Wednesday, September 21 2022

Officers and members of Elks Lodge #1981 were joined by chamber ambassadors on Friday to celebrate the lodge’s arrival in the chamber family. The lodge was established in 1955. This non-profit organization does a significant amount of charitable work in the community and its members take great pride in their accomplishments. The motto of the Elks is “Elks Care and Elks Share”. Moose across Texas raised more than $800,000 in funding for projects last year. This lodge raised $11,000 in 2021.

The lodge serves as a second home for many local veterans and other civic-minded citizens. They promote fellowship, organizing numerous activities and fundraisers throughout the year. They provide scholarships, stock local pantries, and participate in the annual Huntsville Christmas Parade. Last year, they threw over a thousand coloring books in the parade.

Nationally, Elks sponsors an American Essay contest that awards $250 to $1,000 in scholarships to fifth, sixth, and seventh graders. In Texas, a large portion of their funds supports a free summer camp for underprivileged children located near Gonzales. Camp lasts six to seven weeks each summer, and top priority goes to foster children and those with special needs.

They are in the process of purchasing an additional camp for veterans and active duty military to reward those who have served our country with a place to relax and enjoy the camaraderie of their peers. Each member of the lodge has a role that he fulfills and one or more projects that are close to his heart.

Former lodge president Christine Gomez handed over to Tim Kinkelaar after four years of service, but still wears many hats. She is the public relations contact and deputy auditor for the district and also painted the mural on the building. Gomez runs the Texas Stars Project. She removes embroidered stars from flags on her way to retirement to further honor her service. Gomez then gives them to veterans and active military officers. She has offered more than 6000 stars since 2011.

“I live in Beaumont, but chose to be a member of this lodge because of its level of commitment to community service,” said administrator Terry Clay. Clay has been involved with Elks for almost 16 years and is a big supporter of the American Essay Contest.

The bar manager, Audra Rumfield, offers the kind of hospitality you’d expect to find in a neighborhood pub. She helps organize events when she’s not dealing with regular clients.

Helen Holloway is the secretary of lodge #1981 and former member of Elks Lodge #2019 at

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