Davis Odd Fellows Lodge #169 Meets every 4th Wednesday at 6:00 pm and every 2nd Saturday at 9:30 am (Breakfast starts at 8:45 am)
Davis Rebekah Lodge #253 Meets every 4th Monday at 7:00 pm and every 2nd Saturday at 9:30 am (Breakfast starts at 8:45 am)
Davis Encampment #21 Meets every 2nd Saturday at 11:00am
All meetings are at the Odd Fellows Lodge415 2nd Street, Davis, CA 95616(530) 758-4940
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On January 12, 2013, 90 Davis Odd Fellows and guests enjoyed a wonderful dinner and participated in the 143rd Installation of Officers in the Lodge. Grand Master Rod Metoyer, Deputy Grand Master Rick Boyles and Grand Warden Tim Brown conducted the installation. Elected Officers installed were:Noble Grand Bob SchelenVice Grand Lea RosenbergSecretary Alekka FullertonTreasurer Penny SmithFinancial Secretary Steve Lopez
Appointed Officers installed were:Warden Duff DevineConductor Dave RosenbergRight Supporter of the Noble Grand Dave ReedLeft Supporter of the Noble Grand Bob BockwinkelChaplain Doug HattonInside Guardian Debbie FriendOutside Guardian Bastian ReinhartRight Scene Supporter Sharla CheneyLeft Scene Supporter Brian SippRight Supporter of the Vice Grand Vic BucherLeft Supporter of the Vice Grand Diana SchmiegelMusician Mary Superak
Outgoing Noble Grand Kandice Fowler presented awards to a number of distinguished Davis Lodge members. Major awards for 2012 were Member of the Year presented to Lea and Dave Rosenberg, Noble Grand's Award to Deanna Chavis and Sandra Wilson, and Spirit Award to Greg Simmons.
The Davis Chamber of Commerce and the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge today issued a joint announcement regarding the future of "Taste of Davis". For the past three years, the Chamber has produced this popular community event which brings together about 30 restaurants, caterers, wineries and breweries for an evening tasting party and showcase of the culinary delights of Davis. In 2013, the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge will assume responsibilities for the production of the 4th Annual Taste of Davis. The event will be held at the Odd Fellows Lodge Hall at 415 Second Street, on Thursday, April 18, from 6 to 9 p.m. Approximately 300 tickets will be available for the Taste of Davis - sales will begin in March."The Davis Chamber of Commerce has really enjoyed our role as impresario for Taste of Davis, but it's time to pass the torch," said Chamber Executive Director Kemble Pope. "The Davis Chamber is confident that the Davis Odd Fellows will be a great match for this event and will continue the tradition - they have a perfect venue at their Lodge Hall and they have the volunteers to make it successful." In 2013, the Chamber will decrease the number of public events it hosts in order to focus more of its resources on economic development activities."We thank the Chamber for developing this popular event. The Odd Fellows Lodge is delighted that the Chamber has asked us to host Taste of Davis," said incoming Lodge Noble Grand Bob Schelen. "Eight years ago the City of Davis asked us to host Breakfast with Santa and we have been doing it successfully ever since. Two years ago the Downtown Davis Business Association asked us to take over Breakfast with the Bunny, and we have. Now the Trifecta is complete."Heading the steering committee for the event is incoming Lodge Vice Grand Lea Rosenberg, who also heads up the committees for Breakfast with Santa and Breakfast with the Bunny. "We're very excited. On two floors at the Lodge, ticket-holders will be able to socialize, and sample culinary delights, wines and beers from over two dozen local vendors for only $40. It's a great community event," said Rosenberg. The Davis Odd Fellows Lodge has been a fixture in the Davis area since it was chartered in 1870, before the City of Davis was chartered and before the founding of UC Davis. Today, the Lodge has close to 200 members, including many community and business leaders. The current Odd Fellows Hall on Second Street was built in 1955, but underwent extensive remodeling in the last few years which installed a stainless steel commercial kitchen, new restrooms, an elevator, and major renovations to the Lower Hall and Upper Hall. The Lodge Hall is widely used by community and charitable groups. The Odd Fellows are a fraternal order tracing its history to 18th Century England. The Davis Lodge is dedicated to community and charitable service. The Davis Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1905 with the primary goal of lobbying the California State legislature to locate the University Farm, now UC Davis, in the Davis community. The independent Davis Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based organization supported by annual investments from over 600 local member businesses. The mission of the Davis Chamber is to promote, support and advocate the general economic vitality of its membership and the quality of life for the community.
