Greetings Noble, Darren,
As we begin another year, I’m excited by the prospects and challenges that it brings. I am truly honored to have been elected President of this great association. I thank you for the confidence you have shown me in electing me to this position. I truly come from your ranks and am proud to call myself an oriental bandsman.
I will never forget the first time I walked into an Oriental Band practice and was automatically relegated to a tambourine for the evening. I was invited (read shanghaied) to the meeting by my Blue Lodge and Shrine first and second line signers and it was predetermined that I was to become a bandsman. Once I had a taste of the camaraderie, the exotic music, and brotherly love, I knew...
I knew where I was going to spend "every Friday night for the rest of my life". That is the dedication and commitment that the Al Bedoo Oriental Band demands of its members, at least in jest. (or is it?) I have had so much fun and many adventures with this group of outstanding men. Our escapades have fostered some very special friendships that now, I could never imagine my life without. Those exploits and friendships have only expanded since becoming more involved in the Pacific Northwest Oriental Band Association and then the A.S.O.B. So many tails to tell, which is what hospitality rooms are for, right? Since those early days, I have never looked back.
I am looking forward to working and collaborating with our current association officers, our past presidents who continue to bring a wealth of experience and knowledge and each of you. The association is truly about our members and the oriental bands, who contribute your time and efforts on the front lines. When you parade and perform you not only are representing your band and temples, but you are also representing the A.S.O.B. It absolutely fills me with pride when I see pictures of your performances, parties or when your band is working an event.
One of the advantages of belonging to an association like ours is the sharing and the exchange of information. Very high on my agenda for this year is increasing the amount and hopefully the quality of information that you receive from the A.S.O.B. I believe that communication is a key element in any relationship and I want our alliance to be a strong one. Each band is invited to write an article. Let us know what your band is up to, about your events or share a fundraising idea or even relay a historic tail. We want to hear and learn from you. You can submit your articles to email@example.com.
One of my duties is planning the Jamboree, which for me is a very enjoyable undertaking. I do enjoy entertaining. We have been listening to the feedback that we have been receiving and are planning for a fun and activity laden event. The groundwork is laid and we are just shoring up some of the specifics. The hotel is verified and contracts signed. I don't want to spoil the announcement by getting into specifics here, but you can count on a detailed communication going out within the next couple of weeks. Once that is released, you will be able to immediately reserve your hotel room and register for the event.
What I can tell you, Jamboree 2020 will be in Billings Montana. The dates are May 28th - 31st. I have been hinting to the location for quite a while trying to make sure that you and your bands have time to plan to get there. The more people that attend a Jamboree the more fun it is for everyone. Come support the A.S.O.B. and have the time of your life. Not only do I believe that this event is well worth coming for, but Billings and Montana have so much to offer for visitors.
One of the major things we do as Oriental Bandsmen is to raise money for the Ladder of Smiles. This year is no different, and I will be putting a lot of emphasis on finding ways to increase what we are collecting for our kids. This year's goal is not astronomical and is an amount that we have hit on many other occasions. It is $75,000. What I want to see is all of us take ownership of working towards that goal. It is something that we can talk about with pride as we try new methods to raise that money. I will be putting out some suggestions to help you along the way, but you too can help, by sharing what you do successfully to raise money for the Ladder of Smiles.
I want to leave you with one last thought. This year I will be talking a lot about challenge and commitment. We need to challenge ourselves, our bands and each other. Staying the same, we get comfortable and things start going by the wayside. We need challenges to keep things fresh and to bring in new members. Even learning a new piece of music can give us the purpose that we need. I am a firm believer that when we lose our purpose, we start to lose interest in what we are doing.
With those challenges in mind, we need to commit ourselves to follow through on those challenges. A commitment to communication and to giving the time that is needed to your bands. A commitment to be the best that we can be, to show all of Shrinedom why the Oriental Bands are leaders in our great fraternity.
Challenge and Commitment!
Es Salam Alaikum, my brothers!