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Community > Press Releases > Public Relations

Public Relations

February 2017




Chicago, IL – Local Elks Lodges throughout the United States and in Guam, Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal celebrated 149 years of community service on February 16, 2017.

Last year alone, the Elks donated approximately $283 million in cash, gifts and time to make our communities better places to live. The Elks are one of the premier patriotic and charitable organizations in the United States of America.

Elks volunteers will visit thousands of hospitalized Veterans who have protected our freedoms. The Elks vow, “So long as there are Veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.” The Elks support both active military forces and retired veterans. Elks furnish food, comfort care items, therapeutic items and gifts, host holiday celebrations and recreational activities at bases and hospitals, and stand ready to fulfill any need when called upon. Last year alone, the value of Elks’ contributions to the nation’s heroes provided more than $32 million to more than 300 Veterans Administration Medical Centers, clinics, and state care facilities. The Elks have entered into a partnership with VHA to support efforts to rescue homeless Veterans in their communities. To this end, the Elks have pledged $4 million dollars to help end Veteran Homelessness. Annually, the Elks award college scholarships across the nation totaling more than $4 million. The Elks’ Community Investments Program [CIP] will award nearly $10 million towards enriching our communities.

The Mission Viejo, Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge #2444 with its 1150 members is proud to be one of the 171 Lodges serving California and Hawaii and one of the1,900 Elks Lodges across the country with a total membership nearing 800,000. Elks’ members must be American citizens who are at least 21 years of age and must believe in God. Photos of Elks Serving the Community

December 2016

October 2016

August 2016 Press Release

August 2016 Press Release


Andy’s early interest in Public Relations developed when his business courses at Northwestern University included advertising and sales concepts. Those early studies in business and successful thirty-five year career in sales and sales management prepared him well for what would become a dedicated service to his Elks Lodge, Elks District, California - Hawaii Elks State Association (CHEA) and Elks Grand Lodge. 

Andy resides in Laguna Hills California and is married to his lovely wife of sixty years, Mary Ann. Andy says they were married when they were four years old! A thirty-six year member of the Mission Viejo / Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge #2444 (MVSV), he entered the Lodge Officer corps almost from his start in Elkdom when he became Lodge Organist, a position he still enjoys today. He served on and chaired many Lodge committees including Membership, Entertainment, and House Committees. He became Lodge Bulletin Editor in 1997 and continues his work with that award winning newsletter to this day. Andy was appointed Lodge Public Relations Chairman in 2002 and continues in that capacity to the present time. Along with early Elk of the Month honors, Andy received Grand Exalted Ruler Commendations as a Lodge Officer in 1990, 1991, 2001, 2007, 2015, and 2016. He was named Lodge Officer of the Year for 1997 - 1998 and Citizen of the Year for 2002 - 2003. He was elected to Lodge Honorary Life Member on Sept 13, 2005. Andy is a passionate believer in the power of positive publicity and has made it his mission to spread the good news of Elkdom throughout his Lodge’s Saddleback Valley Community. He has seen his Lodge grow from 300 to over 1,100 members and is a firm believer that good publicity plays a significant role in every Lodge’s growth. 

Andy’s work with the ten Lodges of the Orange Coast District began in 2005 when he was asked to be Vice-chair of the District’s Scholarship Committee. In 2006 - 2007 he went on to be Chairman of that District committee. He enjoyed his work in Scholarships, but made it known that his true love was Public Relations. He was appointed as District Public Relations Chairman in 2007 and successfully served in that position until 2013. He was awarded the Area Seven Public Relations "Golden Mike" Award for 2009 - 2010. More recently he served as Public Relations Chairman for the Orange Coast District-hosted CHEA Conventions held in 2013 and 2016.

For his excellent work in leading the Public Relations activities of the ten Orange Coast District Lodges, Andy was selected to be the CHEA Public Relations Chairman from 2010 to 2012. Working closely with the Association’s nineteen District PR Chair people during that period, Andy received the 2011 - 2012 prestigious William "Bill" Hansch Grand Lodge Public Relations National Award for the State Association Public Relations Chairman with the highest quality and effective Public Relations program in all of Elkdom. Andy was again asked to Chair that Association position in 2014 for an additional two-year term. In his four years as Association Public Relations Chairman, Andy’s many accomplishments are matters of record. He received commendation awards from four California, Hawaii Elks Association Presidents.

On August 1, 2016, by order of Grand Exalted Ruler Michael F. Zellen, Andy was appointed to the position of Grand Lodge Area Seven Public Relations & Marketing Committeeman, overseeing the Public Relations & Marketing activities of the Arizona, California-Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah State Elks Associations.

May 2016 Press Release

California and Hawaii Elks gather for the Association Convention to be held this year in Anaheim.

Elks National President Ronald L. Hicks of the Fredericksburg, Virginia Lodge No. 875 will visit California/Hawaii Elks Association State Convention from May 18 to May 21.

Ronald L. Hicks, the national president of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and a resident of Fredericksburg, Virginia, will visit Anaheim to meet with Elk’s members at their 101st annual Convention. President Hicks will congratulate the over 1000 attending Lodge Presidents and Officers from California and Hawaii, for their Lodges many successful charitable and patriotic accomplishments in the past year.

As the Elks’ national president, Hicks is responsible for promoting the BPO Elk’s key goals of community service. “The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a terrific organization,” says Hicks, “and each day more than one million members find new ways of helping others. By providing college scholarships to bright students, helping disabled children, and lending comfort to our nation’s great veterans, Elks Lodges across the country make positive changes in their communities.” During his term of office, President Hicks has attended Elks association conventions and met with government officials and community leaders. In his message to Elks members across the nation Hicks has said, “We have many challenges in today’s world and I believe this gives us a great opportunity to spread our works. We need to remember our Order was founded to offer help to others. We should spread our good works throughout our communities and allow others to feel good about what we’re doing. To accomplish this, we need to open our windows, knock down our walls and Be Proud, Be Loud and Be Visible. We do more good than most people know, and it is time we share the news of those good works.”

President Smith will be the keynote speaker at the Association President’s Appreciation dinner on May 19. He is expected to commend the representatives of the California, Hawaii Association’s 171 Lodges for their recent contribution of over three million dollars to the Association’s Major Project, which provides occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language therapy services to children (birth to 18) in their homes. All services are provided free of charge to the children and their families.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a fraternal order with nearly a million members and a 148-year history, a network of more than 2000 lodges in communities all over the country, a generous charitable foundation that each year gives millions in scholarships, an inspiration to youth, a friend to veterans and more. Information regarding Elks Charities and Elks membership can be found at:

December 2015 - Media Alert

November 2015 - Media Alert

Elks National Veterans Service Commission 

July / August 2015
Mission Viejo Saddleback Valley 2444 Elks "In The News"