The latest book about the Independent Order of Odd Fellows has just been printed and is now available for purchase. Judge David Rosenberg is the author of “The Future of Odd Fellowship – To Be Or Not To Be”. According to the author: “This is an interesting and thought-provoking book that you might consider as a gift for your favorite Odd Fellow or Rebekah, or for yourself or your Lodge Library.” This hard-bound book is about 300 pages in length and contains a series of essays, articles and other communications, including useful charts and graphs. It talks about the decline in membership, and it offers a vision for the future of our Order.
Judge Dave Rosenberg, Past Grand of the Davis Lodge, has reinvigorated his Lodge and has increased his Lodge’s membership by 500% over the past six years. He offers his perspective on the past, the present, and the future of Odd Fellowship.
This book may be purchased for $12.00 for each copy, which includes the cost of packaging and mailing. If you wish to purchase this book, please send your check (payable to Dave Rosenberg) for $12.00 for each copy to the following address:
Dave RosenbergDavis Odd Fellows Lodge415 Second StreetDavis CA 95616
The rich history of Odd Fellowship has been captured in many ways. Books, magazines, newsletters, photographs, and symbols all detail Friendship, Love, and Truth and how these basic tenets guide the IOOF in fulfilling it’s mission.
Here are some Odd Fellow related books that will provide some insight as to origins of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and how we have become the organization we are today.
I am pleased to share that we raised $803 for the Yolo County SPCA! We had a total of 84 players and set a new record for bar sales. Kudos to Lea for getting her supports to come out and play.
Here is a recap of our 2012 Bingo proceeds:
January both Sorptimist groups- $1,232
February Camp Kesem- $862
March Concilio- $428
May Angels of Hope- $124
June ALS Association - $884
July Yolo County Suicide Prevention -$554
August Yolo Crisis Nursery - $ 416
September I-House - $417
October Clinica Tepati - $652
November Soroptimist of Greater Davis- $637
December Yolo County SPCA -$803
For a grand total of $7,009 donated to our charity partners in 2012!
It was a good year, a huge thank you to each one of you who donated your valuable time to our committee's efforts. Sandra and I have had the pleasure of leading the Bingo Committee of the past two years and it has been very rewarding. The committee will be under new leadership beginning in January 2013, but Sandra and I will still volunteer and look forward to playing.
Thanks for a great two years,
Deanna and Sandra
If we were to examine the typical downfall of a group - any group - be it benevolent, fraternal, or even a country, we would see that what accompanies a downfall is turmoil. Just like the chicken before the egg question it can be asked which came first: the decline or the rise in turmoil? Either way, it should be evident that turmoil is not to be encouraged. I have personally seen too much turmoil for such a small group as Odd Fellows to endure. This must stop if we are to grow.
No one, no matter what their position, should feel the right to bully others. The order was founded on wonderful principles, some of which we have forgotten or have become so ingrained that we accept them without question. For instance, one of the excellent ideas the order has continued is to give each member a title or a measure of responsibility. At one time, when lodges normally numbered in the hundreds, sometimes thousands, this was quite an honor. Now, we still may feel the honor and our own self worth, but the playing field is much smaller. Often times a position is now hard to fill or filled for long periods with the same person. Many of us still wear our titles like badges of entitlement, but this is not what was originally intended. What was intended was rather a way in which to reward a good and honest member with a responsibility that they were only too happy to fill. Part of our history shows that much of the time the strong members in an early lodge were townspeople of renown, trusted elders, business people, craftsmen. Today, many of these types no longer see the rationality of joining our order. We have somehow removed any benefit that might be derived by joining. In order for us to experience new growth, we need to find renewed benefits to the prospective member looking in. We have to look beyond our own turmoil, above the whirling descent of our membership numbers to find the rationale to join our order.
