Donor Gives New Meaning to Benevolence
Nester Tan of Florence, Ore., Lodge No. 1858 gave the following speech at his Lodge the night that the Elks National Foundation chair presented him with his silver-level recognition plaque. Nester’s speech is a testimony of true charity and benevolence. Not only has Nester shown his support of the Elks National Foundation through donating more than $10,000, but he is also helping to secure the future of the Foundation with his enrollment in the John F. Malley Planned Giving Society. Nester hopes he can inspire other Elks to begin or continue giving to the ENF.

First, I want to thank the members here for giving me this public recognition of my contributions to the Elks National Foundation. I would like to make a few comments at this time about the importance of this Foundation to all Elks.

When I joined the Elks back in the ’70s, I listened to the Oregon City Lodge’s ENF Chairman’s presentation about the first word in our organization’s title: Benevolence. He made a great impression on me. As I was not able to attend the meetings or other Lodge programs regularly, it seemed to me I could participate in the benevolent work of the Elks by contributing to the Elks National Foundation. I started as many of you have done, by pledging $10 a month until I reached $100. Then, I thought, why not continue to contribute as our family budget allowed.

Over the years, I continued to contribute $10 a month and then gave more each month as our budget allowed. I was surprised to find out that by 1995, I had given $5,000. Over the past 10 years, I have given another $5,000 for a total of $10,000. My wife and I are not rich in any sense of the word. We gave as our budget allowed because we feel this is a very important part of our Lodge’s purpose and something we believe in. We say “Elks Care, Elks Share.” A checker at the Florence Bi-Mart asked me about the pins I wear on my Elks jacket. When I mentioned the Elks National Foundation as one of the pins, she said that if it hadn’t been for the scholarship from the Elks National Foundation, her daughter couldn’t have gone to college. This shows that we do receive benefits in our own community when we support the ENF. Also, the Elks National Foundation, through the Community Investments Program, now returns money to each individual Lodge, if the Lodge applies for it; so again, we are helping ourselves as well as others in Elkdom.

I have received years of joy thinking of all the help this money has given to others. I hope you will join me in this program and again bring great meaning to the word “benevolence.”

For more information on our Community Investments Program, visit To learn how you can join the John F. Malley Society, or for more information about our cumulative recognition levels, visit

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