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Potentate’s Message

September 2017

MEMBERSHIP IS THE LIFE BLOOD OF THE SHRINE.  On a grim note, we have had no creations this calendar year; have lost 18 to the black camel; had 1 associate drop; and 1 prerequisite suspension.  We added 3:  1 restored and 2 affiliated.  Overall this year we are down 17 members, and our current membership is 407.  We also have 11 Nobles that are subject to suspension in December.  That will drop us below 400.  Guys we need to work on MEMBERSHIP!!  Shriners International has provided us with tools to help us grow our membership.  The newest is I AM COMMITED R U. You can access it at https://webfez.shrinenet.org/referral.  On this website you can refer men that you feel would make good Masons and Shriners. Go there and refer a few good men and let International start the dialog for you.

There will be a Sporting Clay Shoot on September 16th at the North Texas Field and Stream Range starting at 9am.  (Registration starts at 8:00am.)  Cost is $90 a person (5 per team) and lunch will be provided after the shoot.  This is a serious fundraiser and a budgeted income item. We need participants to make this event a success.  Contact Bruce Urban at 940-642-5284 or Maskat Office at 940-766-4511 to sign up for the shoot.  Invite your friends and let’s all make this a “real” fundraiser.

October events include the Dead Cow (13 & 14), 2018 Calendar Meeting (17), and Ceremonial (20).  This is not necessarily all-inclusive and is subject to change.

The Oil Bowl numbers have been finalized.  International requires that we provide them with a report that shows income, expenditures, and distribution of funds. These numbers are as of August 9, 2017, which is the date the report is due to International.  Net proceeds were $19,759.45.  Maskat retained $2,000 to be used to finance next year’s Oil Bowl.  SHC-Galveston received a check for $8,879.72, and SHC-Houston received a check for $8,879.73.  This is two years in a row we have “done good.”  It takes a lot of bodies and man-hours to accomplish everything required for this game.  We really need more peopled to get involved with this project.  Several of the people that carried the weight of parts of the whole are no longer able to continue, so I urge you to consider working next year’s game.  I know Yoshi Fukasawa will appreciate it.  Just so you will know, if you have not paid for your Oil Bowl Noble Tickets and wish to do so, moneys collected after the report is submitted to International go into the “Oil Bowl Reserve” fund and will be reported and distributed with next year’s report.

The Potentate’s Trip was to Don Laughlin’s Riverside Hotel and Casino on August 17-20.  Bree and I had a great time and everyone I talked with said they did too.  Thanks to all of you who joined us.

This year the Maskat Shrine Circus is a one-day event in Wichita Falls (Monday, November 20) and one day in Graham (Tuesday, November 21) at the Young County Arena.  Maskat will receiving only the proceeds from the Noble Ticket sales and coloring book advertising and sales.  When you receive your letter with your tickets (late October), please purchase your tickets.  This will directly impact Maskat’s financial status.

It takes all of us working together.

Let’s Have a GREAT rest of the Year!!!
Jeff Gainer, Potentate

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August 2017

Here we are into the dog days of summer and one month away from our next stated meeting in September.

There will be a Sporting Clay Shoot on September 16th at the North Texas Field and Stream Range starting at 9am.  Cost is $90 a person.  As most of you remember the one on June 3 was cancelled because of bad weather.  This one is a serious fundraiser and a budgeted income item, so let’ all get behind Bruce Urban and help make this a “real” fundraiser.  Contact him at 940-642-5284 and see what you can do to help.

Again, I want to thank everyone who worked on the onion sales.  Several people stepped up toward the end and bought, then donated, onions to the Wichita Falls Food Bank or other worthy recipients so that all onions were sold with next to no spoilage (one or two onions—no full bags).  The project had a $4,600 profit.