Many members have spoken of this but we need to take it one step further and put our thoughts on offering benefits to work so that those who once saw no reason to join now see our worth. Lodges which are functioning well already offer something to interest onlookers. Some encourage committees of shared interests; music, wine, chess, bowling, sports, art, singing, reading, all can draw interest from outside the lodge. Does this make a lodge less than a lodge? Certainly not, in fact it can be well documented that at the beginnings of our order, our lodges were segmented by our members' self interests. This is what we have lost in the last fifty or more years. Our lodges have to feed our members on more than one level. Dinners may attract prospective members but they will not necessarily sustain their interest. Another look at the successful lodges will show that lodges that have viable committees have members who attend lodge not because they have to but because they want to.
An additional aspect that we see in successful benevolent groups is that they successfully journey outside their own lodges. In an earlier message, I noted the "Masons4mitts" program which enabled the Masons to actually promote their order prior to a San Francisco Giants Game. They were given free air time on network television. This type of charitable work is great advertising for our order and we should encourage our members to go outside our order to promote whatever worthy charity we can. We do many worthy things as an order, but we fail ourselves in not announcing them to the world.
These suggestions are tough for one member to do, but many hands make light work, so let's endeavor to put our best foot forward, and I believe that progress can be made. Encourage your lodge to energize your own members, find an interest that all can share and go forward announcing your own successes to the public, along with the simple idea that we care about something more than ourselves and we may finally connect with our own future.
In Friendship, Love and Truth, Rick Boyles
I've been doing an informal study of benevolent and fraternal groups, and perhaps not surprisingly I have found that our Order - Odd Fellows - is one of the weakest groups still going.
We like to talk about our diminishing size as similar to other groups, but that's just not accurate. The other groups tend to be much larger than we are. The Masons, the Elks, Moose, even the Clampers, and many other groups whom we think of as failing along with us are, actually, much larger than Odd Fellows. In point of fact, one would be hard pressed to find a group still functioning which is any smaller than our own Odd Fellows. So, it should be obvious that 50 members lost is a much more significant loss when you have 5,000 members as opposed to when you have 50,000 members. Of course, illustrating the problem is much simpler than solving it, but there are many of us who still don't see, or worse ignore, the impending nature of our own demise. Unifying all of our individual groups of Odd Fellows is certainly emphasizing the downturn, and is quickly going to become reality. Sovereign Grand Lodge is already putting the mechanics of unification in motion. I have had the honor of speaking to the current Sovereign Grand Master and he says that it will become policy within a few short years. I think that this may be a good move but it won't, by itself, solve the bases of our decline. So then, we arrive at the core issue specifically: How do we grow our Order?
As an aside, I like to be as even-handed as possible and a friend of mine who opposes the DMC says that our group is good at pointing out the issue (of our decline) but not at solving the problem. That's not exactly accurate. DMC, through this newsletter, has relentlessly pointed out the 66 year drop in membership in the California Odd Fellows (we now have just a bit over 4,000 members, a decline of over 90% from where we stood after World War II). And DMC, through this newsletter, has offered numerous, proven suggestions to help individual members and individual Lodges grow (for example, Dave Rosenberg in recent newsletters has suggested 10 ways for members and Lodges to attract applicants). In addition, DMC members have submitted resolutions to Grand Lodge aimed at increasing membership, and these resolutions have been adopted (for example, resolutions dealing with open meetings of Lodges, increasing our community involvement and visibility, improving our good fellowship and social activities for our members, the Membership Challenge Grant Program, etc.) Clearly, DMC has not been silent on the need for new members, and on ways to get there.
We now have about 130 Odd Fellow Lodges within the State of California (where once we had hundreds of Lodges) and in order for us to solve another Lodge's declining membership, we would need to examine it closely and make the corresponding adjustments. Every Lodge is unique. What we can do in the DMC and throughout the order is to find attributes of successful Lodges and show how those attributes may work in our other Lodges - best practices, if you will. What gives me hope for the future is that we DO have a few successful - in fact, very successful - Lodges that are growing and thriving. We have Lodges in excess of 100 members that keep expanding. So, clearly, they show a path to the future which is a path of growth and opportunity, not a path of stagnation and decline. Unfortunately, the vast majority of our remaining 130 Lodges are declining in membership, and many are simply failing at a greatly accelerated rate. We are now losing Lodges at the rate of at least 10-12 yearly. It does not require a MENSA candidate to see that at that rate, only two possible futures remain for Odd Fellowship in California in our generation: either we will completely disappear as a fraternal order, or we will survive through just a few (perhaps 10-15) successful Lodges operating independently here and there in California. A refusal to recognize the issue will not make it any less severe, and there will quickly come a time when the decline is too rapid to stop or to cause it to reverse itself. We have to quit debating the issue and band together to survive as a viable Grand Lodge of California.
