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Green Bay Elks turn 125

From right, Green Bay Elks Exalted Ruler Jordan Melville recognizes Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith with a special presentation Thursday, June 14, at the Elks’ Flag Day ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Plaza. Kevin Boneske Photo

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – The Green Bay Elks Lodge 259 has been in existence for 125 years as a community service organization with its charter being granted in 1893.

This year also marked the Green Bay Elks holding the lodge’s 109th annual Flag Day ceremony, which took place Thursday, June 14, at the Veterans Memorial Plaza.

The Green Bay Elks, whose service area now includes Brown, Door and Kewaunee counties, currently have approximately 60 members. Their lodge has been located since 1995 in Ashwaubenon at 3195 S. Ridge Rd.

“Most importantly, we do things for the community,” said John Wolfe, Green Bay Elks past exalted ruler. “We try to make the community better, and our purpose is to improve Green Bay, and not only Green Bay, Ashwaubenon, Howard, all the cities and the village around.”

The Green Bay Elks’ Spreading Antlers Program includes a laundry list of community service projects, such as South West Area Girls (SWAG) softball, dictionary project, domestic shelter pantry, gas cards for Disabled American Veterans, clothing and support for homeless veterans, We Got Your 6 veterans program, Hero’s Closet, Soup for Vets, VA2K sponsor, Flag Day services, Safe Halloween Party for area youths, Christmas with an Elk, Hoop Shoot, scholarships, drug awareness programming, Americanism programming, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.

To be able to support those projects, Wolfe said the Green Bay Elks will hold fundraisers, such as a Brat Day at Festival Foods, as well as receive national grants from the Grand Lodge.

The Green Bay Elks’ current exalted ruler, Jordan Melville, said the lodge decides what programs it will support.

“Some of it is lodge members’ interests, some of it is the community coming and speaking to us,” Melville said. “We also sponsor with the scouts their Eagle Scout projects. Things like that people come and present to us, and if we can get it into a grant, we will.”

Wolfe said membership in the Green Bay Elks is open to American citizens who are at least 21 years old and believe in God.

“Any race, creed, color, male, female, it doesn’t make any difference,” Wolfe said.

More information about the Green Bay Elks Lodge 259 is available by calling 920-983-9259 or via email at [email protected].

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