First and foremost, I hope you are well. If you, or anyone you know in the DeMolay family, needs our help, please let me know!
I’m writing to you this afternoon to announce my decision to cancel the 2020 NJ DeMolay Convention in Wildwood. And out of respect for the entire convention team, I want to make this clear, this was my decision.
The convention team and I have spent a considerable amount of time over the past two weeks reviewing options, in the hope that some form of convention could take place. Kudos to convention director, Dad Anthony Trapani and his team, Dad Pat Weisgerber, Dad Andrew Prescott and Dad Matt Golway. Their hard work and insightful comments helped make a very difficult decision easier.
At the end of the day, the safety of our members is paramount and the driving factor behind this decision. But truly, nothing, from logistics to finances, aligned in favor of holding convention.
So what is next?
Most importantly, we will have a smooth transition of State Master Councilors. The evening of June 13, 2020, Brother Nicholas Vitiello will become New Jersey’s 71st State Master Councilor. We expect the current elected officers will be moving up the line, so there is likely no contested election. Executive Officers may appoint state leaders. And I will do just that. If there are multiple candidates for any vacant elected state office, I will authorize an online vote by the Master Councilors or their chapter’s representative to cast their chapter’s votes.
When we are finally able to meet again, we will have a formal state installation and awards night. Call it a throwback! Years ago, our youth leaders were not installed at convention. They assumed office at the close of Saturday’s business session, but were not formally installed until the state installation, held in September.
We are also hoping to have some form of weekend gathering, either in late summer or perhaps September, with a mix of fun and business events. The convention team is already discussing options. But obviously we are not able to plan anything right now.
This was not easy. But I’m comfortable with the decision. If I keep one member from getting sick by cancelling convention, I can live with that.
I will be scheduling an online meeting for Chapter Advisors, Chairpersons and the Adult Leadership Team for later this week. Please keep an eye out for the meeting invitation.