Puyallup Elks: Alive and well

Apr 22nd, 2014 | By | Category: Lifestyles

Volunteers are doing everything they can to keep Puyallup Elks Lodge 1450 up and running, and their efforts are starting to pay off.
Member and volunteer Chuck Tibbs said the Elks are a patriotic, charitable organization, and as such, give a lot back to the community. One of their programs involves visiting veterans at the Washington Soldiers Home in Orting on a regular basis.
“We go out there at least once a month and have bingo for them, and sit and talk to the veterans,” he said, adding that sometimes veterans just need to have a friendly face to visit with.
“We have a sign hanging in our lodge that says, ‘As long as there is a veteran out there, there will be an Elk to help them,’” Tibbs said.
The Christmas basket program has run for the past 52 years and is one of the lodge’s biggest and most popular programs. “This year we gave out 325 baskets of food,” said Tibbs, who had over 75 volunteers working with him on that event. The lodge partners with the Puyallup School District for the program, and any food that was left over was delivered to the Puyallup Food Bank.
Orv Goede, 63, said he and other volunteers have been working for the last 15 years to keep the lodge open.
Volunteers put on a Sunday breakfast every week, cooking and serving from 9 a.m. to noon, and everyone is invited.
Goede said many groups rent the lodge facilities for their events. Bully Busters, an anti-bullying group dedicated to children of all ages who are being bullied, held a recent event that packed the house. Goede was on hand running things in the kitchen and keeping everyone happy.
In addition to a number of other programs, the lodge raises money for local scholarships and works with Good Samaritan Hospital’s children’s therapy program.
Goede said a few years ago the lodge was losing money every year. The volunteers that stepped up have turned that around, doing all the cooking and cleaning themselves. Although active membership has dwindled to about 450, the volunteers are emphatic that they will keep running the show as long as they can.
Tibbs said the lodge is the best-kept secret in Puyallup and welcome new members, both male and female.
Lodge meetings are every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. More information about the Puyallup Elks, including rentals of the lodge whichis located at 314 27th St NE., is available at 253- 845-9515 from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and at puyallupelks@comcast.net.

 

Joan Cronk, who wrote this article, is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Senior Scene.

Leading Knight George Jaquish of the Puyallup Elks (second from right) welcomed members of Bully Busters to an event the anti-bullying group staged at the lodge. (Joan Cronk/Senior Scene)

Leading Knight George Jaquish of the Puyallup Elks (second from right) welcomed members of Bully Busters to an event the anti-bullying group staged at the lodge. (Joan Cronk/Senior Scene)

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