I guess all of you are waiting to hear how well the Oil Bowl did.  As of late July, it appears there will be approximately $18,000 to $20,000 profit.  There are still a few things outstanding but looks like we will have a good amount for the Galveston and Houston Hospitals.  If you have not paid for your Oil Bowl Noble Tickets, please consider doing so.

Twenty-nine nobles attended TSA this year (June 15-17).  Provost Guard competed:  Tim Bradberry, TOP GUN; C Team, First Place; A Team, Second Place; D Team Third Place. Congratulations to all of you!

Imperial Session was July 9-13.  Imperial funded the attendance of our three representatives—Potentate Jeff Gainer, Chief Rabban Calvin Carlton, and Recorder John Tunnel.  Two of our units—Provost Guard and Clowns–competed and both units did Maskat proud.

Billy Neimeyer, Jr., “Took Second Place” in the Individual Clown Completion!  Billy Neimeyer, Sr., “Took Second Place” in Preparation and placed in the top 5 in Parade Ability. Billy Neimeyer. (Sr. and Jr.) “Took  Second Place” in the TWO MAN COMPETION.  The Provost Guard competed in the first ever Imperial Session Shooting Competition. Tim Bradberry “Took First Place” in Tactical/Combat Shooting.  The A Team “Took First Place” and the D Team “Took Second Place.”

I believe everyone was very impressed with Daytona Beach. The 2018 Imperial session will again be at Daytona Beach, and I would highly recommend going, attending, and competing. If you have plans to go and want to stay at host hotel, you need to get in contact with Calvin Carlton so that we can try to block rooms. There were lots of events including: driving a vehicle or walking around the speedway; Shrine night at a baseball game; bands and fireworks, as well as a parade.

As you may or may not know, there was a called meeting in July to vote on a dues increase. There has not been a dues increase in almost 17 years. The meeting was well attended, and the motion to increase dues was passed by a vote of 56 to 2.

Lastly, but most certainly not least, we have not had a newly created member since January 1, 2017. Thus far this year we have had three Nobles restored. On the grim side, we have had 17 deaths and one suspension because of blue lodge suspension—total membership today is 408.  Membership is vital to Maskat and to Shriners. We need to do everything we can to grow ours.

A new, web-based referral program that can be used as a recruitment tool for new members was introduced at Imperial Session. I referred someone using this process so that I could see how it works. The emails that individual has received are very well written and executed (and not overwhelming in volume).  If you know anyone that would make a good Shriner, go online (https://webfez.shrinenet.org/referral) and refer them.  You will not be sorry!

It takes us all working at it.

Let’s Have a GREAT rest of the Year!!!
Jeff Gainer, Potentate

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June 2017

Hard to believe that this year is half way over.  Time flies when you are having fun and staying busy!

We have not had a newly created member since January 1, 2017 and only one Noble that became an affiliated member.  Membership is vital to Maskat and to Shriners. We need to do everything we can to grow ours.

On June 3, we will be have a sporting clays shoot at Northwest Texas Field and Stream. Cost will be $90 per person with the shoot starting about 9am. Lunch to will follow the shoot. This will be more of a fun shoot than a serious fundraiser. We will have another one in August.  We will try to get many more people to participate—a serious fundraiser.  More details to follow as we get closer to August.

Onion sales have been rocking right along.  There is about 200 small (10 pound) bags left. If we can get these sold, it will really help our budget–that would be $2,000 in the bank.  If you have not bought any (or sold any to your neighbors), please do so.  Maskat can surely use the money.  I want to thank everyone who worked on this project.  There are too many to list here, but know all your time and effort is greatly appreciated.

On June 10th, the 80th Annual Maskat Shrine Oil Bowl Classic will be played.  A tremendous amount of work is involved in making everything happen.  Oil Bowl meetings are scheduled for May 3, 17, 24, and 31.  If you are working on the Oil Bowl or do not have a specific task(s) and can help, please come to these meetings.  Your effort and time is (and will be) greatly appreciated. We want to do even better this year than last.  The Oil Bowl is our one and only Hospital fund raiser.

