Western Fraternal Life :: Association or Family?

Association or Family?

May 06, 2016

By Elise Nyenhuis, Záře Zapádu No. 44

nyerhuis.jpgWestern Fraternal Life Association- that is what each of us are members of. Association is defined in the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of Western Fraternal Life Association as the corporation formed, organized, and incorporated under the fraternal beneficiary association of laws of the State of Iowa, and carried on for the sole benefit of its members and their beneficiaries and not-for-profit and having a lodge system, with ritualistic form of work and representative from of government. Now, I do not know about the rest of you, but I like to think of Western Fraternal Life Association as a family. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines family as all the descendants of a common ancestor. Even though we may not come from a Czech or Slovak descent, Western Fraternal Life Association accepts us all and we are a family. I say that because I have attended meetings at my local Lodge No. 44, Záře Zapádu, District 4 Meetings, MN State Meetings, and last year my first Western Fraternal Life National Convention. Western reaches out to community by way of the Members In Action program. My lodge has been fortunate to use this program, and we not only use it to help our lodge family, but our extended community family too.

Now, I am going to go back about 21 years or so. When my grandparents Joe and Elsie Pacovsky signed me up for a policy through Western Fraternal Life, little did they know how many opportunities I would be provided with. Since becoming more active in my lodge in 2014, I am now the correspondent, help with our YELL! group, help with various lodge activities throughout the year, and have been fortunate to meet the kindest people ever! At our monthly meetings, we share a potluck supper; which reminds me a lot of family. My involvement in the lodge is thanks to some very special people and they know who they are. Additionally, my lodge is a lot like my extended family; which I am so thankful for. On the district and state level, a person could go up to anyone and have a conversation with someone new. We may start out as strangers, but will leave as friends and quite possibly family. Last year, when I attended my first National Convention, I was not sure what to expect. What I had envisioned was nothing like what I thought it would be - it was so much more! At the National Convention, I met Western members from across the United States and each person was so kind and I could tell they each took pride in their lodge and members - like a family.

As I reflect back from 2014 until the present time, I cannot thank Western Fraternal Life enough for all the opportunities I have been provided with and the opportunities I will be provided with in the future. I have learned so much about myself by being a member of Western and my lodge has encouraged me to do things I normally would not do. Truly, each of us are members of the Western Fraternal family; which is a family to be proud of.

Western Fraternal Life has certainly helped me with my desire to continue helping people, because that is one of the many things families should do for each other. Also, Western Fraternal Life has assisted me in figuring out my major in college. I have always known that I wanted to do something where I could help people in being as successful as they can be. I am majoring in Elementary Education with minors in Special Education and Reading.

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