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Elks continue dedication to serving veterans

By Heather Graves

ASHWAUBENON – Since it was chartered in 1893, Elks Lodge 259 in Green Bay has held true to the guiding principle of never forgetting veterans with members doing all they can to show support.

Green Bay’s Elks chapter started more than 125 years ago, and is one of 29 lodges in the state, and nearly 2,000 in the nation.

Jordan Melville, the lodge’s exalted ruler, which is equivalent to president, said Elks Lodge 259, at 3195 S. Ridge Road, has 62 registered members.

“We are plus-eight members this year,” Melville said. “We are growing again, and that’s exciting.”

Members of Lodge 259 take their commitment to veterans one step further with a special focus on service to those in need – giving their time, energy and resources to serve veterans every day.

Wisconsin Elks State President Nikki Shannon, the organization’s first female president, visited Lodge 259 Friday, Dec. 6, for its annual veterans dinner.

“This year the dinner has a red, white and blue theme in honor of Pearl Harbor Day,” Melville said. “So we’re honoring all vets and remembering all the service and sacrifices they’ve all given for us.”

Representatives from veterans organizations serving the Green Bay area – including Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Center for Veterans Issues and Veterans Trout Unlimited – were invited to the lodge for dinner to honor them for their continue support to veterans, and present them with donations to help their efforts.

“Green Bay, you have not forgotten your veterans,” Shannon said. “This is proof tonight. I hope this helps show how much the Elks and the veterans mean to each other – we depend on each other. The way you treat your veterans and serve the veterans here, every lodge needs to take a look at what you are doing. When you can help someone who needs help – that is Elk-dom.”

The club’s dedication to veterans doesn’t stop there.

Each month, the Lodge hosts Soup for Veterans, a free lunch program from noon to 2 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month for veterans and their family as a thank you.

Melville said the program provides veterans with an opportunity for fellowship, support and gratitude.

Members hold meetings on the first Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m.

Lodge leadership encourages those interested in becoming an Elk to go online and register to join.

For more information on what it means to be an Elks Lodge member, visit elks.org.

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