It all started at the June 2014 Moose International Convention in Las Vegas when
Derrick Morris approached then California Nevada Moose Association President Bob Mackay asking if the Association would
entertain the idea of an Association Level Moose Riders Activity Group. At the time there were only 14 lodges out of 114
in the entire Association that had a Lodge Moose Riders Activity Group. An Association Moose Riders Activity Group would
allow all members in the Association to be a Moose Rider regardless if their lodge had one or not.
On July 3, 2014 Derrick Morris sent a formal request to start a CNMA Moose Riders Activity Group to the Association President Bob Mackay and Association Vice-President Bill Stukes after consulting with Moose International's Assistant Director of Activities Chris Ecker. As part of the proposal Derrick volunteered to be the Founding Association Moose Riders Chairman/President to get the Moose Rider Activity Group started. In just a few weeks the Association Board approved an Association Moose Riders Activity Group. Now the real work had to begin... There were no Association Moose Riders Guidelines available at that time, so Derrick ended up converting the Lodge Moose Riders Activity Group Guidelines to create an Association Moose Riders Guidelines that were then approved by Moose International. The logistics of an activity group within the Association were ironed out and by the middle of August 2014 all details and guidelines were finalized for approval at the Annual Convention at the beginning of September 2014.
The Association Board officially approved the Moose Riders Activity Group and Moose Rider Guidelines on September 4th, the Association Convention Delegates approved the Board Minutes approving the Moose Riders on September 5th and the CA/NV Moose Riders Founders meeting was held on Saturday September 6, 2014 with 150 Founding Members made up of BOTH Men and Women of the Association (from the beginning to today about 33% of membership are women). The Annual activity fee and Life Membership fees were agreed upon and initial officers were nominated and elected. At the Founders meeting, 11 became Life Members!! Derrick Morris was installed as the CA/NV Moose Riders Founding Chairman/President later that night at the Association Banquet. Just over 2 months from idea to fruition!!
From the activity fees collected, we made donations right away of $500 to LIFE (Laptop Investment For Education) which is a Moose Riders Nationwide program providing a laptop to every Mooseheart Graduate. We also donated $1000 towards the association Special Project for the PE Sound System at Mooseheart. This was just the beginning of our Fundraising and Fraternal Spirit.
We continued to make donations every year matching our very first donation - LIFE - Every year of our existence that the program existed - which was 6 years - A total of $3000 donated to this program. The LIFE program has ended as of the 2020 Mooseheart Graduation. We have converted our $500 yearly donation to be directed to the Mooseheart 1:1 Computing program (1st donation made at September 2020 Virtual Convention) which provides a laptop/tablet to every Mooseheart School student for their enhanced learning experience.
It was shortly after we were formed that the Association Board approached us to take on an annual fundraising project for the Association. As an Association Activity Group, we took up the challenge. We were asked to fund Youth Awareness Cash Awards to be presented to the Youth that represent the CA/NV Moose Association at the Moose International Youth Awareness Congress each year. This represented the need to fundraise $2500 per year to award a $500 cash award to each representative. This became our First Initiative as the CA/NV Moose Riders. In 2017, the CA/NV Moose Association was awarded 6 representatives to go to the Moose International Congress, instead of the 5 from 2015 and 2016. We were asked to fund a 6th award recipient and commit to up to $3000 per year for this awards program. We voted to accept the task, but also put a limit of 6 that we would sponsor each year (max of $3000 per year). So far the CA/NV Moose Riders have presented the $500 cash awards every year since 2015 and awarded $16,500 in awards through this program with another $3000 expected in the Spring of 2021.
The Second Initiative of our Moose Riders Activity Group is the Lodge Visitations Recognition Program. This program is 100% funded and run by the CA/NV Moose Riders. One of the main goals of the Moose Riders when we started was to get the message of the MOOSE outside of the walls of the lodges and to get some visibility. Then it evolved to get the Moose Riders message to the rest of the Moose Fraternity for the camaraderie and good things that we do. It again to getting Moose Members to visit other Moose facilities to meet other Moose members that they otherwise may never meet. For those that go to conventions, we meet members from other lodges and create friendships, bonds that make the Fraternity stronger. This is just a small portion of the Moose Fraternity, with the creation of our Lodge Visitation Recognition Program - A CA/NV MOOSE RIDER INITIATIVE we will get more Moose talking Moose with other Moose Members and build even more strength in our Association. Once any member (not just Moose Riders) visits 25 lodges in the association, they will receive a "25" patch from the CA/NV Moose Riders. There are Rockers for 50, 75, 100 and ASSOCIATION when all lodges in the association have been visited. This is a 100% honor system program.
