Over the course of the last few weeks, the Lake County Examiner has spotlighted each of the three service clubs. Now we turn our attention to some of the community clubs here in town. This week’s spotlight is on the Lakeview Elks Lodge.
Lakeview’s Elks Lodge is more than just a building on F Street in Lakeview. The Elks Lodge is followed by a simple mission statement that each of the 299 members, nine officers and five trustees follow: “To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to recognize a belief in God; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; to cultivate good fellowship; to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization, and to provide for its government, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America will serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks Care and Elks Share.” The Elks Lodge first Exalted Ruler was in 1927 and the club has been around and going strong ever since.
Membership dues are right around $110 per year according to Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler Dr. Brian Bogardus. The best way to become a member is to receive a “sponsorship” from an existing member. Applicants put in an application, their name gets brought to the floor of the Elks Lodge, where the officers vote and they take part in an initiation if they’re deemed worthy. Membership also includes access to any Elks Lodge across the country.
“Besides the social aspect, as a member you can rent out the facility for a lot cheaper versus if you were a non-member,” Bogardus said. “We have Friday night dinners, shuffleboard tournaments, BUNCO tournaments, Wednesday night tacos, Monday night football watch parties in the fall, super bowl parties, the list goes on.”
The Elks Lodge isn’t just a social club; they also do their part and help out around the community.
In June, the Elks officers put on a Flag Day ceremony and last year, as part of a Grant they received by the Elks National Foundation, they were able to put on a dinner for the senior citizens of Lake County. The Elks Lodge also does a crab feed every year for members and their guests. This year’s Crab Feed served nearly 200 people.
The Elks Lodge and its members put on a Veterans Remembrance dinner for Lake County veterans and in December they do a special ceremony to remember fallen Elk members. In year’s past, they have done a Toys for Tots drive. They participate in the Elks Hoop Shoot each year.
Bogardus has been an Elks officer for the last four years, including as the Exalted Ruler the last year. Each officer has a specific role from helping run lodge meetings, events that the Elks Lodge hosts and participating in ritual competitions each year. Officers serve one-year terms and they can choose to advance to the next officer position if they choose too.
“It takes all of the officers to make this place run,” Bogardus said. “They do so much work and are a great asset not only to the Elks, but to the community as a whole.”
Bogardus has been an Elk Club member for 21 years and really enjoys the social aspect, as well as giving back to the community.
“I love helping out around town and giving back to the community as much as I can,” Bogardus said. “My favorite social event is the Thanksgiving giveaway, where all the members come up, we have a pot luck and for $5 get entered in a raffle drawing. I also enjoy doing the Elks Hoop Shoot every year.”
For more information or to become a member contact the Elks Lodge at 541-947-2258 or visit the Lakeview Elks Lodge No. 1536 Facebook page.