Monday, June 30, 2014

Convention 2014 is fast approaching!

We’ve spent the last several weeks promoting Key Man University, to great success, but I recently realized that we haven’t said much about Convention 2014. While the registrations are now past due, I do want to give some updates on the program for those who are going to attend. Convention 2014 has several significant changes from last year’s Convention, mostly to accommodate extra celebrations for our 90th Anniversary.

Beginning on Friday afternoon, July 18, 2014, attendees are invited to attend a private tour and show at the Reading Museum and Planetarium. While this activity is optional, we got such a great deal on it that we were able to include it in the price for Convention for everyone registering for the appropriate package.  The planetarium show will be on Black Holes and their effect on space, so you won’t want to miss it!

Friday evening will start with an awesome all American traditional BBQ, consisting of hot dogs, hamburgers, country fried chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans, red potatoes, and more! Following the meal, members and Advisors will take a quick trip over to the Works at Wyomissing, where they will enjoy unlimited non-ticket video games from 6:30 to 10:30 PM.  Each person will also receive a $5 gift card, good for ticketed games, food, or to apply towards go-kart racing at the attached go-kart track. Attendees will return to the hotel by 11 PM, with an 11:15 PM curfew.

Saturday is going to be a big (and long) day, so prepare yourself! Breakfast kicks off at 8 AM, with a full buffet, including eggs, bacon, potatoes, pastries, biscuits, and other cold items. We start the morning with the business session. Yes, that’s right, the business session will be happening first thing in the morning, rather than the afternoon.  The business session should roll right into our Awards Luncheon, which will end with an address from a very special Key Note Speaker (which we’re keeping under wraps for now!) The menu will consist of a stuffed chicken breast, with cornbread stuffing, roasted potatoes, a vegetable blend, dessert, and other trimmings. Our goal is to have the luncheon done as early as possible, but we’ve padded the time just to be sure.

Beginning at 2:30 PM, active DeMolays and Advisors will be divided into two groups for workshops. The dress for these workshops is business casual, so if lunch ends early, there will be time to change. Active DeMolays will have a ritual workshop, while the Advisors will have a round table discussion with “Dad” Labagh, our Executive Officer.

At 3:10 PM, the workshops will wrap up. Advisors who are members of the DeMolay Legion of Honor are invited to attend the Legion of Honor Secret Vow. Starting at 4:00 PM, active DeMolays, Advisors, members, and friends, are invited to attend conferral of the DeMolay Legion of Honor. We are asking that each Chapter be represented by at least one DeMolay or Advisor at this event (members of the conferral team or recipients do not count.) A conferral of this sort has not been done at Convention in more than 10 years (in fact, it was the last time we were in Reading that we did it!) Please take this opportunity to witness a most impressive ceremony. Those not attending the Ceremony will have some free time.

As soon as the Legion of Honor Ceremony wraps up, everyone will enjoy a dinner of roast turkey, with stuffing and gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetables, dessert, and more. Dinner will be served to each upon arrival and dress is casual (for those that may have changed during free time.) The plan is to have dinner wrapped by 6:30 PM so that everyone will get a break and have an opportunity to change before the official start of our big 90th Anniversary Ball.

This dance will be the real deal, having a “Great Gatsby” theme, and playing host to the Diablo Sandwich Band, an 8 piece ensemble that can play hits from today and yesterday. During the dance, our new State Sweetheart will be crowned as well. The dance is jacket and tie or “Great Gatsby” themed dress, so plan appropriately. This should complete a fun filled day!

After all of this excitement, we will be wrapping our Convention up on Sunday morning with the Installation of State Officers and remarks by our new State Master Councilor. The meal will consist of another breakfast buffet, with plenty of food for all. You certainly won’t leave Convention hungry!
The PA DeMolay and More Store will be open for several hours during the event, as well as a hospitality suite operated by Reading Chapter. What more could you ask for?

While I’m sure there will be hiccups, and that being in a jacket and tie all day on Saturday won’t be fun, the overall event is going to be fantastic and I look forward to greeting everyone in Reading in a few short weeks!

Frat ~ “Dad” Seth Anthony

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