Odd Fellows Gourmet Dinner and Wine Pairing – Aug 18, 2017

Open to the Public – All Vegetarian Dinner with Wine Pairings – Reservations Required

The Davis Odd Fellows Lodge is now accepting reservations for a unique, delicious, healthy All-Vegetarian Gourmet Dinner with Wine Pairings, to be offered on Friday, August 18, in the Odd Fellows Lounge. This is a multi-course dinner with wines paired for each course. Wine is provided by the folks at Steele Winery.

Dinner will be prepared by our talented in-house Chefs Sarun and Michael. The hosting winemaker from Steele is extremely knowledgeable about wine and will join us for dinner to explain each of the several wines that are offered.


Appetizer – Baked Brie with Local Honey and Fresh Fruit paired with Shooting star Sauvignon Blanc 2016
First Course – Waldorf Salad filled Endives paired with Steele Pinot Blanc 2015
Entrée – Ratatouille with House-made Pesto paired with Steele Pinot Noir Carneros 2013
Dessert – Opera Cake with Fresh Peaches paired with Steele Touriga Nacional

The multi-course dinner, including wines, is priced at a reasonable $45 per person, but seating is limited so we suggests you RSVP soon and reserve your seats. Checks payable to “The Lodge”.

RSVP deadline is August 11.

RSVP to Allison at allison@rentdavislodge.com or call (530) 758-4940.

DMC – The Top Ten Reasons That Lodges Fail

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At this point in my year as Grand Master, I have visited in excess of 20 Lodges. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and even the ugly. Some Lodges are thriving. Many Lodges are trying. Other Lodges are fading. In the spirit of giving Lodges the warning signs of a failing Lodge, here – based on my experience – are what I consider the “Top Ten Reasons” that Lodges fail (with apologies to David Letterman and his Top Ten Lists):

Number 10. Inadequate signage. Most of our Lodges have been around for over 100 years, and many are located in the heart of downtown. Yet too often I have seen Lodges that are invisible. If you are an Odd Fellows Lodge, be proud of it and make sure that there is a large, distinct and easily visible sign that proclaims the building to be a Lodge of Odd Fellows.

Number 9. Decrepit halls. Nothing turns potential members off faster than a shabby Lodge Hall. A building with old paint, a clear need for repairs, and a dusty and dirty interior speaks volumes to the public. Such a building says, “we are old and we don’t care.”

Number 8. Failure to let go. In some Lodges, the same one or two people run everything, and have done so for 10 years, 20 years, or even longer. It’s time to let go. A new generation of leaders needs to be given their turn to be in charge of the Lodge. If you continue to do everything in the Lodge, you may think you are helping. But what you are doing is restricting newer members from enjoying the full IOOF experience. Don’t hold a position beyond your time. Better to train the newer members so they can flourish and continue the Order into the next generation.

Number 7. No, no, no. I have experienced the dreaded “no” in too many Lodges. Newer members are stifled, disappointed, frustrated, and even angered when the “long-time” members always say “no” to every new idea. Don’t always say “no”, or “we tried that a few years ago, and it doesn’t work”, or “that’s a stupid idea.” Learn to say “yes”. Let the newer members try.

Number 6. Constant comment. Nothing is more restricting and embarrassing for newer members than to always hear comments from the sidelines during a meeting such as: “You are standing in the wrong place” or “that word is pronounced ‘sectarian'” or “wait, it’s not your turn”. Don’t become the Lodge bully. Of course, you want to help the new members, but do it discretely, and perhaps following the meeting. Everyone makes mistakes in the beginning.

Number 5. Booooooring. Nothing says “this is a Lodge of grandfathers and grandmothers” louder than holding a boring meeting. Unfortunately, I have attended too many meetings where the meeting consisted of little more than verbatim reading of the minutes, sick and in distress, paying a couple of bills, and that’s it. Without committee reports, old business and new business, the message conveyed is that this is a moribund Lodge.

