Elks contribute funding to children with disabilities

Charlene Johnson is the Exalted Ruler of Lodi Elks.

Members of the Elks lodges throughout California and Hawaii have contributed $3,251,232.17 this year by members of Elks Lodges throughout California and Hawaii to be used in treating children with disabilities. Since 1950, every Elk member has been given a purple pig to put their loose change in. On each pig, there’s an inscription that reads, “A coin a day will help children walk, talk, see and play.”

When their pig is full, that money is then given to their lodge and then turned over to the California-Hawaii Elks Association (CHEA), who administers the non-profit charitable corporation on behalf of the Elks Major Project, Inc. Lodi Elks Lodge No. 1900 donated $8,800 between April 1st of 2014 through March 31st 2015. Stockton Elks Lodge No. 218 donated $14,219 during that same time frame. Charlene Johnson, Exalted Ruler of Lodi Elks and Valerie Edwards, Exalted Ruler of Stockton Elks, represented their Lodges in the check presentation.

All funds are devoted solely to providing vision screening and therapy treatment to children with a broad range of disabilities. Without the Elks supported donations, many of these children would not receive such treatment. The year-long fundraising campaign is capped by an impressive ceremony, known as the Exalted Ruler’s march, at the annual State Elks Convention, which took place on May 9 in San Diego.

This is when the Exalted Ruler of each Elks lodge throughout California and Hawaii present their donations. The raising of funds to aid children with disabilities is just one of the many philanthropic and patriotic projects which mark the Elks’ contribution to our community. The theme twins, Peyton and Jayden of Oakhurst, were there to show the Elks their improvements over their health and developmental issues due to the help of the Elks Occupational Therapist Judy Linda.

— Source: Eileen Dugan

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