The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks proclaimed the month of November as Elks Veterans Remembrance Month to pay tribute to veterans and active military in appreciation for their service to our country.
On November 4, members of Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge No. 2815 personally presented 65 handmade lap blankets that were generously donated by SaddleBrooke resident Yolanda Niemann to veterans at the rehabilitation center. The lodge supports the Tucson VA medical facility by donating clothing, shoes, toiletries and books on a monthly basis and has donated $20,000 worth of items so far this year. Alan’s Shoe House on Oracle Road donated 95 pairs of shoes which were distributed to homeless veterans.
On November 9 the lodge held a free breakfast for approximately 60 veterans and their families. The event was open to the public. World War II veteran Chief Carl Beck from Oro Valley attended the breakfast and shared his military experiences in WWII as well as Korea and Vietnam.
On November 15 Catalina Mountain Elks Veterans Committee co-chairpersons Lucy Suddath and Bob Kielsa organized a luncheon at the lodge for 17 veterans and five staff members from the Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center of the Tucson VA medical facility. The veterans received a warm welcome from Exalted Ruler Gloria Cisneros and Oro Valley American Legion First Vice Commander Steve Asp while eating Mexican food and listening to live music by Joe Markwell. Lodge Americanism Coordinator Al Peterson presented the veterans with a gift of two tandem bikes valued at $3,000 to replace their bikes that were previously stolen. Catalina Mountain and San Manuel lodges sold raffle tickets for a shotgun generously donated by Catalina Marina to help raise funds to purchase the bikes at a discount from Trek Bicycles of Tucson and Oro Valley.