Number 4. Bicker, bicker, bicker. Many times I have heard from newer members who tell me that they attended a few meetings and then stopped because they couldn’t stand the bickering and sniping amongst the members. We are Odd Fellows. We are supposed to practice friendship, love, and truth. No one wants to hear about your petty complaints about other members. Get over it, shake hands and move on.

Number 3. Failure to have fun. The surest way to send a Lodge into its death spiral is to forget that we are a fraternal order and it’s OK to have fun. Lodges must plan social events that the members enjoy. Without such social events, the Lodge loses an entire dimension of its value to members.

Number 2. Failure to reach out. It is important to the work of this Order and the image of IOOF for Lodges to reach out into their communities to do good works. It’s also important to the new and younger members. This is the next generation who we wish to attract. These young men and women want to help out in the community and want to foster charitable causes. And it’s not just writing a check here and there. That’s too easy. Members want to engage hands-on in good charitable and community works.

Number 1. Failure to bring in new members. The #1 reason the Lodges fail is self-evident. I visited a Lodge recently that had not brought in a new member in over 5 years. The remaining members had dropped to less than 20 and virtually everyone was in his/her 70’s and 80’s. What do you think the future of that Lodge might be? That Lodge had skipped an entire generation (perhaps two) of new members. Obviously, the Lodge is heading down the path of demise. Without new members, a fraternal order ultimately perishes.

Do you recognize any of these “Top Ten Reasons” in your own Lodge?

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg

Children’s Sunday Movie Matinee Committee

Dear Odd Fellows and Pledges,

We have a new Lodge Committee – the Odd Fellows “Children’s Sunday Movie Matinee” Committee – and we are offering our first film – open to the general public – on Sunday, September 3, in the Upper Hall of the Lodge. On that afternoon we will present some old-time cartoons followed by our feature film: Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This is the original classic film from 1971 with the late great Gene Wilder. Remember all the iconic aspects of this film: the coveted Golden Tickets, the eccentric Willie Wonka, Mr. Slugworth, the Oompah Loompahs, the river of chocolate, and more.

Bring your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and neighbors. This is not just for Odd Fellows and Pledges – it is open to the general public. It is free of charge (although small donations at the door are gratefully accepted). The attached poster (created by Chuck White) gives all the details, including start times. We will offer a number of snacks for sale at the Matinee, including ice cream, juice and chocolate. A number of “firsts” will be offered on September 3:

* This will be the first film in what we hope will be a series of Sunday matinees featuring children’s movies. All films will be suitable for children, and adults, and the entire family. Willie Wonka, for example, is enjoyable to children of all ages – but adults find it entertaining as well – there are nuances in the film (particularly in the performance of Gene Wilder) that only the adults in the room will pick up.

* This will be the first use of our new big-screen projection system which will be installed in the Upper Hall this summer. The equipment is state-of-the art and the screen is larger. There are no windows in the Upper Hall, so the reduced lighting will allow for increased visibility of the film. I expect a much better video and audio presentation in the Upper Hall. Be the first to see the new big-screen performance!

Members of the Children’s Sunday Movie Matinee Committee are Jean-Paul Montreuil, Juelie Roggli, Beth Dovi, Lea Rosenberg, Marisa Browne, Kelli O’Day, Lisa Salinas, and me.

No RSVP’s – just come by for the first Children’s Sunday Movie Matinee at the Lodge on Sunday, September 3. Mark your calendars!

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
For the Children’s Movie Matinee Committee

p.s. If anyone is interested in serving on this committee for future presentations, please let me know!

