First, I would like to introduce some special people in my life. Most of you know my husband and ESA brother, Allan. Many of you have watched our son, Thomas, grow up as he was 5 when we moved to Florida and I joined Florida ESA. Teresa became our daughter in 2020 when she and Thomas were married. Teresa is now a member of Sigma Phi chapter. I am so happy to call her my sister also. Brenda Wesp my Epsilon Lambda sister and Missile Area Council sisters have supported me in all my endeavors. We are missing Epsilon Lambda sisters, Laurel Lichtenberger and Heather Summy, this weekend. Laurel is doing better after her episode in the hospital over last weekend and is home resting. Heather is dealing with family issues.
My theme for the year is “Be the Sunshine in Someone’s Cloud”.What is a cloud? A person’s cloud may be a disappointment, grief, stress or anxiety, depression or feeling down about how life is treating them. My hope is that we can spread the sunshine of hope and help bytalking with them, praying with and for them, giving them hope, orsupplingimmediate needs. There are so many ways to spread sunshine in our families, chapters, state, country and the world. As I was preparing this message, I found the following definition of why we volunteer. I feel that this explains how I feel about Epsilon Sigma Alpha. It was published in the Fall of 1977 in the Glendale California YWCA News and Views newsletter.
“We volunteer for many reasons – because we have a basic interest to help others, or we wish for a sense of accomplishment, for the adventure of something new, for a change of pace from the work-a-day world or for self-esteem, or we may simply wish to belong. There is no better way to banish blues or to counteract the stress of world crisis than by engaging in the thoughtful work with and for others. The end result is self-fulfillment, which is on a higher plane than self-interest.”
The focus again this year is membership growth and retention. Epsilon Sigma Alpha has been experiencing a decline in membership for many years.At the National Leadership we learned some want to tell our story. Many members when posting pictures to Facebook and Instragramthat do not identify chapter activities completely. A suggestion was made to include information about the picture including what the event was and who sponsored it, why the event was held and an invitation for the readers to ask for more information eitherabout the event or Epsilon Sigma Alpha. Some chapters that have done this have been successful in recruiting new members. I challenge all members to tell your stories, all the time everywhere to help find new members. The membership campaign “Food with Friends” will continue in the coming year. Many chapters have had success with this campaign. Who doesn’t love sharing a meal with someone? Use it to our advantage.Some of our chapters have had successful growth this year. Florida has welcomed 22 new members this year. Fifteen new members have been welcomed into 6 Council chapters, 1 DESA, and 6 new members for Delta Chi, the University of Florida chapter.In the membership report from headquarters for April three new members have been recorded.Two new members have joined Chi Omega who is not a member of the state council and 1 new member for Delta Chi, the University of Florida chapter.
Allan, thank you for all the love and support you have given me and ESA through the years. I love you. Thank you, Thomas and Teresa, for being here this weekend and helping out when I needed help. To my chapter and Missile Area Council sisters thank you for all you do. Thank you, Ida, for a beautiful installation. It was more that I could imagine. Thank you also to Karlene Beville and Laurel Lichtenberger for the planning and execution of the background. Rho Chi what a wonderful weekend you have given us celebrating “Elvis” -- Experience-Love-Values-Ideas-Sisterhood. I hope that everyone attending experienced love and sisterhood this weekend.
I look forward to an exciting and successful year.In closing I would like to share this poem by anonymous
I want a warm and friendly friend
To keep the adverse hour
Who ne’er to flatter will descend
Nor bend the knee to power.
A friend to chide me when I’m wrong
My inmost soul to see
And that my friendship prove as strong
For him as his for me.
These all the wants of mortal man
I cannot want them long
For life itself is but a span
And earthly bliss a song.
My last great want absorbing all
Is when beneath the sod
And summoned to my final call
The mercy of my God.
Thank you for placing your trust in me to lead the Florida State Council for the 2023-2024 year.
WHAT IS Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA)?
ESA is a leadership and service organization providing fun and friendship with a purpose.
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