Over 600 Elks attended the Oregon State Convention in Seaside from April 21st to 23rd. The three day event included a VIP dinner, a breakfast for Exalted Rulers, a spouse’s lunch, a past District Deputies dinner and a Past State Presidents dinner. During the sessions, state chairmen gave their annual reports, elections were held for open state officer’s positions, a memorial was held for deceased members and the Installation of State Officers and appointed officers took place.
During the session, representatives from the Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic and Camp Meadowood addressed the membership. It was noted that the children’s eye clinic is now designated the Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic.
Those officers installed or appointed were:
- State President- Jerry Endicott
- 1st Vice President- Dan Lowe
- 2nd Vice President- Herm Blum
- 3rd Vice President- Mary Williams
- 4th Vice President- Kim Duty
- 5th Vice Presidentt- Rick Shipley
- 6th Vice President- Ben Adams
- 7th Vice President- Nick Bettencourt.
- Trustee Chairman of the Board- Jerry Sternes
- 1st Trustee- Ginny Van Loo
- 2nd Trustee-Paul Schulze
- 3rd Trustee- Terry Brant
- 4th Trustee- Doug Riggs
- 5th Trustee- Gary Miller
- 6th Trustee- Richard Schmidt
- 7th Trustee- Diane Norton.
Also installed were Executive Secretary- Emma Pletz, Treasurer- Jim Doerfler, Sgt. at Arms- Mike Brown, Assistant Sgt. at Arms- Mike Hargin, Chaplain- Rocky King, Inner Guard- Justin Phillips, Assistant Inner Guard- Charles Noyes III, Tiler- Bob Cox, Organist- Dean Lemire, Photographer- Tom Winters
State Convention 2017 will also be held in Seaside next April.
At least 15% of all preschoolers have an undetected eye disorder. Most pediatric eye disorders are best treated before age five. More than 5% percent of children born in the U.S. will be diagnosed with an eye condition that can be successfully treated and sometimes reversed if detected early on.
That's why the state of Oregon passed a law in 2013 that makes it mandatory for parents to have their children's eyes screened before enrollment in school. The Elks are offering free vision screenings in both Head Start locations and at local libraries. The See to Read screenings at libraries will offer parents a vision screening certificate that will count as compliance with the new rule.
More than 15% of those children screened will need to have a complete dilated eye examination. Most children who fail a vision screening are covered by their health insurance for a comprehensive dilated eye exam. But if there is no insurance, not all parents can afford those examinations, and it is the Oregon State Elks Association donations that make treatment possible for so many uninsured/underinsured children. Through an Elks referral, any Oregon child up to age 19 can come to the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic for one complimentary visit. If further treatment is needed, local Elks lodge have held fundraisers for treatment not covered by health insurance. Contact your local Elks lodge for an Elks referral if you know a child who may need help.
Since 1949, the Elks, through its Elks Children's Eye Clinic at OHSU's Casey Eye Institute in Portland, the Elks have donating money to support the Elks Children’s Eye clinic. The Elks have help develop a comprehensive pediatric clinic to treat Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), amblyopia, glaucoma, cataracts, strabismus (eye muscle and alignment problems) and retinoblastoma, a rare form of ocular cancer that can be successfully treated 95 percent of the time, again, if caught in its early stages.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, which started as an organization in the 1860s, is a national fraternal order (and yes, its membership includes women) that strongly supports numerous social, charitable, patriotic and civic programs nationwide. Among its many initiatives, the Elks funds college scholarships and higher education grants, summer camps, drug resistance programs and athletics for eight million boys and girls each year.
But the Oregon Elks Association's pet project is its Oregon Elks Children's Eye Clinic, which is why the organization created an endowment. The endowment ensures that babies, children and young adults in Oregon who suffer from eye problems have access to the treatment they need. Forty percent of all children who visit the clinic each year come from families that have no health insurance or are underinsured.
So far, it's estimated that a quarter million Oregon children have been treated via the clinic, including more than 18,000 patient visits in 2015.
Most pediatric eye problems are difficult to detect without a vision screening. Usually the child will not complain and the parent does not notice any problems. Children should be screened every year while their visual system is developing (between birth and seven years old). If you're a parent with a young child, there are some of signs to look for when it comes to your child's ocular health. Those symptoms include:
• frequent eye-rubbing
• frequent squinting
• red and/or watery eyes
• crossed and/or wandering eyes
• holding reading material closer than normal
To schedule an appointment for an eye examination, dial 503-494-3000. If you have an emergency situation that occurs outside of the clinic's normal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday hours, dial 503-494-8311, and ask to speak with the on-call ophthalmologist.
The Elks Children's Eye Clinic at the Casey Eye Institute at OHSU is located at 3375 SW Terwilliger Boulevard in Portland.
Seaside Elks Lodge 1748 is humbled and thankful to all of the members and guests who came to the 99th OSEA Summer Session. As you can imagine, it will take a while before all the numbers are “crunched”. Once the dust settles we’ll post more details.
A special nod of appreciation to you all for the standing ovations for our Police Chief Dave Ham and Senator Betsy Johnson after their welcome speeches. That gesture of appreciation and respect was typical of Elk members and we were very proud of our organization.
Another very special thank you goes to Steve Sundet of Keizer Lodge. He walked in the door and went to work in our kitchen immediately. He the first at the Lodge at 5am and did not stop helping until after the breakfast on Sunday morning. Steve is an example of what we all should be as Elks.
It was a wonderful celebration for outgoing President Jim Alameda who made a positive difference for Oregon Elks this past year. It was a welcome celebration and show of support for our new President Jerry Endicott whose word of the year is comradery: Comradery is a feeling of trust, a bond created by a shared goal or experience — you don't have to be best friends with everyone in the group to know you have their support.
One more thank you to our members and guests for supporting the local businesses in our area. You left a great impression on our community.
We welcome comments and suggestions for improving the convention. Please feel free to send your ideas to Seaside Elks Lodge 1748.
Submitted by Jan Jackson and Joan Beneke, Convention Co-Chairpersons
Gateway Elks Lodge, with a partnership with the Alder School Sun Program, offered an afternoon of fun and games for over 80 students plus their families. With a grant from the Elks National Foundation the Gateway Elks Lodge offered the students an afternoon of fun that included lunch, face painting, a coloring station, three different game stations and culminated with a candy toss. All of this was under the watchful eye of the Jr Elks mascot from the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic at the Casey Eye Institute Casey the Elk.
Pictured left to right: State Hoop Shoot Chairman, John Heaton; Past Grand Exalted Ruler, Jim Damon; First Place Hoop Shoot Winner, Isabella Rodriguez; and OSEA President, Jim Alameda.
Isabella Rodriguez of Keizer, was featured (with three other athletes) in March’s Bull Elk Hoop Shoot article, having placed first at the District level in the girls 10-11 year old division.
Isabella then competed at State level in February at Silverton, again placing first in her division, qualifying her to compete at the Regional level.
At the school level over 63,000 young athletes from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska competed in this year’s Hoop Shoot, which means Isabella competed against 10,000 + girls in her age group.
At Regional Hoop Shoot, held at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington on March 12th, Isabella shot 22 out of 25 baskets to win first place and qualify for the national contest and is the only first place winner going from Oregon.
Grand Lodge will send Isabella and her parents to Chicago, Illinois to compete at the National Hoop Shoot Contest.