Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Van Wert, Ohio, Lodge No. 1197

Up, up and away! Using an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant, Elks from Van Wert, Ohio, Lodge No. 1197 partnered with the Van Wert hospital, local senior homes, local support groups for people with disabilities, and the Van Wert Regional Airport to provide hot air balloon rides for community members with special needs.

The Elks stayed grounded, helping riders in and out of the wheelchair accessible balloon and offering food and friendship to guests.

Thanks to the Beacon Grant, the Elks were able to connect with local organizations and give community members in need an uplifting, memorable experience.

“This is my first time in a balloon,” says local nursing home resident Rita Clapp. “My whole family came to watch!”

Through Beacon Grants, the Elks National Foundation gives Lodges the opportunity to develop an ongoing, charitable, Elks-driven community project. These $2,000 grants are available to all Lodges. To find out more about Beacon Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit

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