Elks Helping Our Veterans
In the year 1867, a group of entertainers in New York City were looking for a place to socialize and enjoy the camaraderie of each other’s company and common interests. Less than six months later the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was born and quickly added charitable works to their fraternal foundation.
In 1984, a group of members of Anchorage Elks Lodge 1351 who resided in Eagle River got together to form Eagle River Elks Lodge 2682 to support the Eagle River, Chugiak community and to continue our fraternal roots.
In the last 28 years the Elks, Eagle River Lions and Eagle River Sleeping Lady Lions have banded together to invest in our community and to assist those who are less fortunate.
In October, the two organizations held two fundraising events at the Elks lodge to raise much needed funds for two cancer victims. Through the hard work of both Elks and Lions members we were able to raise over $10,000. in the two events. In addition, the Elks support the two Eagle River Lions Clubs with the Community Easter Egg Hunt and the 3rd of July Celebration while Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions perennially support the Elks Community Children’s Christmas Party and Hayrides.
With Veteran’s Day being in November, it seems fitting that we remember these brave heroes that have proudly served our nation from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. The Alaska Wounded Veteran’s Program administered by the Alaska State Elks Association and the 17 Elks Lodges in Alaska support the transition units at JBER and Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks in providing recreational opportunities through partnerships with organizations such as the Kenai River Professional Guides Association, along with Lions clubs and other veteran and community organizations throughout Alaska.
Locally the Eagle River Elks sponsor comfort stations at the Department of Veterans Affairs Transition Offices in South Central Alaska, work with the Cadet units of the ROTC at UAA, Chugiak and Eagle River Schools. Like the Lions the Elks provide scholarships to local youth.
Elks are community. No matter where you go in the country, an Elks Lodge is right around the corner. With more than 850,000 members and 2,000 Lodges nationwide, Elks are providing charitable services that help build stronger communities. Come see us at www.elks.org.
For information on Lions or the Sleepy Lady Mountain Lion’s Club visit www.sleepyladylions.org, www.lionsclubs.org or contact Karen Burns at 242-1129.