It may be too harsh to say we need to put our money where our mouth is, but let's think about what the Grand Arch Council represents. For the 76th time, brothers from all over the country will gather for brotherhood, a little networking, great conversation and, by design, the governing of our organization. While the first GAC in 1855 did not leave us with much historical record, the gathering in 1856 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania saw brothers work 15 hours a day to strengthen the governing documents of our Fraternity.
From that hard work came the first edict from a GAC, commanding all chapters of the time to adopt the "Grand Book of Constitutions" created by the delegates in attendance. While this is a very black and white situation, the edict itself featured a moving paragraph introduction on the power of fraternities. Stealing from that, our early brothers referenced their spiritual connection in closing by saying that the edict warranted consideration because to "'Love thy neighbor as thyself' are all deserving of the highest respect, as the only broad platform of Conscience, Virtue, Honor, Philanthropy, Wisdom and Fraternity."
It is a rough cut of a larger piece (we encourage you to read it all on pages 70-71 of Volume I of the Centennial History) that shows that our founding members, even with unthinkable amounts of actual business (compared to today) at our national convention, were so consciously aware of the value we must provide as members. For as much as the Fraternity provides to us, what we must provide to our fellow man is paramount to being Phi Psis.
In 2012, we are taking that responsibility to heart with the Grand Arch Council in San Antonio. As our partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America continues to grow nationwide, what better way to capitalize on one of our largest gatherings than by using that manpower to help a local entity? We are happy to partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio. For those brothers travelling to Texas (for the first time!) to join us, look for the following ways to interact with our philanthropic partner:
Service Project - We will be working with members of the local club on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 11th. Scheduled time is 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., allowing brothers who aren't playing golf in the morning, or arriving that day, to volunteer and also be back to the Hyatt in time for our blowout President's Reception, featuring Clint Black.
The summer months feature the largest surge of kids heading to the club for activities and positive influence. We expect our talents of listening, interacting and playing will come in handy. There also are many capital improvements that will be addressed throughout the next few months. Projects will likely remain by the time we reach the city and can be addressed based on our manpower that day. If you are interested in signing up for that volunteer slot, please let us know.
Fundraising - Every little bit helps. That has been a theme shared this week when it comes to our involvement with a number of great organizations. In speaking with members of the BGCA staff in San Antonio, this point was reinforced. $500, $1,000, $2,000, $5,000. Anything we can give will make a lasting impression. GAC has become a great money-maker for the hotels, restaurants, shops and local economy of our host cities, thanks to the increasing number of brothers. Why not local charity?!
We will be selling custom-made, Phi Psi Service rubber wristbands during the first three days of the GAC. This is something to take back to your chapters or show off as a commitment you have both to Fraternity and service. In addition, the purchase of the wristband will get you a discount sheet good for all sorts of great deals at some of San Antonio's best stops. While service shouldn't have a physical reward, our asking for a nominal donation should allow us to raise quite a bit for our friends at the Boys & Girls Club.
Information - Distinguished members of the Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio will be on site at the Hyatt a few times during the week, including a (hopefully big!) check presentation on Saturday morning. This is a great opportunity for all of us to learn more and more about what these great people do for our country's youth, while also improving our understanding of how we can continue to help.
We look forward to a record turnout in San Antonio and know that this partnership will ground us in our founding principles while also enjoying a tremendous week of brotherhood. See you in Texas!