ORIGIN – The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America was
organized February 16, 1868 in New York City by 15 actors, entertainers and
others associated with the theater. Within
a few years B.P.O. Elks were initiating others not associated with the theater,
when they recognized the Order’s value and fine work.
PURPOSES – The Elks’ constitution states that
the Order was founded “to promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of
Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to pro-mote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members;
to quicken the spirit of American patriotism and cultivate good fellowship.”
WHO THEY ARE – The Order is non-political,
non-sectarian and strictly American. As
of March 31, 1978 there were 1,634,488 Elks.
Median age was 50.6 years and his median income is $23,100.
Eighty-eight percent (88.7%) were married;
89% homeowners; 97% own an
automobile; 46.2% are college
educated; 49.7% are professionals
executives and proprietors; 36.2%
play golf, 26.4% enjoy boating, 25.6% are hunters and 36.6% are bowlers…..LODGES – There are
more than 2200 Lodges in the U.S., Canal Zone,
P.R. and Philippines.
WHAT B.P.O. ELKS ACCOMPLISH – The Order spends
more than $16,000,000 a year for benevolent, patriotic and educational programs.
Great concern is shown for physically-handicapped children through
diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention.
The Elks National Foundation, with assets of more than $32,000,000,
devotes its entire income of more than $1,000,000 to charitable projects, with
emphasis on college scholarships. Elk
programs also embrace Youth Leadership, Scouting, athletic teams and national
“Hoop Shoot” Free Throw Contest. Elk
Lodges provide entertainment and recreation at all Veterans Hospitals and they
contribute such items as cash, playing cards, hides, leather, electrical
appliances and materials for occupational therapy.
Each Elks Lodge observes Flag Day, June 14, every year, a
tradition started in 1907 and later adopted as an official observance by the
HEAD OF THE ORDER—The top national executive of
the Order is known as the Grand Exalted Ruler.
He is elected for a one-year term and serves without pay.
A new Grand Exalted Ruler is elected each year during the Order’s
National Convention in July.
While the Lodge is primarily a charitable institution, it
nevertheless strives to promote good fellowship and brotherhood among its
members. Our facilities are used by
members and community alike for entertainment, receptions, class reunions and
civic organizational meetings.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is an
organization formed in 1876 by a band of members of the theatrical profession
for the promotion of a closer friendship, social interaction and mutual
protection with the Golden Rule as their motto: “Do unto others as you would
have them do unto you”. The small
acorn planted by the founders has grown into a gigantic oak, with those noble
characteristics of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity shedding
radiance of relief from sturdy branches that have spread forth from the parent
root forming a golden chain that encircles the United States.
The milk of human kindness is the nourishing element that gives life to
the body and light to those basking under its benign influence; writing the
faults, of the unfortunates who fall by the way, in the sand while their virtues
are inscribed on the tablets of love and grateful memory, inscribed with
indelible characters that neither time nor tide can efface and will live until
time will be no more. The Order was christened by Charles Vivian, the actor, and
the name of the animal (Elk) was used because it is fleet of foot, strong of
limb, timorous of doing wrong and never known to engage in combat--except to
defend its young and to protect the weak and defenseless. A clearer conception of the objects of our Order, the pen
fails to record.
On the first Sunday in December of every year Memorial
Services, for those who have passed beyond, are held wherever a Lodge may be
OUR ABSENT MEMBERS"
“The Vacant Chair”
We shall meet, but we
shall miss him,
There will be the vacant
But though we no more
Still our hearts his
But a while ago we
Friendship beaming in each
Now the golden cord is
has passed to realms on high.