Children’s Sunday Movie Matinee – Claim Your Golden Ticket

Children’s Sunday Movie Matinee – Claim Your Golden Ticket

The “Children’s Sunday Movie Matinee” Committee has scheduled the first Sunday Matinee for children of all ages in the Upper Hall at the Odd Fellows Hall: Sunday. September 3. Doors open at 12:47 p.m., old-time cartoons will start at 1:01 p.m. and the feature film will begin at 1:17 p.m. All Odd times. The film is a classic: The original 1971 “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory” starring Gene Wilder. Bring your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and the whole family. Our Sunday Movie Matinees are open not only to Odd Fellows and Pledges, but also to the general community – invite your friends and neighbors. Admission is free (although donations are accepted). There are no parking restrictions on Sundays.

In addition to the cartoons and feature film, we will have a snack bar where you and the kids can purchase ice cream, juice and chocolate. Come by the Lodge on September 3 to see the debut of our new Big Screen Projection System in the Upper Hall.

Bring your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and neighbors.   This is not just for Odd Fellows and Pledges – it is open to the general public.  It is free of charge (although small donations at the door are gratefully accepted).   The attached poster (created by Chuck White) gives all the details, including start times.  We will offer a number of snacks for sale at the Matinee, including ice cream, juice and chocolate.   Come to the Upper Hall to enjoy our new big screen projection system.   It is bigger and better than the one we have in the Lower Hall.

Members of the Children’s Sunday Movie Matinee Committee are Jean-Paul Montreuil, Juelie Roggli, Beth Dovi, Lea Rosenberg, Marisa Browne, Kelli O’Day, Lisa Salinas, and me.

No RSVP’s – just come by for the first Children’s Sunday Movie Matinee at the Lodge on Sunday, September 3.

DMC – Another Lodge Closing

Dear Dedicated Members for Change,

Just last week I heard about a Lodge that is about to fold it’s tents. A long-time member of that Lodge had just passed away, and “suddenly” the Lodge membership fell below the minimum of 5. They no longer had a quorum. Because they had no quorum, they couldn’t meet, they couldn’t operate as a Lodge, and they couldn’t even vote to consolidate with another Lodge. The remaining 4 members were all in their upper 70’s and 80’s in age. How did this “suddenly” occur?

Well, in truth, the demise of this Lodge was not “sudden”. It occurred over decades. The members of the Lodge should have seen it coming 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and 5 years ago. Those Lodge members, past and present, are culpable and they are responsible for the death of that Lodge. The Lodge members over the past two, or perhaps even three, decades ignored the previous hundred years when prior generations of members started that Lodge and worked hard to build it. The Lodge members over the past two or three decades were more concerned with maintaining the status quo. They were absolutely comfortable to continue doing things just the way they had always done them. They eschewed bringing in new members because that might result in changes. And so, over the years, the Lodge lost members who moved away, withdrew or passed away. And the Lodge did not bring in sufficient new members to replace them. Oh, they might have brought in a cousin or an uncle, but the handful of new members they brought in did not replace the volume losses, and the new members were all of the same age as the existing members – no members of a new generation were brought in. And so, in 2017, the few remaining Lodge members were all in their 80’s and 90’s, with one member in his late 70’s, and the inevitable happened – an elderly member died and the quorum was lost. No one was left in the Lodge to carry on. They had skipped two full generations of potential new members. All the work of starting a Lodge and building a Lodge in that community was and is lost. All because the members got lazy, and complacent, and cared only about their own comfort, and not the well-being of Odd Fellowship.

We must never forget that Odd Fellowship is a fraternal order, and the first responsibility of a fraternal order is to bring in new members. A fraternal order can exist and last indefinitely, BUT ONLY if the members bring in new members in the next generation. As humans we have a life span of 100 years, if we are extremely fortunate. A fraternity can last for centuries, if it replenishes the membership with the next generation. It does little value for a fraternity of 60 and 70 year-old members to bring in a group of applicants who are also 60 and 70 years of age. In 10 years, that fraternity will have members who are in their 70’s and 80’s and will have skipped two generations of potential members. There will be very few potential members in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s who wish to join a fraternity of septuagenarians and octogenarians.

