Special Needs Younger Kids Carnival
May 16, 2015
Photography by Mike Long and Derek Randles
Elroy the Elk made an appearance and helped the Elks members make their Special Needs Children's Carnival a big success. Over thirty (30) boys and girls along with their parents and grandparents attended. The special needs children were from Cordillera, Melinda Heights, Montevideo and Valencia Elementary Schools in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District. The youngsters frolicked in the Elks Lodge rooms and garden which were all colorfully decorated with an assortment of game booths, food stations, balloons, a duck pond, and puppy petting zoo. Face painters, clowns, live cartoon characters, including Elroy the Elk and Elmo made sure that every child had a happy afternoon.
Chairing the carnival were Elks Les and Maggie Stipek. Les said of the event, “We hold two very successful events for older special needs children and adults each year. This was the first similar event for younger special needs children, and we hope to make it an annual event.” Funding came from the Lodge Charity Committee and an Elks National Foundation (ENF) Beacon Grant. ENF Chairman past Elks Lodge president Derek Randles said, "The Elks National Foundation's Community Investments Program spends $9.77 million annually to invest in Elks communities through Lodge grants that help Elks meet local needs."
Mission Viejo/Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge #2444 is celebrating 45 years of service to Saddleback Valley Communities. It is one of 10 lodges in the Orange Coast District of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) whose headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois. The BPOE is a charitable organization with a 147 year history of giving. "Elks Care Elks Share"