TSA will be June 15-17.  You must be registered for TSA to be able to compete.  If you have not registered, call Maskat and give Conner or Donna your information.  The hotel is Waco’s Courtyard by Merriott.  The block on the rooms expired May 24; however, you can still call the hotel and make reservations (254-752-8686).  You may not get the group rate.  Be sure and notify Donna in the Maskat Office if you make a late reservation so we will have a record of all rooms used.

There may still be some tickets left for the “Kimber 6” Stainless Steel 357 magnum/38 caliber revolver.  Last count there were either two or three.  Drawing for this handgun will be at June Stated Meeting.  Call Mark (631-4208), Dana (631-4202), or Maskat office (766-4511) if you want to buy a ticket or have questions about the raffle.  Mark and Dana Terry handled everything for this raffle.  Thanks to you both!

Imperial Session will be July 9-13 in Daytona Beach. Florida.  Provost Guard will be competing.  A Restoration Party (Maskat Cook) is scheduled for July 22. Check at Maskat for details as time gets closer.  Also have a Maskat Cook scheduled for August 26 (more to follow).

Again, THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING.  It is recognized and appreciated.

Let’s Have a GREAT REST of the Year!!!
Jeff Gainer, Potentate

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May 2017

Nobles,

Well, things seemed to pick up in April.  There were several things in the mill that have required a lot of coordination and planning: Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Maskat Golf Tournament, Oil Bowl, and TSA followed by the Imperial Session.

I considered the Dinner Theater to be a great success.  Great performance and good food.  It made around $850 for Maskat.  The audience gave a rousing applause after the performance and several commented they would like it to happen again.  Chances are the results would be even better with repeat performances.  We always learn a lot the first time around.

The annual Easter Egg Hunt was on April 15th.  The weather was fine and the turnout was good. Thanks to Greg Stockton and the rest of the cooking crew, the Divan ladies for serving, and all the Clowns for making the event fun “for the kids.”

We had a very successful Golf Tournament on April 21st thanks to Gordy and Gloria Antill. I believe we made about $8,000 on the tournament. Thanks also to Bob Hamblin and Pam Hall and everyone else that helped Gordy with the event.  Your time and hard work are very much appreciated.

The big project for May is the Vidalia Onion sales.  The onions should be here and ready for sale on May 6th.  Hopefully, we will have plenty of volunteers to work the event.

On June 10th, the 80th Annual Maskat Shrine Oil Bowl Classic will be played.  A tremendous amount of work is involved in making everything work.  Oil Bowl meetings are scheduled for May 3, 17, 24, and 31.  If you are working on the Oil Bowl or do not have a specific task(s) and can help, please come to these meetings.

TSA will be June 15-17.  You must be registered for TSA to be able to compete.  If you have not registered, call Maskat and give Conner or Donna your information.  The hotel is Waco’s Courtyard by Merriott.  There is a link to the hotel’s reservation system on Maskat’s home page (www.maskatshrine.com).   Click on “Read more” on the post for TSA Hotel Reservations.

We had the drawing for the 22 Cal Henry Rifle at the April Stated Meeting.  There may still be some tickets left for the “Kimber 6” Stainless Steel 357 magnum/38 caliber revolver.  If we can sell all tickets by May 9th, the drawing will be at May Stated Meeting.  Otherwise, it will be at June Stated Meeting.  Call Mark (631-4208), Dana (631-4202), or Maskat office (766-4511) if you want to buy a ticket or have questions about the raffles.  These raffles were conducted by Mark and Dana Terry—A BIG THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU!

We still have RIBS FOR SALE @ $15 PER RACK.

I know there are lots of you out there working really hard in support of Maskat.  You don’t do it for or expect recognition for you efforts but know that your unselfishness humbles me and makes me very proud to be a member of Maskat and your Potentate.

