2020-21 Annual Report
A summary of the year 2020 could be made with several words not suitable for print, but I choose to characterize it with Flexibility. I do not need to enumerate all the challenges, sufferings, fear, and loss which the pandemic has forced upon us. What I will say is how proud I am of the way our Executive Committee rose to meet those challenges.
When we became isolated from one another, our Valley reached out to every member over the age of fifty by phone and through the mail, to make sure they were safe and had what they needed. The intimate nature of the one-on-one communication during a time of such uncertainty made the concept of Brotherhood tangibly real. In some ways, the isolation brought us closer.
When we could not share a meal together, our Valley made meals available for pick-up through our relationship with Catering with Elegance. These heavily subsidized meals offered a great value to our members and helped to keep our catering partner afloat when they needed it most.
When we could not attend lectures to educate and enrich us, our Valley brought them to our homes. Brother Guide Sobecki and Antwane Lee have done an outstanding job, sourcing speakers from far and wide to provide exclusive virtual presentations for us.
When we could not meet in large groups, our Valley arranged for microevents in the surrounding area. From Axe Throwing to Archery, Bowling to Bratwurst, we tried it all. Let’s face it…we love being together. These microevents provided us the opportunity to spend time together safely and responsibly.
When we could not celebrate the Holiday Season together, our Valley sent us gift boxes to bring some feelings of love and cheer during a time when we crave it most. I received lots of positive feedback from our membership saying how much they appreciated that thoughtful gesture.
These are some examples of the flexibility your Executive Committee has demonstrated during this unprecedented disruption to our usual activities. On behalf of all the Presiding Officers of the Valley of Chicago, I hope that you and your family has been touched by our efforts, and that you never felt you were facing these challenges alone. From the first moment that trouble appeared on the horizon we were in this together, and we will emerge from it together.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention the unwavering support of our Board of Directors, who has skillfully navigated us through these troubled times, and our Office Staff, without which none of our designs would take shape. No time has been wasted while we have been away from our facility. The ease of meeting virtually has meant that we can do so much more often. Ironically, I think we had more meetings and got more accomplished this year than in the several previous years.
Thank you, my Brothers, for the honor and privilege of serving with you and for you. I am proud to say that our Valley is in great shape and ready to welcome all of us back very soon. I can’t wait to see you there.
Chad M. Lacek,
Executive Committee Chairman