On July 24th, the Alameda Elks’ Lodge hosted its annual Ladies Luncheon to support their charity for disabled children. This year’s theme was a Jane Austen tea party in which participants were invited to step back in time and across the world to romantic Regency England.
The event, held at the Alameda Elks Lodge, included 192 participants and sold out in advance. Revelers appreciated the opportunity to meet in person as last year’s event was done as a box lunch with curbside pickup. Thirty-six volunteers rallied to make this extravagant event a reality.
Participants came in festive attire or costumes, enjoyed a tea luncheon catered by High Street Station Catering, raffle, silent and live auctions, and dance entertainment by members of PEERS, the Period Events and Entertainments Recreation Society.
Elks as a Social and Service Organization
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks are a national fraternal organization founded in 1868 and focused on offering camaraderie and a sense of purpose through social, service, and charitable events and projects. According to the Alameda Elks website, “you’ll find individuals who possess a deep sense of patriotism, fair play, chivalry, and dedication to noble causes.”
Specifically, the Alameda Elks participate in programs that provide:
- Veteran’s support
- Youth scholarships
- Charitable aid for disabled children
- Support for scouting
- Support for local causes and organizations ranging from Midway Shelter of Alameda to the Alameda Spelling Bee and school music programs
The Jane Austen tea fundraiser was specifically held to support the California-Hawaii Elks Association Major Projects, Inc. (CHEMPI). This program funds 32 paid therapists and preschool vision screeners to help disabled children. These CHEMPI professionals travel, sometimes great distances, to help children get the care they need.
Their services are provided at no cost to the families and children that need them throughout California and Hawaii. This year’s Ladies Luncheon raised approximately $10,000 for CHEMPI.
Liveliest Lodge in Elkdom
The Alameda Elks pride themselves on being the “Liveliest Lodge in Elkdom.” As Alameda Exalted Ruler James Myers says, “Elks pride themselves on their friendliness and eagerness to welcome new friends into our community.”
First Lady Cathleen Myers says, "One of the joys of being an Elk is the many opportunities for creative fundraising for charity. James and I are the directors of PEERS, a non-profit historical dance and theater organization, and soon found our niche at the Alameda Elks Lodge. When we wanted to form a vintage ballroom dance group at the Lodge, we were encouraged and have been flourishing for several years now.
“Then, when it was James’ turn to organize the Lodge’s annual Charity Night/Casino event – a benefit for various local charities - we took our inspiration from the 1941 classic film “Casablanca.” We offered Roulette and Twenty-One gambling games and dancing to live 1940’s music. Guests were encouraged to wear 1940’s costumes and vintage attire and role-play to their heart’s content. It was a huge artistic and financial success.
“Most of all, being Elks gives us a chance to give back to the community, raising money for charity while having a tremendous amount of fun doing it. I’ve never belonged to a non-profit organization where people of such diverse political backgrounds can work together for charity so effectively and remain friends!”
James Myers says they are always looking for new members. “If you want to make a difference while having the time of your life and making lifelong friends, consider becoming a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
For more information, visit their website here.
#AlamedaElks #PeriodEventsAndEntertainmentsRecreationSociety #PEERS
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