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I can hardly believe it’s the first of August. The past seven months have flown by, but with so much accomplished. We have for the most part completed the move from Berry Street to Memorial Way, enjoyed a great Circus, successfully launched the Sportsman Raffle,
enjoyed the Pote’s trip and danced the night away at the Temple Ball.

The first week of July the Divan attended Shrine International’s Imperial Session. This four day event is the only time by-law changes can be made. By law amendments require a two thirds majority of attending delegates to pass.

Of note this year was a by-law change to increase the Imperial’s per capita tax from the current $15.00 to a $27.00 for each member of every temple. A vast majority of the voting delegates defeated this increase. Expect another attempt next year.

The Imperial budget proposed for January thru December 2015 includes an anticipated deficit of more than five hundred thousand dollars. The voting delegates overwhelmingly passed this budget. Keep in mind no temple or incoming potentate is allowed to have a deficit budget. At best it must be balanced.

As a note the highpoint of the total number of members in Shrine International came in 1979 with total membership of 941,799, compare this with 2014 membership of less than 297,000. Even at an average $7.00 per member (one half the current $15.00) total
lost revenues easily exceeds six million dollars a year. This is more than the total current budget of Shrine International.

2015 will see another request for a dues increase. More than likely some type of increase will be passed and with that some type of an increase request on the local level as the funds for any increase are not available in our current structure.

Other business discussed included jurisdictional lines for various temples, allowing temples to raise money for Wounded Warriors fund (failed on floor vote), age restrictions for hospital trustees and a withdrawn proposal to accept patients at our hospitals until they obtain the age of 26.

Back on the home front we are looking forward to the Fly-In Breakfast on August 24th, the Men's Stag at the Mizpah Horse Grounds on August 28th. Then the Sportsman Raffle is on September 6th, followed by GLSA Sept. 11th thru the 13th and the annual Barn Party Sept. 27th. Please mark your calendars for these events and try to attend as many as possible.

In closing, I would like to extend my appreciation to all the nobles who attended the Three Rivers Parade. Nobles, it was a class act your attendance greatly appreciated and a great promotion for Mizpah Shrine. If you should see our Parade Marshall, Marcus Hardiek let him know how great of a job he did, getting the information to the club presidents and helping everyone with the lineup. Thank you Marcus.

Steve Cowan, Potentate 2014