Local organizations receive funds from Highland Elks Lodge

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
The Highland Elks Lodge presented more than $5,000 in grants to area organizations Oct. 20. Pictured are: Jim Holdren, Jessie Friend, Jody Sparks, Barb Wakeham, Julia Baldridge, Susan Jett and Liz Walton.
Lauren Siebert

The Highland Elks Lodge in Cherokee Village presented more than $5,000 in grants to area organizations Oct. 20.

The food bank of the Salem Senior Life Center, Mission of Hope, Comfort Keepers Ministry Inc. and Barb Wakeham, who makes Christmas baskets through the Elks Lodge, were all recipients.

“This year we concentrated on entities that were harder hit by COVID. Their donations are down for a number of reasons and as a rule, we give out three grants a year for an amount between $7,000 and $8,000,” Jim Holdren, Exalted Ruler of the Highland Elks Lodge, said.

Holdren said each grant given was to fill a specific need for the community.

“As you get older, civics is one of the things that becomes almost a priority and [the Elks Lodge] is a good place to do it. This is a good group of people who raise a lot of money and do a lot of good for the community. I wish more people would donate their time through us,” Holdren said.

When asked how the public could become involved in projects conducted by the Elks Lodge, Holdren said there are many options available.

“They can come and join as a member or if they want, they can volunteer their time. Almost every weekend we have functions here and are looking for people to help serve and clean up,” Holdren said. “They can call 870-257-3388 to find out what events we have coming up. For example, we have one coming up for a man who was hurt badly last year and the funds raised will go to help pay his medical bills. ”

Holdren said increased membership allows the organization to reach beyond Sharp County to support organizations such as the food pantry at the Salem Senior Center.

“The more people that join the organization, the more we’re able to do and right now, Fulton County is hurting and need all the help we can give them and we can only do that through membership,” Holdren said. “It is $72 a year to join and a percentage goes to an Elks project in Jonesboro, a portion goes to the national and that’s how it comes back in grants. Everyone gives a little and sometimes you get back a whole lot.”

Later that evening, the grants were presented beginning with a $2,000 Spotlight Grant to the Salem Senior Life Center accepted by Director Jody Sparks.

A $2,000 Beacon Grant was awarded to the Mission of Hope and accepted by board members Susan Jett and Julia Baldridge and a $1,500 Beacon Grant was awarded to Comfort Keepers Ministry Inc and accepted by board members Susan Jett and Jessie Friend.

Lastly, Barb Wakeham was presented with $2,000 to be placed into the Elks Christmas Basket account.

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