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Showing posts from April, 2020

Hold My Beer

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation

(This is the fourth in a series of posts about the need for Lodges to stay relevant during this time of isolation. To find all posts in the series, click here: #StaySafeBeRelevant.)

Back in 2008, during the sleepy off-season in Charlevoix, a small northern Michigan resort town nestled among three lakes, six locals were watching the paint peel at their favorite watering hole when one of them had an epiphany.
Now, as the popular meme attests, bar stools aren’t the best breeding grounds for big ideas, but every rule has its exception.
So, Chris Jones set down his drink and declared, “We should start an Elks Lodge.”
His friends had a lot of questions, but they were enthusiastic about the idea. None of them knew what they were getting into.
“We knew nothing,” reminisces Past Exalted Ruler Rochelle Roerig, “except that there was probably something better we could be doing with our time than sitting in a bar. We had a giant learning curve…

Family is Forever

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation
(This is the third in a series of posts about the need for Lodges to stay relevant during this time of isolation. Whereas the first two postswhich are here and herefocused on what Lodges are doing, this one is about what Lodges can do. To find all posts in the series, click here: #StaySafeBeRelevant.)


In the department of silver linings, the pandemic has given us a reason to dust off those high school graduation photos. Alas, I can’t find mine, but that’s okay, because there’s an even better way to support this year’s seniors.
If you want to do something for them—particularly our new Elks scholars—put them to work.
Not work work. I mean the kind of work that Elks do.
“Our scholars are service-minded,” says Colleen Conrad, who manages the ENF’s scholarships department. “In this time of online classes and disrupted schedules, I know many are looking for a tangible way to give back, and they have more time than ever to do so.”
It’s…

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