Wow! In retrospect, this year has come on quicker than I imagined it would have! And I’ve heard from Past Potentates that this year will go by faster than I realize! Whatever the case, Lady Marla and I are looking forward to 2018 and working with an amazing Divan, wonderful Nobles, and all their Ladies! And we believe in good communication, so feel free to contact us at any time if you have questions or concerns.

With INSPIRATION being this year’s theme, I hope each and every one of you will take every opportunity you have to inform non-Shriners of what we do and why we do it! WE DO IT FOR THE KIDS! The Shrine is one of the best kept secrets and I’d like El Riad Nobles to help change this! You never know when it might INSPIRE others to join our ranks and help us grow to new heights!

And now on to the new agenda: the Divan welcomes Outer Guard Scott Denney to the Divan! And great choices were made for Shriner of the year: congratulations to Steve Haase for in-town Shriner of the year and Dick Buechler from Lewis and Clark Shrine Club in Yankton for out-of-town Shriner of the year!

In regards to the Installation of Officers, thank you for your attendance and participation. All unit leaders should know this is where you become legal as a unit leader, so if you were not able to attend, be sure to let me know. I would also like to thank the newly-appointed people for making the commitment to help carry out our mission. Roger Risty will be our Donor Relations Chairman, turning over the Hospital Representative’s job to Paul Buriak. Temple Director is being filled by Paul Berndt. Steve Haase is the Chief Potes Aide and has gathered a hard-working crew for 2018. Our new Chief of Staff is Alan Machmiller, and Assistant Chief of Staff is Larry Miller. Thanks in advance to all of you for your commitment.

A very special thanks to George Hamilton for being our chaplain the last two years. His off-the-cuff, full-of-meaning prayers were appreciated by everyone! Terry Knutson will be the new chaplain for the year of 2018. Terry is also the Grand Lodge secretary; Terry, thanks for your commitment to not only the Grand lodge, but also the Shrine.

The Old Guard (nothing to do with age) has come out of the woodwork to spearhead a new membership drive to help our Temple continue to be what it is: the greatest Temple in the Shrine. PP John Archer and PP Charlie Brown have volunteered to build a membership team and new membership in our temple. I would like to remind you that membership is ALL of us working together. These two men and their team will coordinate it and guide it, and I am confident that every Noble in El Riad will help them in every possible way to make this a team effort. Thank you for your commitment and your time.

With the weather being very cold and record-setting, a group of 85 headed south in mid-January and spent a week in Cancun, Mexico. A great time was had by everyone, including the waiters. Suntans and a few sunburns were brought back, as were some great memories! Shrine people have a great way of making anything fun! I believe we could throw a great party in a dumpster and have great participation. Thanks for what you do and who you are.

If you were not able to attend Installation, the theme for this year’s Pote’s Nobles Party will be CARNIVAL! We hope you will be able to attend this party at the Shrine on August 25!

In closing I would like to say, very humbly, thank you for asking me to be your Potentate. Both Lady Marla
and I take this very seriously and will do our best to lead this amazing team of Nobles and Ladies through 2018 and accomplish not only wonderful things for our Shrine Patients, but also have a lot of fun doing it! Thank you!

Remember to INSPIRE someone!

Maury “Moe” Richard
2018 Potentate, El Riad Shrine

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