CHRISTMAS EVENT CAPS OFF ELK’S LODGE YEAR OF GIVING
Mission Viejo, CA (December 13, 2014) - THE ELK'S SEASON OF GIVING --- JANUARY TO DECEMBER, but December is always extra busy as Mission Viejo / Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge #2444 gives a super Christmas party for the developmentally challenged men, women and children of the Saddleback Valley.
The Elks Lodge was once again full of the holiday spirit as the members played host to 160 special guests. They ranged in age from six to sixty-six. They entered the Lodge in groups - some walked, some shuffled, some used walkers and many came in wheel chairs.
After a lunch of hot dogs, chips, lemonade and cookies was served, D.J. entertainer Roy Southerland kept the music flowing much to the delight of the merrymakers who sang and danced all afternoon, some with the Elk volunteers. The Laguna Woods “Clown Alley” clowns were again on hand in full regalia passing out balloon hats and bringing smiles to the faces of the party-goers.
And then came the moment. A big red fire truck arrived with sirens blaring. Riding atop the truck, and waving to all as the truck pulled up to the Elks Lodge, was none other than Santa Claus Ed Mackay & Mrs. Claus Elk Pam Mackay. The jolly couple worked their way through the crowded dance floor with many hugs and warm greetings for all before retreating to a special room to make ready for the individual visits. Each guest enjoyed his or her own personal time with Santa and received a bag full of gifts and a photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Elk Les Stipek with wife Maggie chaired the event. Les said, “It was a combined effort of many dedicated members working together to make the event so successful.” He offered a special thanks to the Elks Bingo Charity committee for their ongoing sponsorship and to the South County Photo Club for donating their time and talents to photographing the event. At day’s end, Stipek, a very tired event chairman said, “It’s an organized frenzy, but as usual we somehow manage to pull it off. We just love seeing so many smiles and how much happiness the party brings to these wonderful people.” Past Lodge President Charlie Hart, a veteran worker at the event said, “I wouldn’t miss being here every year. Some of these same special guests have been attending this party for 25 years and look forward to returning each year. Our Elk’s members do whatever it takes to give them a fun day at the Lodge.”
This year’s Elk helpers included: Sandy Bergan, Pat & Barbara Martino, Hart, Bob Hauxhurst, Sandy McClure, Diana Wilson, Jack & Sandy Jacobs, Andy & Mary Ann Costello, Bill James, Jim & Jinnae Wessling, Ed & Pam Mackey, Dennis & Laura Lumley, Carol & Lloyd Bryan, Dinah Grosch, Julie Thomas, Frank DePrizio, Basia Bills, Dave McLeod, Gail Patti, Jill Benson, Debbie Lamb, Fran Conroy, Doug & Janelle Olson, Barbara King, Brenda Rehnke, Janie Farris, Dan & Salli Dean, Frank & Sandy Scarpino, and Norm Jones.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) has a long standing support structure for the developmentally challenged and has a 144 year history of giving. “Elks Care, Elks Share.”