The complexity of the issue is best solved at its basic level, which is, of course, your own Lodge and you. The DMC committee can point out ways in which Lodges have grown but they can't externally grow your Lodge. Your Lodge has to do its own heavy lifting. And the heavy lifting starts with each of us, as Odd Fellows. We, as individual members, can't sit back and wait for the other guy to solve the problem. We, and each of us, has to take custody of the issue. So, when someone who opposes say, Davis Lodge, San Francisco, or one of the other lodges where they are experiencing growth, I feel the need to tell them that this opposition is not only counter-productive, but more importantly, it is misdirected. So, an argument one might put forward is why does the DMC exist if it can't solve the problem of declining membership directly. What we can do is to illustrate the problem, which we have done, and draw comparisons with and best practices from Lodges experiencing growth. The rest is up to YOU.
Finally, we as an Order like to demean lodges of some success with the label "club" but let's face it, that's what successful lodges eventually become. Perhaps not an individual club, but a sheltering home for many clubs. This is not to diminish the ritual and regalia of our Order. The history and tradition of Odd Fellowship must and will ever remain, as that is what makes us a unique fraternity. The teachings are timeless. Yet, even reading our ritual you see that Lodges were meant to shelter clubs, or "committees" as the ritual calls it. A successful Lodge tends to be active, and to have multiple committees, handling multiple tasks. An unsuccessful Lodge often meets in silence and has no real theory of why it exists beyond tradition. This is what we have found to be the most basic trait of a successful Lodge, the ability to sustain a club-like atmosphere, and even more basic, the ability to sustain a congenial atmosphere not only within the Lodge walls but beyond the doors. We need to emphasize the need for growth by showing it in our voices, hearts, and actions. If all these things are done sincerely, we should manage to survive into a brighter future.
In F., L., & T.,
Rick Boyles, Deputy Grand Master
Tickets go on sale Friday, November 9 for the annual Breakfast with Santa in Downtown Davis. This year’s event, sponsored by the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge and the Davis Rebekah Lodge, will be held on Saturday, December 8, at the Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second Street in Downtown Davis.
The 2012 Breakfast with Santa marks the seventh year that the event has been held at the Davis Odd Fellows Hall.
This year, the breakfast will be served in the Upper Hall of the Odd Fellows Lodge, and Santa and his elves will great the children in a Winter Wonderland created in the Lower Hall.
Seating is limited and tickets are not sold at the door. Ticket price is $9 per person. Breakfast with Santa includes a delicious pancake, sausage and orange slice breakfast with the ever-popular cinna-bread from Woodstock’s Pizza, a goodie bag for each child and an opportunity to take a photo with Santa. The $9 per person charge applies to each adult and to each child. Tickets are available for purchase only at the following two Davis locations:
The Avid Reader – 617 Second Street, Downtown Davis
Common Grounds – 2171 Cowell Boulevard, South Davis
Tickets will go on sale at these two locations starting Friday, November 9.
Due to the extreme popularity of this event, there will be three seatings and tickets may be purchased (subject to availability) for any of the seatings: First seating 8:00 a.m.; Second seating 9:30 a.m.; and Third seating 11:00 a.m. “We are delighted to present this fun event for the children and families of Davis. But only 120 tickets are available for each seating and they go really fast,” said event co-chairs Lea Rosenberg and Barbara Geisler. In past years, tickets sold out within two weeks.
Breakfast with Santa is sponsored by generous food donations from the Davis Food Coop, Woodstock’s Pizza, Mazzetta Foods and Kona Coast Food Products, and Puroast Low Acid Coffee.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a long-time fraternal order and service organization and traces its history in Yolo County back to 1870 when the Lodge was chartered. The Davis Rebekah Lodge was chartered in 1901. The Odd Fellows Hall, located in Downtown Davis, has been in its current location on 2nd Street since 1955. The Odd Fellows and Rebekahs will also make a donation to the emancipated foster youth program (helping foster children as they transition to adulthood) and to aid foster children from funds generated from the Breakfast with Santa.
Adults are encouraged to bring their own cameras to record their child’s moment with Santa and the Elves.
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