filled with laughter and frivolity. Put on your mask and enjoy the sight and sounds of Bourbon Street as you mingle with your oldest and newest friends. The celebration starts at 5pm and will continue until late into the night. After dinner we will be entertained by two separate bands. The Junkyard Band will perform golden oldies, followed by Fawn Liebowitz’s contemporary sounds. There will something for everyone so please plan on coming out and enjoying a little clean fun with your Shrine friends. This one will be talked about for years!

Your Humble Servant,
Mike Hardiek