Elks elevating America for 147 years

Pat Cox

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded on February 16, 1868. Local Elks Lodges throughout the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal will be celebrating 147 years of community service on February 16, 2015.

BPOE is one of the premier patriotic and charitable organizations in the United States of America. Last year alone, the Elks donated approximately $320 million in cash, gifts and time to make our communities better places to live.

Elks visit thousands of hospitalized veterans each year in support of both active military forces and retired veterans. Elks furnish food, comfort care items, therapeutic items and gifts; provide recreational activities at bases and hospitals and stand ready to fulfill any need when called upon. Last year contributions to our nation’s heroes provided more than $33.4 million to more than 300 Veterans Administration medical centers, clinics and state care facilities as well as to the homeless veterans.

The Elks award college scholarships annually across the nation totaling more than $4 million. Its Community Investment Program awards more than $8 million towards enriching our communities.

There are nearly 2,000 Elks Lodges across the country with a total membership exceeding 800,000. Members must be American citizens who are at least 21 years of age and believe in God.

If you are interested in becoming a part of this charitable organization, visit www.elks.org or www.catalinaelks.com or call Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge No. 2815 at 825-0893.