Let’s Have a GREAT Year!!!
Jeff Gainer, Potentate

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April 2017

March has not been quite as busy as February as far as the Divan goes but I feel like I am being chased by a Mack truck.

The IHOP National Pancake Day (March 7) was successful–$5,000 for Shriners Hospitals for Children (SHC).  Thanks to everyone who volunteered to be at one of the IHOPs.  You can be proud of yourselves. We were well represented at this annual, national, largest one-day SHC fundraiser.

You really missed out if you did not come to Maskat’s Hockey Night on the 9th.  All the free tickets were used and some came and paid admission.  The highlight was SHC patient Trenton, who is a junior high school student, dropping the puck.  It was really neat.  He accumulated several pucks during the game and decided Mark Reed’s grandson need one.  Great example of what the Hospitals are accomplishing.

Last month I mentioned that we were putting a link on the website so you can look at some of Maskat’s pictures.  It is now there.  From HOME page, click on the “LINKS” tab (first one on the page) and have fun.

By the time you read this our first-ever dinner theater will have happened.  Based on the RSVPs we have received, it looks like we will have a good attendance.  Maybe we can make this a semi-annual event if everything goes well.  Could become a really good Maskat fundraiser.

Don’t forget about the Easter Egg hunt on April 15th at Hatton Road land.  Starts at 12:00 noon with hot dogs and hamburgers.  That will be followed by the Maskat Golf Tournament on April 21st.  Noble Gordy Antill is running the show.  He would like to have your help with some names of potential individual or businesses to contact for Hole Sponsorships.  You don’t have to sell the Hole Sponsorship, just give Gordy the names and he will take it from there.  His phone number is 940-447-1708.

Okay, let’s talk Oil Bowl. This year the game is on June 10th.  We are going to have the Cheerleading and Football Youth Camps again this year.  There will be an Oil Bowl meeting shortly—date not yet confirmed.  We need to get organized and going on everything so please come to the meeting and let’s get things going.

TSA will be June 15-17.  We have received very little information as yet.  The hotel is Waco’s Courtyard by Merriott.  See this Wildcat for more information about registration and hotel registration.

We still have RIBS FOR SALE @ $15 PER RACK.

I want to say a big Thanks to Mark and Dana Terry.  They organized a couple of gun raffles to raise moneys to benefit Maskat Shrine.  I believe the tickets for the 22 Cal Henry Rifle have probably all been sold by now, but there may be some tickets left for the “Kimber 6” Stainless Steel 357 magnum/38 caliber revolver.  Call Mark (631-4208), Dana (631-4202), or Maskat office (766-4511) if you have questions about the raffles.

Thanks to all of you for what you are doing.

Let’s Have a GREAT Year!!!
Jeff Gainer, Potentate

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March 2017

Nobles,

February was a busy month with Divan MidWinter followed immediately by the Super Bowl and then the O.G. Trip.  By the way, OG Kenny Lemons now has his apron back.  It mysteriously appeared on the bus when we stopped in Terral.  We think the hippies that sell trinkets had something to do with its disappearance, but that cannot be confirmed.

We also had our second “Ladies Night” at the February stated meeting—Valentine’s Day.  A big Thank You! To Dickie and Jackie Dixon for getting the long-stemmed roses for the Ladies.  The ladies seemed to have a great time.  Several Nobles were asked to wait a bit to get into the Oasis until the ladies finished their meeting.  Also had a great meal via Cooking Unit.  Thanks to all of the unit and especially David Potter.  I believe he cooked the meal.

Don’ forget on March 9th we are having SHRINE HOCKEY NIGHT.  According to the tickets the Wichita Falls Wildcats will play the Corpus Christi Icerays.  Game starts at 7:05 PM.  We still have 7 free tickets for the game available at Maskat.  Limit is two per noble.  If you purchase a ticket, the price will be reduced by $2 for Shriners.  We hope to have a Shriners Hospital patient drop the puck and show a hospital video at intermission, so come on out and BRING YOUR FEZ.

