Robert "Bob" Planck
I’VE ALWAYS SEEN POTENTIAL FOR GREATNESS in the people, situations and things around me. That’s part of the TKE mindset, as you know. Of course, the key to making a difference in this life is knowing how to turn that potential into reality.
So when I first heard about the Better Men for a Better World Courtyard planned for our new international headquarters, I immediately knew I wanted to donate funds toward its completion. What better way to celebrate our Fraternity’s values and ideals than to create an inspirational space where members can view our most cherished symbols and reflect on their true meaning?
I purchased a brick for the Courtyard floor, then made an additional commitment to sponsor the Esteem Column (one of three in the room). Indeed, I felt so strongly about the project, I actively sought the support of other Tekes – notably from my own chapter, Epsilon-Omicron.
To date, one Frater has generously matched my gift by investing in the Charity Column, and still others have purchased 14 bricks in the “Triangle Club” section of the floor, which will be grouped together to show the rich heritage of brotherhood passed down from founders and fathers to their sons and even grandsons.
I didn’t have to "sell" them on participating. When I made them aware of the opportunity, they shared my enthusiasm and signed up right away because they, too, understand the significant impact the Courtyard will have on our members for generations to come.
Since my initiation nearly 45 years ago, I have proudly embraced our Fraternity’s mission and Declaration of Principles – words every true Teke strives to live by. Still, in this fast-paced, high-tech world, it can be easy to forget the incredible power of the ideals we have pledged to uphold and promote. The Better Men for a Better World Courtyard helps bring them to life – with tangible symbols that are as solid and real as the foundation our new headquarters now stands on.
Over the years, and especially since founding an alliance of family-owned food-service distributors a decade ago (with a total of $14 billion in sales this year alone), I've felt enormously privileged that my professional success has permitted me to give back by contributing to a number of worthy philanthropic causes, including leadership programming, faculty stipends and collegiate scholarships benefiting TKE as well as my alma mater, the University of Houston. I was also honored to be a founding member of the Life Loyal Teke program, established during my tenure as Grand Prytanis (2001-2003).
This Courtyard ranks high among the legacy projects I've invested in during my lifetime. Best of all, and thoroughly consistent with TKE's time-honored traditions, there are options that fit every Frater's budget, starting as low as $100. This way, Tekes worldwide - even those who may never have the opportunity to visit headquarters – can be a part of our history, part of our permanent home.
I therefore urge every Frater reading this, as well as family and friends of members in our beloved organization, to consider contributing to the Courtyard today. Encourage other members to do the same. There are a limited number of opportunities to participate – so it's only a matter of time before this project's potential for greatness is fully realized.
I look forward to that day: to visiting the Courtyard and reading the names of all those who, like us, share the vision that TKE truly does create Better Men for a Better World.
ROBERT “BOB” PLANCK
Epsilon-Omicron 101, University of Houston
Past Grand Prytanis, President of Independent Marketing Alliance and noted philanthropist