Every single Lodge is at risk of this generation-skipping syndrome – and if not treated, it is fatal. My own Lodge – Davis #169 – is large and vigorous, but out of curiosity, I examined the register of members of my Lodge the other day and found some startling statistics. That register has the signature and date of initiation of every member since the Davis Lodge was instituted in 1870. From 1870 to 2017, the register shows that 744 men and women have joined. But here is what I found when I looked back at prior decades. In the decade of 1940-49, a total of 39 new members joined the Lodge. In the decade of 1950-59, 38 new members joined the Lodge. In the decade of 1960-69, 19 new members joined the Lodge. In the decade of 1970-79, 9 new members joined the Lodge. In the decade of 1980-89, 8 new members joined the Lodge. And in the decade of 1990-99, 22 new members joined the Lodge. In total, in that span of 60 years, only 135 members joined the Lodge – that’s an average of 2.25 new members per year. In particular, in the 20 years encompassing 1970-89, only 17 members joined – that’s an average of less than one new member per year. When I joined my Lodge in 2004, my Lodge was just like most Lodges in California – in trouble with declining membership. My Lodge had less than 30 members on the books, and could barely muster a dozen members for a meeting.

Soon after I joined, however, I was elected Noble Grand and served in that position for four years, and an interesting thing happened. In the 13-year time period 2004- 2017, we have had 336 new members join the Davis Lodge – that translates into an average of 25.8 new members initiated every YEAR. We have added almost as many new members in the past 13 years as joined in the prior 134 years.

How is this possible?

This dramatic turn-around happened because we changed the attitude, culture and direction of the Lodge. We stopped being complacent and comfortable with the status quo, because, candidly, that status quo was not working. We re-emphasized the fraternal aspect of our fraternity – we started having fun in the Lodge with committees planning all sorts of social events for the Lodge members and families. We re-emphasized our outreach into and involvement with the community, opening our Lodge doors and windows to our town and organizing numerous events to do good works to engage and help the community. We put out notices and press releases and became visible. We re-emphasized membership development. And that membership development became easier and easier because we were having fun and we were helping the community.

This is not rocket science, Brothers and Sisters. Lodges require new members to continue their existence. But no one wants to join a boring Lodge that does little more than hold meetings and schedule an occasional potluck. Certainly, such a boring Lodge will not attract the young men and women of the 21st Century who are VITAL to the continued life of our fraternal order.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Pasts Grand Master

DMC – New Life in Santa Rosa

Dear Dedicated Members for Change,

I believe that virtually every Lodge in North America can refresh itself and can grow. We simply need to think outside the box of our own Lodge Halls.

There is good news on the horizon for our Lodges, and the 2016 California statistics prove it. For one thing, 2016 was the first year in a looooooong time that California experienced a net GAIN in membership, rather than a net LOSS. In 2016, our membership increased (gains over losses) by 90 brothers and sisters. Interestingly, our net gain of male members was 2, and our net gain of female members was 88. Those few Lodges that continue to have no women members need to re-think that “status” and make sure that their doors are truly open to 50% of our population.

In other good news, the following Lodges are in the Top 10 showing the largest number of initiations in 2016. Here are the Lodges and the number of new members each initiated:

California #1 (San Francisco) – 32
Davis #169 (Davis) – 28
Oustomah #16 (Nevada City) – 23
St. Helena #167 (St. Helena) -23
Yerba Buena # 15 (San Francisco) – 18
La Fayette Historical #65 (La Grange) – 18
Morse #257 (San Francisco) – 16
San Pablo #43 (Vallejo) – 13
Bay City #71 (San Francisco) – 13
Golden West #322 (San Francisco) – 13

And in 2016, the following Lodges were in the Top 10 of dues-paying members. Here are the Lodges and the number of dues-paying members as of December 31, 2016:

