Making a difference - Elks and Royal Purple members celebrate nearly 100 years of service to community

By Contributor
November 14th, 2010

The Elks of Canada, founded in 1912, is a national fraternal and charitable organization of dedicated men and women volunteering through local lodges. There are 13,200 members in over 260 locations throughout the country following the motto: “promoting and serving community needs“.     Locally, Elks Lodge #493 Grand Forks & Boundary area provides programs that depend on individual and group requests and funds raised, but the focus is on helping children and youth.    Some local initiatives funded by the Elks include:  Boundary Community Food Bank; BMX Club; soccer balls to youth teams; Piranha Swim Club, baseball uniforms and caps for a team in the Boundary Babe Ruth Baseball League; Grand Forks Fire Department; GFSS grad scholarship; Grand Forks ATV Club; Misha Zibin, to assist with medical expenses for treatment; and Nathan Waygood, a Rock Creek boy in 2010, to assist with major dental care.  The Elks & Royal Purple Fund for Children is also a national program which the local contributes to as well. The Fund for Children assists individuals or groups through organizations or local sponsorship, such as Nathan.     There are also provincial programs through the Elks: free youth camps in B.C. available for all children, Scouts, Girl Guides, and school groups; founded by the Elks and donors for 25 years – the B.C. Family Hearing Resource Centre for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.       At the national level, the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children, was founded in 1956. One out of ten children born in Canada has a hearing, speech or communication disorder and it was recognized that communications is the vital link between human beings.  Through their efforts, the Elks and Royal Purple have made great strides in the areas of early detection, providing equipment and services, and supporting programs in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that prevent children from living life to the fullest. Request for other things are also considered.     Thousands of children have been assisted as this charity builds stronger communities by making a difference, one child at a time.    To find out more about volunteering, becoming a member, or it you want more information, wish to attend as a guest, or have a request for funds contact the Elks #493 through Larry Jmaiff, 250-442-2856; Roy Stevenson, 250-442-5260; or Shawna Schuh, 250-442-4276.     Meetings are the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. except for summers. The next meeting is Dec. 7, at the Senior’s Hall at City Park.  For general info: 1-888-843-3557 or www.elks-canada.org .  

Submitted by: Shawna Schuh, membership & publicity director.