Why join the Elks?

Anthony Kadikoff-Elks Lodge 313

Why would anyone, including myself, join a service club—or is this a fraternity?
So many questions, not enough answers. If no one has noticed, there are plenty of organizations available to associate with.
First and foremost, what triggers this feeling of wanting to join an organization? Does it appear one day as a vision while you are watching someone or a group helping an individual in need?
Or does it express itself with a winning slogan while you were opening a scratch ticket, or a 12-pack of liquid refreshment, and instead the of “whoosh” being “You win,” it whooshed, “Join the Elks.”
Or does it scream at you when you are working on your laptop and those pesky ads pop up: “Join the Elks” or “What are you doing for excitement?”
This debate will rage on and on.
I may be able to briefly suggest, in theory, why I decided to become a members of the Elks of Canada. Contrary to popular belief, it was not simply because I want to help kids.
From the very beginning, it was a simple question: what can I do to improve the lives of others?
Should I become a coach, a member of a church, or a political party? Or become a member of another service club? So, as time went on, I experimented with all these different levels and relationships.
Finally, through trial and error, I realized what I wanted was to be able to put something back into my community while I enhanced humanity. Or to the point, I was subscribing to altruism, which is defined as “regard for others as a principle of action or devotion to the welfare of others.”
I subscribe to the theory that everyone has this ability—not just a chosen few.
So now that I’ve identified this positive in my life, where do I go from here? Enter a chance meeting between two co-workers with time to discuss issues, concerns, and make inquires into every aspect of today’s busy lifestyle.
The conversation started and soon I was asking, ‘What can I do next?”
This individual promptly asked, “Why not join the Elks?”
More information was exchanged on the organizational and financial structure of the Elks, and later I decided to become a member.
The facts speak for themselves. The Elks of Canada are an all-Canadian fraternity with no ties to an international body.
All monies raised in Canada stay in Canada.
We spread from coast to coast, and up to the Northwest Territories. There are local lodges and provincial associations, and our national headquarters is in Regina.
All officers and executives are elected annually.
In past years, Elks and Royal Purple lodges in Canada have donated more than $6 million annually to their communities in relief, supporting children’s sports and community projects.
Over the past 12 months, our national charity, the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children, has:
•provided more than $200,000 to almost 200 kids and families in relief;
•contributed more than $300,000 towards 10 provincial/territorial ongoing projects;
•provided more than $15,000 annually promoting addiction awareness programs;
•provided more than $20,000 in educational bursaries to students in speech pathology/hearing impairment studies; and
•provided financial support in many other projects, including one of the finest anti-bullying programs, which has been accepted in many schools in North America and other parts of the world.
Each province also has their own charity funds, and along with local lodges, financially support many families in need and community projects, including “Habitat for Humanity.”
For more information, contact Anthony Kadikoff at 274-3177, the national office of Elks of Canada at 1-888-843-3557 or visit www.elks-canada.org