Grand Chancellor's Message delivered by Grand Chancellor Sheldon Blitz
THANK YOU to the membership of our domain - for placing their trust and faith in me to serve our great order for the past five years on the Grand Council - and to serve as your Grand Chancellor for the current year.
60 years ago, I joined the Order Knights of Pythias, not knowing what to expect or what others would expect of me. I quickly realized that all that was expected of me was my friendship.
Years later, I served as Deputy Grand Chancellor under Past Grand Chancellor, Sir Irving Mendelson. This gave me the opportunity to visit many of the lodges in our domain and meet many of the brothers in our order.
When approached five years ago to run for Grand Outer Guard, I felt both honored and humbled.
Now, as I begin my term as your Grand Chancellor, I make a simple pledge to serve our order in a dignified and proper manner.
Know my commitment to always place the best interests of our membership and order above all else.
My Chief Deputy, Robert Banks, will capably lead my team, Blitz's Brigade. Robert and I served together on the Grand Council several years ago, when Robert served our order as our Grand Treasurer. Robert will do a superb job as our Chief.
Our order faces some difficult decisions in the coming years; at the same time it presents us some great opportunities to grow.
The advent of social media and the Internet empowers our order to get our name out to the general public in a simple and cost-effective way.
Indeed we already enjoy a robust website developed under the leadership of my predecessor - thank you Past Grand Chancellor Steve Kohn.
Using these and other tools my administration will make Membership the focal point of our efforts.
I will continue the membership program initiated by Past Grand Chancellor, Craig Shink. This proven program awards a brother one year’s Lodge dues paid by Grand Lodge for every three members he brings into our order - up to a maximum of three years for nine new members.
Working with the Grand Lodge Membership Committee, its chair, Grand Master at Arms David Stanger and the Grand Lodge Webmaster, Executive Secretary to the Grand Chancellor PACDGC/Grand Tribune Corey Bearak, Grand lodge will provide each subordinate lodge and district their own distinct page on the new Grand Lodge website, KnightsofPythiasNewYorkGrandLodge.com.
We expect each (lodge and district) will submit their contact and meeting location, a list of officers, including photos and individual contact information - if they wish, and a calendar of events and/ or key events.
Know that each of these pages remain dynamic. Each lodge and district maintains the ability to submit an updated page to post to their site as often as they desire. This empowers our individual lodges, and the districts - if they wish, to purchase their own website names with that URL pointing directly to their page on the Grand Lodge site. My Chief Deputy, Robert Banks, will work with each of the Deputies to encourage each subordinate lodge to take advantage of this opportunity to self-promote and promote their events and doings.
Further, the Grand Lodge, through its "Pythian Events" link on the website, will post any and all appropriate subordinate lodge and district events. This includes links to invitations and flyers.
In addition, the Grand Lodge website’s "Pythian News" section will include all appropriate news submissions from the subordinate lodges and the districts. It is my hope that submitting these articles for the Grand Lodge site will also induce similar submissions to the community media that covers the communities where each of the lodges and districts operate. This empowers the lodges and districts to more easily share their news and events via social media, including Facebook, Twitter and other media to help spread the word about our Order, the work of the districts and each subordinate lodge.
I will also work with our Public Relations Committee, as well as our Supreme Chancellor, Sir Alan Krell, on methods we can use to get our name out to the public. As outlined above, we have the tools.
Simply stated we need to increase our membership to continue to do all of the things we do for people. With your support, I know we can do it.
I commend to my Pythian brothers and sisters several Grand Lodge committees to join and work for.
Our Humanitarian Committee conducts several shaker cans throughout the year; it helps support, in particular, the charitable work of our Servicemen’s and Veteran’s Committee, led by Past Chief Deputy, Sir Joseph Robinson. In addition to sending packages to our servicemen and women serving our country abroad, Joe and his committee also take the time to visit many of our wounded warriors at Veterans Hospitals in our area, and as far away as Bethesda, Maryland.
The Pythian Humanitarian Fund also provides scholarships to the sons and daughters of members of our order. In addition, it provides generous donations to support Camp Sunrise on Long Island and Double H Ranch in Upstate New York.
The Diabetes Research Committee continues to raise money through shaker cans as well as the daily lottery tickets sold through the committee. Since its inception, this committee contributed in excess of one million dollars to help find a cure for this disease - one which many Pythians and family members suffer through.
Pythian Camp continues to send underprivileged children to camp for several weeks during the summer months and will continue this for the foreseeable future.
And the Dr. Morris Smoller Fund continues to donate money to local area hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers.
All of these committees share the same motto: We Help People!
For my primary charity for the coming year, I select the American Cancer Society. Each of us knows personally of someone who suffered from this dreaded disease. And as a cancer survivor, I personally believe this to be a most worthy charity.
In closing, I share my hope and desire for this coming year – a year totally enveloped by friendship and benevolence among our brothers. Only by working together can we make this order succeed. And as my motto to support these efforts, I select: DO WHAT’S RIGHT!!!
Thank you all for your support and may God bless our order and God bless America.
Download the message as a two page PDF.