The Claremore Elks Lodge is once again doing BIG things in our community! Each year, Elks members donate to the Elks National Foundation fund, and those funds are placed in a trust account. Local lodges are then eligible to apply for grants based on the interest accrued in the account. The Claremore lodge received $8,000, and they were allowed to spend it in the community where they saw a need. The winner this year was….food pantries!
Pictured left to right: Linda Polson (First United Methodist Church), Christy Wylie (Elks Lecturing Knight), Brittany East (Elks Leading Knight), Layla Freeman (Light of Hope), Deputy Keri Thomas and Marti Jenkins (Rogers County Sheriff’s Office), Keith Gunnells (Elks Inner Guard), and Larry East (Elks Northeast District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler/Trustee)
For this donation, $3,500 was given to Light of Hope, $2,500 to First United Methodist Church, and $2,000 to the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office. Each of these Claremore entities operates a food pantry, and the donations were much appreciated!
Layla Freeman, founder of Light of Hope, said, “You have no idea how much of a blessing this and how timely it is. Donations are down this year, and this money being allocated for our pantry is a huge help.”
Marti Jenkins, representing Rogers County Sheriff’s Office (along with Deputy Keri Thomas), said, “We started our food pantry at the jail about three years ago. We wanted to be able to provide for those in need when the other pantries weren’t open. Ours is open 24/7, and it’s in a well-lit area. We use the honor system, and it’s worked out well for us. Take what you need, and leave what you can. This will help tremendously in stocking the pantry!”
Every year, the Elks helps out in the community with this same method. In the past, they’ve purchased drones for Claremore Police Department, welcome home kits for homeless veterans when they find housing, and safety equipment for Claremore Fire Department. They also host an annual fish fry for the Claremore Veterans Center.
If you would like more information on how to get involved with the Elks, please email BPOE1230@tulsacoxmail.com.