Why Elks?

From the October Bulletin:

In its entirety our mission statement reads: “To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to recognize a belief in God; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; to cultivate good fellowship; to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization, and to provide for its government, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America will serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks Care and Elks Share.

The significance of that statement is awe-inspiring and I believe that, in spite of our differences (opinions, actions, beliefs…), we come together for the good of each other and all those within our sphere of influence.

As a TEAM, we work toward increasing our charitable contributions, the well-being of each member, continued development of our communities’ youth, instilling pride and support for our country and those who serve to protect, and more…much, more! Additionally, we have fun doing it.

I am grateful to you for your contribution – at whatever level. Without your membership – we would be less effective. I wish for each of you opportunity and as always – a sense of hope.

To those that have the time to be more actively involved – a special wish that you find the road smooth and that you have the vision and fortitude to achieve the goals we have set forth at the lodge.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Rib Cook-Off and having a great event!

Sincerely,
Kira Wagner, Exalted Ruler Mojave Lodge #2059
Strengthening Elkdom Through Communication and Team Work

Virtues and Blessings

The faults of our members we write upon the sand, their virtues upon the tablets of love and memory…

Forgetting faults is not always an easy task and sometimes the sand tends to solidify for a time before it is blown away to become dust in the wind, but fortunately, I have seen the members of this lodge rise to every occasion and make a difference in this community.

Today it is those virtues I’d like to highlight as we move into July celebrating our country’s Independence and the courage of our ancestors to come together and create this Nation which subsequently gave birth to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

As a lodge:

  • We have provided more scholarships for graduating seniors than almost any other single organization here in Mojave
  • We give dictionaries to the elementary school students here and that simple act can provide a sense of hope because maybe, in some small way, we show them that we believe they can rise to the greatness that already exists in them
  • We support our Veterans and show our respect to them through our actions at meetings, meals and more for the sacrifices that they have made to protect our freedom
  • We support our community with events like the Chili Cook-off, Rib Cook-Off, Easter Egg Hunt, Christmas for Kids, and Halloween that allow the members to come together with the community in celebration of the human spirit
  • And last, but certainly not least, we care about each other like family. The trust comes easier sometimes than others, but family stands up for each other when the chips are down and the members of this lodge have shown time and again how they care for each other

Finally, last month I had mentioned a number of members that have actively and consistently supported the lodge this year. Moreover, I asked that if you knew of anyone I had missed and I’d like to add two more members to that list, Sandra and Ashley Wussick, who we can now add to our growing list of members, please take a moment to thank them along with the 20+ others you can find here

Time Flies and Thanks Abound

Time waits for no one and it is flying by here at the lodge!

It is so easy to find fault these days with what was done wrong, what wasn’t done, what should have be done differently… you get the idea. We all have our ideas of “how” something “should” be and too often, we are quick to remind someone else of those “facts”.

Here at the lodge, there are a LOT of things that could be improved, just look around and you will probably spot something that needs some attention. That is just what is on the surface. With a national non-profit organization, there are also dozens of reports and records that are required and as we prepare for our Association Vice-President’s visitation on June 6, our committee chairs and officers know this all too well.

As we move into summer (there are only 30 Monday’s until Christmas!) we have the Flag Day BBQ / Flag Retirement and Chili Cook-Off this month out at the Trap Range as well as food, music, and friendship happening at the lodge. These activities don’t happen on their own so I want to give a shout out to the many members who take the time to make it all work.

Some faces are here more frequently but all have a hand in making this lodge a place where friends can meet and Veteran’s, Youth and our community are supported throughout the year.

When you encounter one of these folks…please take a moment and say “thank you” – Alexa Rogers, Bob Friend, Charlie Guest, Cindy Hodgkinson, Colleen Heller, Dave Cleveland, Deborah Smoot, Dollie Cooksey, Fred Hudson, Gary Sampley, Gene Ikola, Gini Heller, Hank Parker, Homer Hansen, Joe Hodgkinson, Ken Miller, Kenny Heller, Leslie Rex-Smith, Mike Mestas, Paul Wagner, Ramona Mestas, Rebecca Watts, Ruben Andrade, Steve Rushford, Susan Bunn, Ted Hodgkinson, Theo Miller, Todd Smith, and Warren Guest. If I have left anyone out, please let me know and I’ll make it up to you!

Moving Forward and Ritual Contest Thank You

April saw the lodge off and running full steam with many new officers and committee chairs. Life is like that – we never know how things may change and the beauty of this group is that we adapt.

You’ll notice we have a new Kitchen Manager and I’m SO excited that Sandra Baker has accepted the position. In conjunction with the House Committee and our Bar Manager, Ramona Mestas, I’m looking forward to some wonderful events ahead.

Speaking of events, I want to thank our Ritual Team for the great job they did at contest. Under the tutelage of our coach PER/PAVP Warren Guest our team made up of Ruben Andrade, Joe Hodgkinson, Susan Bunn, Charlie Guest, Paul Wagner and our Candidate Ted Hodgkinson have been practicing for weeks to be able to inspire new candidates as they become part of the history. Our Lecturing Knight Steve Rushford requested a sub due to a major scheduling conflict so our own Rebecca Watts graciously stepped in, as always, to allow us to have a full complement from our own lodge.

