We are pleased to announce that the Missionaries of St. Junipero Serra Membership Initiative and contest, established by Serra International President Ruben Gallegos, Ph.D. and the Serra International Board, in cooperation with the United States Council, was a resounding success! With over 80% of the USA Serra Clubs (162) participating, this contest was the most successful effort to increase Serra membership in recent memory.
Final counts: confirm that the membership drive pulled in a net total increase of 350 new members — a 5% increase. Serra membership in the United States now stands at 7,692. Of the 162 participating clubs, 87 (53%) reported a net increase in membership during the contest period. Of the non-participating clubs, only six of 34 clubs reported positive increases, and collectively reported a net loss in membership of 82 members, including the loss of two clubs which closed their doors during the contest period (Allegheny County Pennsylvania and Palm Springs, California, total collective loss of 49 members). There were no new clubs chartered in the United States during the 11-month contest period.
Region performance: Seven out of 9 USA Council regions showed positive net increases. All regions qualified clubs for the Missionary Society: South Central, 10 qualifying clubs; Central region, 8 qualifying clubs, Great Lakes and Southeast regions, qualifying 6 clubs each. South Central recorded the largest net increase with 149 ( over 10% increase), Central region was second with 113 net increase ( 6.6% increase), Southeast with a net change of 50 (12% increase) and Great Lakes with 47 (5% increase).
District performance: Twenty-nine of 43 districts showed positive results during the contest. Top producing districts included District 10, Houston, (up 81 members) District 12-2 South, Kansas and Oklahoma (increase of 59 new members) District 126, South Texas (37 member increase) and District 30 Florida (30 new members, an increase of 49%).
Clubs: Forty-three clubs qualified for membership in the Missionaries of Saint Junipero Serra SOCIETY; membership in which entitles qualifying clubs 1) a 10% dues rebate and 2) a free registration to the Serra International Convention in Toronto, June 2021. That means that over 25% of our Serra Clubs in the United States are WINNERS! Congratulations!
Money Winners: A total of $10,500 in seven money prizes were awarded. The top money winner, $3,000, in the Large Club category (25 or more members) is Houston, Texas with 49 new members! Second and third place were secured by the Serra clubs of North Houston ($2,000 award) and Tulsa, Oklahoma ($1,000 award), respectively. Houston also won the award for Top Percentage Increase in the Large Club category ($1,000), with an increase of 68%.
In the Small Club category (under 25 members), Cleveland West takes the top prize ($2.000) increasing from 12 members to 38 — a net gain of 26 new members! The Serra clubs of Miami ($1,000 award, increasing from 8 to 27 members) and Harlingen, Texas ($500 award, increasing from 19 to 30 members) placed second and third, respectively.
With the success of this contest, plans are already being made to repeat this contest and to expand it to other Serra Councils around the world during 2020-2021.
Great thanks to all participating clubs for your enthusiastic participation. It made the Missionaries of Saint Junipero Serra Membership Initiative Contest a GREAT SUCCESS!
Greg Schwietz, Contest Coordinator
Communications Vice President, Serra International