The Mission Viejo Elks Lodge made a good showing at the 44th annual California Elks RV Rally, and helped raise $30,000 for disabled children.
Elks from local lodge 2444 made up over 10 percent of the 400 members at the event. This was the largest event of the year to raise money for the California-Hawaii Elks Major Project Incorporated fund.
Here's more from lodge publicist Hal Mattson:
From throughout California, the rally attracted Elks Lodge RV camper clubs occupying 182 RVs, with 42 hotel guests and over 50 local Elks members and guests. The campers and other attendees were generous in supporting the CHEMPI charity with donations and funds generated from the many games, crafts, raffles and food booths manned by all the participating Elks Lodges. California-Hawaii Elks State President Art Echternacht and First Lady Shirley adjusted their busy schedule in order to attend the rally. Art praised the campers for their dedication in the support of the handicapped kid’s charity.
The 2008 CHEMPI poster child and recipient of rehabilitation services from the Elks, Alejandro Martinez, attended the remarks given by Art Echternacht and his Elks funded Occupational Therapist, Mavis Johnson. Alejandro continues to receive weekly therapy from Mavis in his home. His family’s insurance and other resources only permit a 30 minute doctor visit once every four (4) months. Mavis drives over 2,000 miles per month as she visits her 28 CHEMPI assigned handicapped children. CHEMPI funded therapists throughout California travel over 250,000 miles per year delivering over 12,000 treatments to handicapped children.
The MV Elks Lodge was lead by Past Exalted Ruler and Run-A-Ways Wagon Master Pat Martino and wife Barbara with assistance from Past Trustee Jim Wessling and wife Jinnae. Of the event, Pat Martino said, "This year’s event had a more than 20% increase in charitable giving when compared to last year. This means more handicapped children will be served by the Elks so they have an increased opportunity to walk, talk, see and play.”
The Mission Viejo / Saddleback Elks Lodge No. 2444, celebrating forty-two (42) years of service to the Saddleback Valley communities, is one of ten lodges in the Orange Coast District of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) whose headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois. The BPOE is a charitable organization with a 144 year history of giving, “Elks Care, Elks Share.”