The Maskat Cook #1 that was scheduled for March 11th has been incorporated with the Dinner Theater that we scheduled for March 31st.  The program for the theater will be presented by the drama class from Rider High School.  Because of a conflict with University Interscholastic League competition, the Dinner Theater will be rescheduled.  You will be informed of the new date and time.

Also, ESPN NCAA tournament challenge starts in March.  If you have not signed up on ESPN, do so now so that you will be ready.

We have three units that will be having MidWinters in March:  Clowns, 2-4 March in San Antonio; Provost Guard, 25 & 26 March in Corpus Christi; and Golf Unit, 29-31 March.

A couple of events are coming up in April (Easter Egg Hunt – April 15 and Maskat Golf Tournament – April 21).  The Golf Tournament is a Maskat Fundraiser.  We all need to get behind it and make it a tremendous success.  Noble Gordy Antill is heading up the event and I am sure he would welcome your help and your ideas as well.  Let’s work at exceeding our budgeted net profit.  Together we can do it.

You can now view Maskat’s photos and scans from as far back as 1921 by accessing them on the internet.  We will be adding a link www.maskatshrine.com in the near future.  At the home page, click on the “LINKS” tab.  We will add a tab for “Maskat Shrine Photos and Scans.” To just browse and see what is now available go to: http://scimitar.maskatshrine.com/archives/Photos/.  By the time this Wildcat is published I should have pictures posted from the 2017 Potentate’s Ball.  Just open the folder for “2017-Jeff Gainer/2017.01 – Potentate Ball/.

We still have RIBS FOR SALE @ $15 PER RACK.  We had some of them to eat on the OG Trip.  They were great and still tasted as good as when they were first cooked.

Another thing I want to add.  We are already getting in player packages for the Oil Bowl which is on June 10.  We need a lot of help from all of you to pull this off this year—we want to exceed last year, and we should be able to if we get on the ball.  I am sure Yoshi would welcome all the help we can give.

Thanks to all of you for what you are doing.

Let’s Have a GREAT Year!!!
Jeff Gainer, Potentate

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February 2017

Nobles,

First of all I want to thank all of you for entrusting me with the leadership of our Temple during 2017.  It was with great humility that I accepted this honor.  I do not consider this “my year”—it is OUR YEAR, THE NOBILITY OF MASKAT.  I am looking forward to serving you, and together we will enjoy a year filled with fun and membership growth.

Next, I want to than my fantastic wife Bree for all the help and support she has already give me during my years on the Divan.  Knowing her she will make this year even better.  Also a big thanks to all my fellow Divan members since 2013 whose leadership and guidance has been so valuable.  A special thanks to Bruce Urban, our immediate Past Potentate, for all his dedication, hard work, and leadership.  What a great job!!

Daughters of the Nile provided a great meal for the installation/stated meeting in January.  Thanks to everyone who worked on it.  We really appreciated it.

When you read this, the Potentate’s Ball will be history.  Bree and I want to thank everyone who helped “make it happen.”  We also want to thank everyone who attended and helped make it such a success.

Ribs for Sale: There are still 40-50 slabs of ribs in the freezer that you can purchase for $20 each.  They are double-wrapped in foil.  If you put them in oven still wrapped (about 275 degrees for 30-45 minutes) until they are hot they are as good (or even better) than those that were never frozen.

UPCOMING EVENTS

February 6 (Monday), Shrine @ Burk Lodge—meeting at 7:30 pm.

February 10 (Friday), if possible, wear a Shrine shirt to work or wherever you go that day.

March 9 (Thursday), 7:05 pm.  We are going to a hockey game! Some free tickets are available—limit 2 per noble, first-come-first-served.  For those purchasing tickets,  price will be reduced by $2.  During intermission they have agreed to show a SHC video.  They are also going to let some lucky Shriner “drop the puck.”  We will decide who at the game.  Steve Harris says he will drive the Zamboni!

