The Katy Elks Lodge located at 1050 Katy Fort Bend Road celebrated the organization’s fortieth anniversary serving the Katy area with a festival on Saturday, Oct. 16. The nonprofit serves the …
The Katy Elks Lodge located at 1050 Katy Fort Bend Road celebrated the organization’s fortieth anniversary serving the Katy area with a festival on Saturday, Oct. 16. The nonprofit serves the community in a variety of ways and continues to welcome new members, representatives said.
“It’s always a good idea to come in, get to know somebody and learn about us,” said Elks Trustee Kevin Iund. “Look at the charities we do. For all the things that we do, I’m pretty sure most anybody with a charitable heart would find interest.”
The local nonprofit works to support disabled children, veterans and others in need, said current Exalted Ruler Carla Clark. That work includes a food pantry, fundraisers to provide scholarships for local students, hosting a dance for students with learning disabilities and their mentors, clothing drives for homeless veterans and a program to help young people with developmental and intellectual challenges go to sleep-away camps.
“It’s at a cost of about $750 per child that is fully funded by the Texas State Elks,” Iund said. “This year, we have $17,000 in grants coming back from that camp that we can spend here in our Katy community, and we’re looking for anything that we can do to help better the life of a special needs child.”
Honoring first responders and veterans is a priority for the Elks as well, Clark said. Dinners and breakfasts with first responders and veterans are regular occurrences at the lodge.
Clark said the Elks also have a food pantry for those facing food insecurity for any reason. To request assistance, anyone in need may call the lodge and coordinate a time to stop by and pick up groceries.
Offering opportunities for community members to contribute is key to the Katy Elks Lodge’s success, Clark and Iund said. Not only do they support students who mentor their peers with special needs, a dozen Katy ISD students were on-hand volunteering to make Saturday’s carnival a success. Additionally, anyone interested in becoming an Elks Lodge member and supporting the work they do in the community is welcome to come by in the evenings when the lodge is open to visit and find out more about the programs and opportunities offered by the Katy Elks Lodge.
To become a member, Iund said, applicants must believe in God, be American citizens, pass a background check and be sponsored by an existing member. As they are sworn into their memberships, witnesses must be present as part of the tradition of the Elks Lodge organization.
Saturday’s carnival included a bounce house, clowns, activities for children, food vendors and a live DJ playing music of several different genres. Mostly, it was about being part of the community and celebrating the successes that 40 years has brought to the Katy Elks, Clark said.
“Today is just a celebration day, and we do a lot of things for the community so we wanted to share our celebration with them,” Clark said.
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