California #1 (San Francisco) – 262
Davis #169 (Davis) – 260
Yerba Buena #15 (San Francisco) – 235
Apollo #123 (San Francisco) – 226
Lodi #269 (Lodi) – 124
Golden West #322 (San Francisco) – 115
Mt. Brow #82 (Los Banos) – 95
Franco-America #207 (San Francisco) – 93
Vacaville #83 (Vacaville) – 83
Bay City #71 (San Francisco) – 70

How can YOUR Lodge join these Lodge in a path to stability and growth? I recently received an e-mail from Santa Rosa that shows what can be achieved if your Lodge is open to trying new things. And that’s what we have to do to survive in the 21st Century. A quote often attributed to Albert Einstein probably says it best: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result.” What most Lodges have been doing year after year after year does not work and most are losing members faster than they can replace them. The “same thing” isn’t working. Let’s be open to evolution and change in our Lodges and in our Order. In this regard, I’m very pleased to forward to you that e-mail from Santa Rosa. Thinking outside the box has brought our brothers and sisters in Santa Rosa some healthy fraternal fun and will inevitably increase the membership of the Lodges in that community.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Past Grand Master


Dear Brother Dave,

I’ve been receiving your emails for over a year now and wanted to say thank you and let you know how much your messages have helped me.

I am the Vice Grand for the Santa Rosa Oak Leaf Rebekah Lodge #74. I am also the Hall Manager for the Santa Rosa Odd Fellows Hall so I see, and interact with, many members of both the Rebekah and the Odd Fellows Lodge #53. I have a high level of respect for these lodge members and have grown very close to many of them over the years. They have become my second family. I began to realize that although I was building friendships with members of both lodges, they didn’t all have that opportunity to get to know one another very well. I have always felt more could be done to encourage more member involvement. I thought there had to be something exciting we could do. I remembered the ideas you talked about and so I turned to some of your past emails for inspiration.

I met with the Noble Grand of the Odd Fellows Lodge #53 at the time, Sonny Arroyo, at the end of last year and asked him for his support. We both went back to our respective lodges with our idea. I wanted to combine our socials into a joint monthly social for both lodges and open them to all family members, friends, grandkids, neighbors, etc. My vision was that anyone would be welcome. A committee was formed and soon fliers would be emailed and posted on our website and the Neighborhood app., and a robo call would go out to all members to remind them of the upcoming social.

Previously, both lodges had separate socials averaging 25 members. Our first joint social dinner attracted around 45-50 people. The following month we planned a home made meal, created “trivia” games, set up crafts tables for the kids, and booked an Irish dance school to perform. Roughly 70 people attended. Word got out that something fun was happening at the Santa Rosa Odd Fellows Hall, so the next month we planned another home made meal and booked a singing barbershop quartet. We counted roughly 95 people. Last month, at the end of May, it was Polynesian Night with Polynesian dancers, a band, and authentic Polynesian food. Members, their families, friends, neighbor lodges, along with our neighborhood totaled almost 150 people. Each social we have had numerous applications for membership for both the Rebekahs and the Odd Fellow Lodges. I noticed the “nay-sayers” were even enjoying themselves. It made me smile!

We started with the desire to come together. My main goal was to simply get the Rebekahs and Odd Fellows together to give everyone a chance to make new friendships and rekindle old ones. It was an unexpected surprise to see more of our neighbors join in on the fun and want to learn about Odd Fellowship. This has been an amazing opportunity for us to grow our lodges and have fun doing it.

So, I wanted to thank you for your emails and on-going dialogue of how important it is to take action. Not one thing may work for all lodges, but trying something is the first step. Success will come with perseverance and creativity. I think it’s important to encourage and foster the friendships between members first, and then reach out to our families, friends, and our community in which we live to share the stories of FLT.

Again, thank you for your guidance and wonderful ideas. I always look forward to them.


Karen Amandoli
Vice Grand, Oak Leaf Rebekah Lodge #74
Santa Rosa Hall Manager

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