The loss of the Elks Lodge in North Tonawanda on Saturday is a blow to more than its members – it’s a loss to the entire community.  The Elks are a national organization established in the 1860’s dedicated to uniting communities, whether it be sponsoring youth programs, providing food to the needy or just a place for the community to gather. 

That was the case with the North Tonawanda Elks lodge.  A toy drive for needy children and a wedding reception were scheduled for Saturday night and had to be moved.    

 The North Tonawanda lodge was open to the public for large or small parties.  On Sundays groups gathered to watch Bills games.  Now the building is in ruins.

The Elks have nearly a million members at some 2000 lodges across the country.  Each year they raise millions of dollars for scholarships, sponsoring youth sports teams, aiding handicapped children.  And by tradition - every lodge observes Flag Day each June.

According to the charter of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks it was established to promote and practice the virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity and to cultivate good fellowship and American patriotism.

 To become a member – you must be an American citizen, believe in God, be of good moral character and be invited by a member in good standing. 

The North Tonawanda Elks will be looking for a new home.  Demolition work began yesterday.

SOURCE: Elks International