FDR Lodge 613 Knights of Pythias

Grand Chancellor's Message

I would like to thank the members of the Domain of New York for the confidence placed in me to serve as your Grand Chancellor this year. I look forward to the Challenges set before us as well as the strides we continue to make.

Like Always, our main emphasis will be increases in our Membership. We will create an Incentive program that rewards members for sponsoring new members; we'll continue a Membership Telemarketing Program; we'll continue to support our troops in harm's way overseas; we will be doing projects that will get us the much needed Publicity by getting our name known so that we will not be known as ”The Knights of Who” anymore, and Like Never Before we will accomplish all of these goals and more.


Increases in our ranks are my primary goal. This has been and will continue to be the main emphasis of our work and I will continue through my programs and our Committees the progress made by my predecessors. I anticipate a large increase in our membership taking advantage of the success of the Supreme Lodge Membership Drive headed by Supreme Lodge Membership Committee Chairman our own Sir Alan Krell and I ask each and every member of this Domain to bring in at least 1 new member into his Lodge this year.

Therefore, I am offering a Membership Incentive Program which will benefit you. This incentive rewards our members for every 3 new members, I repeat, for every 3 NEW members you sponsor for membership into your Lodge, the Grand Lodge will pay your annual dues for next year, up to $75.00 as a way for us to say thank you. This incentive will be allowed for up to 9 new members as an incentive for up to 3 years dues or $225 to any one Brother.

Additionally, the Brother that sponsors the most new members during my term, with a minimum of 9 new brothers from today through June 30, 2013 will be rewarded with a $500 Gift Card, to be presented at the Grand Lodge Annual Convention in July of 2013.

Membership increases will also come from the renewed effort of the Sports Committee and their approaching the various Pythian Sanctioned Softball Leagues and bringing in softball players for our Lodges to sponsor. We will continue to subsidize the Lodge that brings in a ball player and will help by paying 1/2 the cost to enroll a player into the league for the first year.

This fall, the Membership Committee will begin a telemarketing program aimed at bringing in new members. This program was developed during Robert Kaufman's term as Grand Chancellor, and the Order in New York will benefit with increases in our numbers because of it.

Past Grand Chancellor Advisory Committee

Many years ago, I had learned a very valuable lesson that it is impossible for one person to know everything. However, the answers to 99% of the questions are within a few feet. There's a telephone, a computer, and the library but most importantly, in the case of the Knights of Pythias there are Past Grand Chancellors who have stood where I stand today and who have many years of experience and expertise in the working of our Order and Domain. It is my intention to take advantage of their knowledge and experience in the formulation of future projects and Programs.

At the recent 144th Grand Lodge Convention, a new Standing Committee was created and is called the Past Grand Chancellors' Advisory Committee. This committee will be advising me throughout the year as to ways to make the Grand Lodge work more efficiently and help us grow based on their vast experience.

I have assigned the Committee two Projects to pursue. The first project that I assigned is the refurbishment of the Peter Woodland Monument in Jersey City. Peter Woodland, a Pythian and Sandhog, built the rail tunnels under the Hudson River back in the 1870's. He gave his life so others would live. The monument is in dire need of repair and this Committee will be leading Refurbishment Project on multi-state level.

The 2nd project that the Committee is being asked to pursue is the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of our Order which will occur on February 18, 2014. We can take pride that our Fraternal Order will be in existence for 150 years.

We can be equally proud of the of all the charity work we continue to do.

It has been said that since our inception, our Order has raised and donated in excess of $200,000,000 to charity. Here in New York State, we have raised and donated millions of dollars to a variety of charitable institutions.

The Committee's work will take us in new and exciting directions.

Servicemen's & Veterans Committee

We shall continue to support our Servicemen's and Veterans Committee which has already sent tens of thousands of packages to our Troops serving overseas protecting our freedoms. We shall continue to send these packages but, in addition, we will look to further our support of those veterans that are in various Hospitals and Veteran Centers here in the New York Area and Washington D.C. who also need our help.

Every dollar contributed to the Servicemen's Committee goes to supply these protectors of our freedoms with items that they need and cannot get while stationed in places like Afghanistan and pay for the cost of postage to get the packages to them.

I have asked PCDGC Sir Joseph Robinson to continue chairing this committee's great efforts.

Humanitarian Fund

We shall continue to support Sunrise Day Camp. Sunrise Day Camp supports children with cancer and their siblings so they can attend day camp free of charge. We are planning a special event next spring to support the Camp. Volunteers will be needed. The Humanitarian Fund will be leading the way on this Project and I ask you help us support this very worthy cause.

In addition to the annual Luncheon, Journal, and Raffles and in support of all the Pythian Charities, the Humanitarian Fund is holding 2 fundraising events this fall. One is an overnight, as in years past but this time to the Sands Casino in Bethlehem Pennsylvania occurring the weekend of October 6th and the other event is a trip to West Point to watch the Army vs. Air Force Football Game on November 3rd. The cost to attend this full fun day includes a ticket to the game, tailgate party, and parking. Bring the family with you and join us for this event.

It is my hope that during the ensuing year, the Humanitarian Fund will surpass itself in its fundraising efforts and donate more money than ever before to our Pythian supported charities.

Knights of Pythias Diabetes Research Association

The Knights of Pythias Diabetes Research Association has run a very successful Golf Outing for the past 8 years, I look forward to their running a 9th outing next spring in support of the JDRF.

