KI Elks to celebrate 40th anniversary Nov. 3
STEVENSVILLE — The Kent Island Elks, Lodge 2576, will hold their 40th anniversary party from 7 to 11 p.m. Nov. 3. The lodge was founded in Fall 1978 by a small group of local residents who caught the spirit of national Elks organization, which began in February 1868 in New York. Officially known as the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the national headquarters is today located in Chicago, Illinois.
Many Elks lodges around the nation celebrated the 150th anniversary of the fraternal organization this past February. There are 1,928 Elk lodges in existence across the U.S., including Hawaii and Puerto Rico today, 30 of those lodges in Maryland. The KI Elks are part of the Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Elks District, comprising 38 lodges. There are more than 850,000 Elk members registered among all lodges nationally.
The birthday party will be held inside Hauer Hall at the lodge. The hall was named for KI Elks founding member Francis “Butch” Hauer, an American World War II hero who saved the lives of all the men on the destroyer he served, that was sunk in the North Atlantic, Christmas Eve, 1942, by a Nazi submarine. Hauer was the communications officer who sent out the SOS before the ship sank within 15 minutes after being hit. The hall was so named in Hauer’s honor in 2010, before his death in 2013. His wife, Cathy Hauer, who was also very active in the Ladies of the Elks organization, died in December 2015.
The KI Elks, Lodge 2576, in Stevensville, continues to grow in membership, with just under 700 registered members. To become a member, a person must be sponsored by a current member who represents that individual(s) as a member of good report in the community. The person seeking membership must be at least 21 years old and be an American citizen, have a belief in a Supreme Being, and not be a member of the Communist Party. If accepted, they must participate in a ritual initiation ceremony, and there are annual dues paid, approximately $85 per year to the local lodge.
The Elks national motto is “Elks Care, Elks Share.” The Kent Island lodge has donated over $1.5 million back to the local 501(c)3 organizations over the past 15 years. Those nonprofits include organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, Hospice, American Cancer Society, Character Counts and veterans recovery programs.
The Elks sponsor annual youth activities such as Soccer Shoot and Hoop Shoot, the Elks National Scholarship Foundation, and youth recognitions for outstanding service to their communities.
In 2017, an Eagle Scout Project at the VFW in Grasonville was recognized for building a monument to all the militar y personnel who were residents of Queen Anne’s County who had died in ever y war in American histor y, from the Revolutionary War up through the most recent wars in the Middle East. It took Scout Jacob McLaughlin of Queenstown almost four years to completed the research which produced 200 names of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for American freedom. Jacob was honored by the KI Elks for his work.
Tickets to attend Lodge 2576’s celebration are on sale at the lodge for $20 per ticket, and the celebration is open to the public. The capacity inside Hauer Hall is 200 people, so tickets are expected to sell out. There will be light foods, a large birthday cake, and live band playing during the event.
The lodge is located at 2525 Romancoke Road (Route 8, south) in Stevensville.
For more information, call 410643-2221.
Children ride a camel during the Blue Bay Farm Festival Saturday, Sept. 22. The event is an annual fundraiser for the McArdle School for Early Autism Intervention.
The Kent Island Elks, Lodge 2576, in Stevensville will be celebrating its 40th anniversary Nov. 3. Shown here, KI Elks Exalted Ruler Mike Kelly, left, stands with Queen Anne’s County Character Counts Coordinator Elaine Butler, representing one of many 501(c)3 charities the Elks have supported.