One of the things we stress about Members in Action is that it is open to all members of Western, and that you do not need to be active in your lodge to utilize it. For a variety of reasons, this is appealing to a wide range of members who are interested in doing something good in their local communities.
Western's fraternal department was excited to see that a recent effort to spread the word about Members in Action had a positive result, and there was an increase in applications. This is a good time to mention that Western takes applications year-round, so if you are a member interested in holding an event of this nature, please visit www.wflains.org for information and forms.
|Hunter Cummings and other volunteers serve food at the free-will offering meal.||Hunter Cummings (Scout uniform) and other volunteers held a successful free-will offering meal to raise money.|
Young member Hunter Cummings (No. 85, Protivin, IA) used Members in Action funds to hold a community free-will offering meal for the community at Clermont Opera House on January 28. Cummings was raising money to aide his Eagle Scout project to install a digital sign in front of the Opera House in Clermont, IA which advertises community events.
Cummings created a flyer and Facebook page to help spread the word for the event. He and others serving the meal wore Western Fraternal Life shirts and provided stickers or brochures. Other local businesses donated prizes for a raffle held at the event.
Cummings commented, “I think the program is good and is a great benefit to members.”
Western's Member Programs Manager Kelsey Logan added, “Western's Members in Action program is great for any member who is interested in holding a successful community event or fundraiser. You can use it like Hunter did to make a fundraiser even more successful through promotion and covering supplies. Further, Western is happy to align itself with the scouts and other organizations that are working to benefit the community. If you are a member of Western who is actively involved in a charitable organization, using Members in Action may be a good avenue for you to explore.”
The Pleasant Valley Rock School Association and No. 84 held a soup and pie lunch for the community to raise money for outhouses at the Rock School site, south of Table Rock, NE on February 4.
No. 84 used Members in Action to cover the costs of supplies, ad in the Pawnee Republican, and Facebook promotion on Western Fraternal Life's page. Members helped prepare for the event. Soup was made by Debbie Blecha and George Tomek with chicken stock from their own farm. Pies were made by Amish neighbors. Lenny Blecha III entertained guests with his accordion. Other members involved were Howard and Debbie Blecha, Jim and Vicki Blecha, Eddy Tomek, Milan Tomek, and Sharla Sitzman. It was a success, and they made a considerable dent in their goal toward the outhouse project.
The outhouses are going to be a useful addition to the site because there are several activities planned for the summer. The Rock School itself, built in 1873, was recently restored and is available for tours and events. Last October, one of the events included an adult spelling bee. This summer, children will be invited for a week-long day camp. The fundraiser raised over $700, which put them near their total goal to pay for the outhouses. Once the goal is met, they will build the outhouses themselves but need a backhoe, concrete, and other materials.
“By off-setting the costs of supplies, events like these can be more profitable for the charities they want to benefit. A luncheon is just one of the many easy-to-organize ideas that can really make a difference,” stated Kelsey Logan.
Teens proudly show off their Western t-shirts
Teens benefit from activities designed to improve leadership skills. With this in mind, Jennifer Turner, No. 496, used Members in Action to provide a free afternoon of go-karting, virtual reality gaming, and more, for boys and girls age 13 to 18 at Xtreme Racing in Broken Arrow, OK. The event was open to ten teenagers on a first come basis.
The teens were led in a leadership activity by the facility coordinator and divided into three teams that won prizes and points. “Attendees were very excited to experience this high-thrill activity and meet new teen friends. They definitely bonded and look forward to more activities together with different themes,” Turner commented.
To promote the event, Turner had Western design a flyer, write a press release, and advertise on Western's Facebook page. In addition, the teens used social media to reach out to friends and teachers and it was shared on community calendars. Through these means, the event was able to attract unaffiliated teens to benefit from the leadership activity. Teens went home with Western t-shirts and other items.
Kelsey Logan remarked, “Western is happy to help with promotional items. A list of ideas are included with the pre-event form, so take a look at some ways to spread the word for your event.”
For more information about Members in Action, visit www.wflains.org/member-benefits/members-action-program/ or call the Fraternal Department at 877-935-2467.
Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.