March 31 (Friday). Dinner Theater with a performance by Rider High School drama.  This is a Maskat fundraiser.  (It does include a meal.)

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     We will have the Onion Sales fundraiser again this year.  More details will follow.  Speaking of fundraisers, this year we all need to work even harder to make all our fundraisers more successful than ever.  In this time of declining dues income and less income from the Conley Trust, we MUST raise more money if we are going to continue to operate Maskat at the current level.  We cannot afford to completely deplete all our reserves.  No one likes to think about raising dues, but we must find a way to increase revenue.

On a happier note, here is something to keep in mind for late July or August.  Bree and I are considering Laughlin or Windover for a Potentate’s trip.  It may be some time before we have any details.  This would be a very affordable and fun trip so look for more information to come.

Let’s Have A GREAT Year!!!
Jeff Gainer, Potentate

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January 2017

Nobles,

Five years ago, you, the Nobles of Maskat Shrine, elected me to become a member of your Divan. I must say I was extremely honored that you had the confidence in me to allow me to eventually become Potentate of our great fraternity–the VERY BEST Temple in the State of Texas!  I sincerely appreciate the privilege of being one of your representatives at all Shrine functions which I have attended!

Together we have seen several highs and lows with reference to Maskat activities and fundraising events.  We also continue to see a decline in our membership—a definite “low.” The Oil Bowl, which officially became a Shriners Hospitals for Children (SHC) charity event, had a net income of over $20,000—a definite “high.” My first year on the Divan, it seemed as if there was a great opportunity to get Oklahoma Temples on board to support the game. However, because of circumstances out of our control, it did not happen and the game went downhill. We came very close to cancelling the game. NOW, with some great leadership and hard work, we have rejuvenated the game—reinvented the wheel (so to speak).  We donated funds to both the Houston and Galveston SHC! This now seems to be an event with a strong future for our Temple.

Even as we have seen the demise of Shrinefest, we have also seen the rebirth of our Annual Dead Cow / Chili Cook-off! Will it ever rival Shrinefest? I think it possibly can since so much work has been done for the last two years and things seem to be headed in the right direction!

These are only two of the larger functions that we have had in the last year that were very successful. There was a ton of hard work done by a lot of Nobles that filled in where the Black Camel left vacancies. I cannot express enough thanks to those of you who stepped in (with very short notice) to make sure all the other fundraisers/events were successful. We didn’t “hit a lot of homeruns” this past year, but we sure got a “lot of base hits”! We have kept our name out there for others to see and hear. We are making waves in the community! All of which I hope will make a difference for Maskat in the future!

The greatest challenge facing Maskat Shrine and Shriners International, as well as our beloved Hospitals, is MEMBERSHIP!  The cold, hard truth is that both our local and global membership numbers are falling every day! Even with 2016 being a great year of bringing in New Nobles, Maskat is still at a deficit for membership. This will continue to be a problem for years to come; therefore, I challenge each and every Noble to wear your Masonic and Shrine pride on your “sleeves”! Become involved with your community and let everyone know that you are a Shriner and a Mason. Be proud to be Shriner and act as such, remembering that everyone who really knows you KNOWS YOU ARE A SHRINER. There is a lot more to membership than numbers! People have to want to be part of an organization that promotes their philanthropy and do so as an upstanding citizen, Shriner, and Mason.

I would once again like to thank all of you for supporting me, not only in 2016, but during my entire tenure on your Divan. It has been a pleasure to stand and be recognized as a Noble of Maskat Shrine. So many other Temples, in Texas and around the world, are envious of how our small Temple can do HUGE things and that we all exist in harmony.

May the Blessings of Heaven rest upon you and all regular Masons. May Brotherly Love prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement us!

BRUCE URBAN, Potentate
Maskat Shrine 2016