You’ll notice a new area in the bulletin with a picture for “Member of the Month”. Each month I’ll highlight a different member and it is NO EASY TASK since so many members work so hard for the lodge. But I want to thank our Member of the Month, Colleen Heller. I know attending another “meeting” isn’t the most fun we can have but the Lodge Meetings are where the decisions are made and as an officer, it feels good to have other members there so that we are not operating in a vacuum. Colleen always makes it into the meeting even though she must first secure the bar and then know that as soon as the meeting is over, she’s going to have to do it all over again. For that dedication, I really appreciate her and her efforts!

May brings many more activities to gather together including Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, our Youth Scholarship Dinner, Memorial Day and our CHEA Convention so I hope to see you at the lodge on one or more of the occasions.

Thank you for being part of my world!

Fraternally,
Kira Wagner, Exalted Ruler
Strengthening Elkdom through Communication and Teamwork!

Communication is Key

With every change comes opportunity…

As your new Exalted Ruler, I look forward to building on the foundation laid by past administrations as well as making the most of our time together during the next 12 months! Additionally, I appreciate the fact that we have several PER’s still actively involved in the lodge – their experience and expertise only serves to make us stronger.

The single overriding goal for my tenure is to improve communication so that we know what’s happening, that everyone knows how important you are to the lodge and that regardless of position, we’re all in this together. We have so many opportunities to serve the community and each other that I am looking forward seeing what we can do this year. I encourage each of you to attend the lodge meetings, a House Committee meeting or two and participate in as many events as you can, it’s YOUR lodge and you help make the decisions in the directions we move only when you’re there.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank PER Warren Guest for all of his support and guidance over the past year – his vast experience in the world of Elkdom is much appreciated by both myself and the lodge!

Please know that if you have ideas or suggestions you can always reach me via email or my cell and if I’m not available at the time – I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Living closer to the lodge now, I also hope to be down there more frequently!

Finally, thank you to our new corps of officers and committee chairs! As a not-for-profit fraternal organization, there is a lot required to keep the doors of the clubroom open so the community of support run by volunteer effort is appreciated more than mere words can convey!!

As they say in the Corps – Semper Fi, and may we always be faithful to our purpose and each other.

Sincerely,
Kira Wagner, Exalted Ruler Mojave Lodge #2059
Major Project Chair, Inland District
kira@kirawagner.com
Strengthening Elkdom Through Communication and Team Work

Why I’m An Elk

The last weekend saw over 1000 members of the California Hawaii Elks Association (one segment of the larger Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks) gather in Palm Springs at the Westin to reconnect, educate, and celebrate the accomplishments of the past year.

The fact that this is a volunteer organization that continues to support communities by working with such groups as the youth, our veterans, scouting and so much more is just the starting point of why I actively support the BPOE.

Then there are the friendships that are created, some instantaneous, some cultivated over time. In my 10 (short) years there are those that, when we meet at the lodge or a convention, it’s like “old home week” with stories, smiles and laughter. In the last year we moved and our membership is now at Mojave Lodge and again, we have connected with wonderful individuals. They care and work hard to create a place of camaraderie for the folks who provide a service through their membership in this organization.

It’s that “service” element that keeps me inspired and here is just one of the stories from convention.

As you may or may not know, one of the programs that the Elks provide is the “Major Project”. In the various states, the focus may be slightly different but ultimately, it is about helping to create a better world for everyone. Here in our association our Major Project provides therapeutic resources for children that may not be able to receive help and in some cases, were determined beyond help. But the latter is a story for another day.

Today we celebrate the joy of Aya. Aya is our 2017-18 theme child and a delight to be around. But it wasn’t too long ago that the story was different. At 3 ½ Aya was speaking below a 1 year old level due to a condition known as Apraxia. Today at 5 ½, with the help of her speech therapy through the CHEA Major Project, “she is now an independent, sociable, verbal, outgoing, happy and confident girl”. To play a part in that change, no matter how small, is success. Our future lies in the hands of the youth and to be a part of an organization that continues to make such a profound difference in not only a single life but also all the lives they touch is beyond words.

It is with deep gratitude that I echo the appreciation shared by our Exalted Ruler Warren Guest during the Major Project parade, we want to thank PER Todd Smith for his efforts over the last year to help our lodge raise funds to contribute to the well-being of children throughout our association.

 

Calendar and Event Ideas

Hi all,

We have a lot of of ideas for events to take place during the year and we want to make sure that the members have the energy and time to participate so…we’re encouraging everyone to either comment below with your suggestions (and who you think can/will chair the event) or leave a suggestion at the lounge.

Let’s get things hopping there – support the community, Elks events and party while we’re at it!

 

Super Bowl Sunday Pregame Information

Please join Mojave Elks Lodge for Super Bowl Sunday! The Lodge will open at 10 AM the activities will get underway about 1 and the game starts at 3!

We’ll have hot dogs and snacks, a 50/50 and more!

Make a day of it and bring your friends!

 

Coats for Community

The winter can be brutal in the high desert. And when someone is in need of warmth the cold can cut through you like a razor sharp knife.

No one should have to endure the cold like that – not in a community of caring, creative individuals. Particularly when those individuals are members of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks!

Headed by Alexa, one of our most passionate members, the Mojave Elks lodge will be giving away coats to community members in need in the Mojave area.

Happening on February 18th at the lodge we look forward to seeing you here.

Also, if you have a gently used coat that you would like to see put to good use please bring it to the lodge or call us and we’ll make arrangements!