Moose International Field Staff Report
Date Arrived: 11/14/2020 Time Arrived: 6:00 PM
Date Departed: 11/14/2020 Time Departed: 11:00 PM
Unit Name: Lynchburg Unit#: 0715 Unit Type: Lodge ST/PR: VIRGINIA
Visit Conducted By (Name and Title): Mike Rios – Membership Director
Primary Purpose of Visit: DB - Drop By
Findings and Recommendations:
The purpose of this (unannounced) visit was to observe operations and see the renovations conducted during the recent pandemic shutdown. Accompanied by my wife, Linda, we met two other couples there who we previously invited to join us. (They were also Moose members.)
As we approached the building, we were greeted by Jr. Governor George Haythe then Treasurer Greg Kirby who welcomed us to the lodge and provided a tour. Shortly thereafter we were joined by Governor Daniel Viar. Needless to say, the lodge was extremely impressive! Much planning, time and effort was expended to perform the upgrades. This is a great example/template for other lodges. The adjustable lighting was perfect, the decorations impressive and the work has been professionally performed. (A local college art student was commissioned to do the murals on the walls.)
After a short while, “Donna” greeted us and took care of us all evening. As a hostess/server/greeter she is a great asset to the lodge. She helped make the experience more pleasant for everyone. Her positive and upbeat demeanor is contagious! The Bar staff was also attentive and professional. They complimented each other as a team making sure that everyone was served in a timely manner.
Throughout the evening, I visited several tables and interacted with the membership. There were many couples from local lodges who chose to patronize this lodge to enjoy the food (steak night) and atmosphere.
Making a connection with the membership was especially satisfying. I met two members whose Fathers were former State Police Troopers as well and Linda connected with a couple of members who also graduated from the same local High School as her (although several years apart).
A wide variety of music was provided by (Treasurer) DJ Greg Kirby and was played at a comfortable level.
A particularly pleasant aspect of membership was to see racially diverse families enjoying a meal together and the entertainment included multiple genres, catering to those of all ages. (There were infants, toddlers, teenagers, millennials, parents, grandparents, retirees and seniors in attendance.) While discussing the demographic, I was assured by a couple of members that there are no discriminatory issues in this lodge (that seemingly plagues several others) and that they welcome all people into the lodge home. The interaction between all members was impressive. The atmosphere was very comfortable and (at times) festive and celebratory.
The nine ‘o clock ceremony was conducted as customary and they collected $76.00. I understand that this is performed on a regular basis.
I can’t say enough about this lodge. It will be beneficial to consider this lodge as a template for the recently approved lodge development pilot program. This atmosphere is conducive to families, young and old, and their aesthetics certainly welcome all members, especially those younger members that we are targeting for the future. Moose has a HUGE presence in lodge decorations. However, they are up-to-date and tastefully presented. The lodge (Bingo) hall has not been renovated but it still presents well and is a benefit to the lodge.
Much credit was given to Administrator Scott Jacode for his leadership and vision, especially with the renovations. It appears that the Board of Officers works well together and they respect and appreciate Scott’s leadership.
Only a couple of “older” members have complained about the renovations (as indicated on social media). However, the majority appreciates and welcomes the changes with the understanding that they are making the improvements for the future. Several photos of the lodge are attached.
TM Chris Roberson has been a great support for the lodge. Although challenging, the Board of Officers should understand that they are headed in the right direction and that they have the full support of Moose International as they work to grow their lodge into the future. Their efforts are greatly appreciated!