Oct 122004
 
Authors: Amy Hochevar

The Fort Collins Elks Lodge offers Fort Collins residents a

place to get connected.

“If you are interested in having a chance to give something back

to the community and have a good time and meet some new people, the

Elks Lodge is the place to go,” said Tony Deyo, a member and

employee of the Elks Lodge, 140 E. Oak St.

The Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks #804 started in Fort

Collins on July 18, 1902, as a charitable organization.

The name Elks was chosen because it is a distinctively American

animal that is “fleet of foot and timorous of doing wrong,”

according to the Web site www.bpoe804.org. Charity was the

cornerstone of early Elkdom and remains so today.

The Elks National Foundation plans to distribute more than $14.1

million in scholarships to high school students during the 2004 to

2005 school year. These will be funded by member fees and

fundraising events.

The Elks Lodge distributed 26 scholarships to high school

students who now attend CSU. The students won the scholarship money

after either winning a basketball competition or demonstrating

admirable qualities through an essay and a set of criteria.

Deyo said he joined because he likes to help out and meet

people.

“I think it gives me an opportunity to have a good network of

people to communicate with. Some of the biggest people in Fort

Collins are members of the Elks Lodge and this is a great way to

meet and communicate with those people,” Deyo said.

Deborah Dohrmann joined the Elks in spring 2004.

“They always make everyone feel like part of the family from day

one,” Dohrmann said.

The Elks hold a meeting for potential new members on the third

Tuesday of every month.

Members must be 21 years old and be sponsored by someone who is

already a member. They must also be an American citizen, believe in

God and have no felony charges on their record.

The Elks are looking to interest a younger generation.

“We are definitely looking to lower the average age,” Deyo

said.

The Fort Collins lodge had 260 members in 1903 and now has

around 700.

“Right now we are looking at some fresh ideas for some other

entertainment activities to do down here,” said Randy Kettenhofen,

the exalted ruler of Fort Collins’ Elks Lodge.

Some famous past Elks members include Franklin Roosevelt, Gerald

Ford, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Clint Eastwood, Vince Lombardi, Mickey

Mantle and Whitey Ford.

“Being an Elk means becoming part of a very large family,” said.

“Our members have many different backgrounds, but we all work

together for one common goal … to improve our communities.”

Members are welcome at Elks Lodges nationwide, which often

include a bar and restaurant, billiard tables, a bowling alley,

meeting rooms and workout rooms.

“They always treat other members and their guests with open

arms,” Dohrmann said. “(People) should definitely check out the

Elks Lodge.”

The Lady Elks are having a Craft

Fair on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Elks lodge, 140 E.

Oak St. The fair is open to the public and there will be a lunch

served at nominal charge. They are looking for crafters. To call

and request to be a crafter, please call Markita Thompson at

962-3993.

For more information about the Elks

lodge #804, call 493-3777.

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