Catalina Elks Lodge Presents $1,000 to Woodcrafters

Left to right: Front row: Jack Baillargeon, PDD; Gloria Cisneros, PER; Steve Asp, PDD; Neal Patronsky, PER; Paul Swane, past president of Woodcrafters; Alane Asp, PER; back row: Tom Wilson, PER; Bob Kielsa, PER; Jim Buell, PDD; Lee Cook, PDD; Frank Picket, president of Woodcrafters (photo by Jim Buell)

James J. Beregi

In February, the Past Exalted Rulers Association (PERA) made two donations from Queen of Hearts Charity Funds.

The first donation of $1,000 was made to the Desert Woodcrafters before our Queen of Hearts drawing on Jan. 27. In 2022 this organization distributed 2,292 Pens for Troops overseas through Chaplain’s and Woodcraft. This put Tucson number one in the U.S. for the third year in a row and eight times in the past 18 years, with a total of 28,495 pens.

The Woodcrafters Toy Program started in 2002. Members make toys for preschool and first graders at schools in areas of childrenin need in South Tucson, plus Aviva Children’s Services for children who are victims of neglect, abuse, and poverty for Christmas. In 2022, 3,200 toys were made, bringing the total to over 42,200.

The Purple Heart Pens program started in 2015. These pens are delivered to VA Hospital Tucson and veterans organizations. In 2022 we made 256 pens, bringing the total to more than 1,256. The group also makes boxes for Beads of Courage. In 2022, 83 boxes were made, which brings the total since the program started in 2014 to 933. This year we made 40 pens for Veterans Day and POW presentations for Catalina Elks.