Our activity group was the "Top Donor" for the Moosehaven Centennial 3-year Special Project in the Association - donating a total of $7,035. The final $425 that we needed to get to this award level was donated by the BIG BEAR MOOSE RIDERS from proceeds of the CA/NV MOOSE RIDERS JAMBOREE held at their lodge property in June 2019. Just days before the 3-year project ended. THANK YOU, BIG BEAR MOOSE RIDERS for this generous donation!!
We are currently A Top CNMA Donor for Mooseheart 3-year Special Project - MAC (Mooseheart Activity Center) - Donating $3700 so far (though September 2020) and still adding to it.
In 2016, we started a new tradition of awarding a crisp $50 bill to each graduating student from Mooseheart High School during the LIFE presentation held at St. Charles Lodge. This has been done every year since 2016 - 110 Students equaling $5,500 in gifts. The last two years each graduating student also received a CA/NV Moose Rider Challenge Coin as well. In 2016, 2017 and 2019, a representative of the CA/NV Moose Riders was there to present the awards in person.
We donated the outdoor sound system for the swimming pool at Camp Ross. The kids were using an old radio that was able to get 2 country stations and an oldies station. Ok for us, but not for our children at Mooseheart! The kids can connect their phones, ipads, ipods to the system and have THEIR music at the swimming pool. From Jon Call "I did not go cheap. Hopefully it will last for years. The kids are Rocking at the pool. Thanks again for what you guys in California (and Nevada) are doing for camp. Please let everyone know I appreciate it".
We have also supported the Florida Moose Riders Rallies by being a sponsor of their rallies and having our name added to the Event T-Shirts, we also donate to the Mooseheart WISH LIST and the Moosehaven WISH LIST. We hold Mid-Year and Convention Poker Runs at the venue. Imaging holding Poker Runs in a Casino... We do it!! We even did a 54-passenger bus Poker Run visiting 5 lodges as the "Checkpoints". We have held Jamborees, Presidents Parties (rented out an entire Bed and Breakfast Inn for an event, Poker Runs, Lodge visit runs (49 lodges in 8 days on one trip) and a Tommy Moose Run where we handed out Tommy Moose Dolls to 7 Fire Stations along a route between 2 Moose Lodges. We are also involved with and support the Mooseheart Blessing of the Bikes. We donate to this event every year and had some CA/NV Moose Riders attend the Blessing in person in 2016, 2017 and 2019. Usually the long-distance participants, but not always the long-distance Riders.
We held a fundraiser in 2017 where the Grand Prize was "A DAY IN THE LIFE AT MOOSEHEART..." The winner won an all-expense paid trip to Mooseheart and Camp Ross with VIP experiences. They went to the Christmas Tree lighting, had a dinner in a Mooseheart home, shadowed a Mooseheart student at Mooseheart school, had a VIP tour of Mooseheart and Camp Ross (by Jon Call). All airfare, transportation, lodging, food was included!! The 2nd and 3rd place tickets won Life Memberships (Moose Lodge, WOTM Chapter, Moose Legion, CA/NV Moose Riders). This was so successful that we did a second Mooseheart/Camp Ross VIP trip fundraiser. This time 2 Grand Prize Winners. This was set for May 2020 and with COVID-19 was postponed. Winners are going to the Mooseheart Graduation and Pilgrim Conferral weekend in June 2021.
Our newest initiative is the support of the CNMA Childhood Autism Program. We were initial seed money in the amount of $500 and are also donating our CA/NV Moose Riders hosting services to allow them to have their own website and internet presence.
By the end of our 7th year (September 2021) we will have donated over $70,000, averaging over $10,000 per year! An accomplishment we are PROUD of. All of this while having a good time and socializing with each other. We have been MEN and WOMEN working together since the beginning and way before ONE MOOSE. We have been ONE MOOSE RIDERS from Day One!!
THIS IS NOT THE END OF OUR STORY - THERE WILL BE MUCH MORE TO COME!!!