The Ashland Elks Lodge has been diligently working hard for the betterment of our community. The Elks National Foundation offers 5 grants that the Elk Lodges may apply for each year. Ashland Lodge applied for all 5 and received them: Impact Grant, Beacon Grant, Promise Grant, Gratitude Grant and Freedom Grant. Each grant was written and executed for a different community project.
The Beacon grant was geared toward a family Easter event with special focus on special needs children. They had games; dancing; arts & crafts; pictures with the Ester Bunny and 1,000 eggs hidden for the kids. In addition, they were able to donate to five (5) special needs classrooms, supplies and educational items that would help these children in specific areas, for example: sensatory skill training. The teachers and families thanked us over and over again for providing such a great event for their children.
The Promise grant was written to introduce low-income or homeless youth to the “Arts”. Our lodge was able to introduce over 140 children to a variety of “art” venues. The children were from Hearts with a Mission; Children’s Advocacy Center; Kids Unlimited and Mazlow Project. The children were truly inspired and amazed at some of the magic the “Arts” may bring.
The Gratitude Grant was written to host a Youth Bicycle Repair Clinic. The Lodge held and outdoor event that included stations to teach children how to do basic repairs. The children received repair tools, bike parts and helmets. Each participant was treated to lunch and had an opportunity to win a new bike by submitting an essay. There was a lot of smiles and laughter from everyone there. There were over 50 Elk members participating and many more members of the community.
The Freedom Grant was written for Lady Veterans at SORCC for purchasing personal garments. Male and female veterans who did not have the means to secure some basic personal clothing are receiving assistance. The veterans were filled with appreciation and the Ashland Elks were happy to help.
The Impact Grant was written to create starter boxes for veterans who completed a rehabilitation program at SORCC and then transitioned to independent living. The boxes included sheets; cookware; tableware; towels; coffeepot and other “starter” items to help ensure a smooth transition and make their new beginning just a little bit easier.
We can be very proud that the members of the Ashland Elks Lodge are sincerely working toward helping our community and fellow citizens!---Mary McClary, PER