We will also be walking at the annual JDRF Walk in Flushing Meadow Corona Park in October.

The money we have raised since the inception of the Association has helped in the medical research that has lead to the development of the artificial pancreas which in turn will lead to finding a cure.

The Diabetes Research Association also plans on having a presence at many Street Fairs this year raising awareness in hopes of helping find a cure to this disease that affects many our members and their families. Until there is a cure, the Knights of Pythias will be there to support the efforts in finding one.

Special Olympics

Throughout this year, the Special Olympics will hold events around the NYC Area and we plan on assisting them in as many as we can. We are committed to work at the Long Island and Queens Games in September and support their various activities. Everyone is invited to share the excitement of helping these special athletes. The experience will be incredibly gratifying.

Pythian Camp

Pythian Camp provides tuition for under privileged children to attend Summer Camp. We shall expand our efforts to send children with special needs to specialized camps, these are children are afflicted with cancer, diabetes, and other illness or handicaps. We are holding a Mini-Golf Family day at the Brooklyn Golf Center on Flatbush Avenue on August 26th and we hope you, your children and grandchildren will come out to support Pythian Camp’s efforts to raise funds. Please contact PACDGC Scott Geffon for more information.

My Chief Deputy and entire Team will be carrying applications for your use in sending kids to have a summer camp experience

College Scholarships

One of best reasons to be a Pythian right now is the Grand Lodge Scholarship Program if your child will be graduating High School in June of 2013 or the near future and planning on attending college, we offer a $3,000 Scholarship subject to certain criteria. Some of which are being a member of the Order for at least 2 years prior to graduation, staying a member throughout your child’s college stay, and having an average of 85 or better. My team will be carrying with them the applications to apply for the Scholarship, so please ask them for one. Ask your friends and family who have children that are sophomores in High School to join us and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

Another little known fact is that if you join the DOKKIES, an auxiliary of the Knights of Pythias and are a member for at least 2 years, you can apply for an interest free college loan. To join either Salaam or Habibi Temples, please go to our website, www.kopny.com for more information.

The Chief, Assistants to the Chief Deputies and Deputies

I have chosen PACDGC David Stanger as my Chief Deputy, who along with the Assistants to the Chief and Deputies, will be traveling throughout the State to disseminate my Programs and events. You will see them at your Lodge meetings throughout the year. They will carry with them Membership Applications, Pythian Camp Applications and Grand Lodge Scholarship Applications. They will be there to advertise not only the Grand Lodge Programs and Charities to your Lodge, but they will be acting on my behalf and reporting back to me on your successful events, meetings and initiations. Communication is the key to successful Lodges.


Ritual in our State has been lacking over the last number of years. It is my hope that all of the Lodges in this Domain will once again begin to open and close their meetings in ritualistic form as well as conduct meetings properly. Don't let the naysayers in your Lodge convince you that it will be better if you don't open ritualistically. When Lodges operate ritualistically, it shows, to new members that you take pride in your Lodge and respect the workings of our Order. It will aid in keeping them coming to meetings. This fall, I plan on having the Grand Lodge Ritual Committee run a "How to Open and Close a Meeting" Seminar to show all of your Lodge Officers how easy it is to open and close a meeting and how little time it takes. They will also show you the proper protocol for Honor Nights. If you would like assistance in getting your Lodge back on track, please contact the Ritual Committee, we will be more than happy to help.

Dr. Morris Smoller Social Service Fund

We are working to revise the benefits that our membership receives and while we work on these, we do have an underutilized program, The Dr. Morris Smoller Social Service Fund. The Morris Smoller Fund makes donations to various Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Rehabilitation Facilities, and Hospices so when members need to get themselves or loved ones into a Facility, we make it easier. Help can be just a phone call away.

Associated Health Foundation

The Associated Health Foundation (AHF), operates parallel to the Morris Smoller Fund in that they too make donations to various Hospitals, Hospices, Nursing Homes, and Rehabilitation Centers. So, if you are a member of AHF and need assistance in getting yourself or a loved one into one of these Facilities, they will be able to assist you too.

Additionally, every new member receives free membership into AHF for the first year.

Knights on Wheels

This year the Knights on Wheels will be held on September 9th at Germonds Park in West Nyack. It's a day of giving back to give "Consumers" of various group homes and facilities a day in the Park with food and games. Come on down help and you'll get a warm feeling inside like you've never felt before.


We have many Committees supporting our charitable programs, events and projects to have you, our Members fully involved. We need you to volunteer your time by attending an event, working an event, supporting an event or serving on a committee. I ask you to please contact anyone on my team to volunteer. You'll never know the warm feeling of giving of yourself until you volunteer. To help you volunteer, Information on events being held by the Grand Lodge Committees, Subordinate Lodges and Districts will be posted on our website, www.kopny.com. The website also will have the names and contact information for chairman of Grand Lodge Committees. All of the events held throughout the State should be posted on the website about an event so members and lodges will know what is going on. To post your event, please contact my Executive Secretary, PACDGC/GT Corey Bearak at Bearak@me.com. Our Order has been changing and making great strides in many areas, and as it changes, so must we change. Everyone we come in contact with is a potential member. Ask them to join us.

Like Always, Friendship, Charity and Benevolence are the main Principles but Like Never Before we will achieve great things with a concentrated effort of all of our members. It is amazing how much can be accomplished when it doesn't matter who gets the credit. . This year will be Like Always, Like Never Before

Thank you.

Craig Shink

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