Party On, CIP
What’s the perfect recipe for a 10-year-old’s birthday party? Cake, party hats, a silly photo booth and plenty of friends. That was exactly the atmosphere at the Indiana State Convection Center where the Elks National Foundation and some stellar Elks volunteers gathered to celebrate the birthday of a very special 10-year-old—the Community Investments Program!

Like any 10-year-old, the CIP has grown leaps and bounds. Since its inception in 2005, the CIP's funding has grown nearly 2,700 percent. Volunteers and fans of the CIP came together at the birthday party to celebrate the program’s growth, and reflect on the past decade of Lodges using CIP grants to make real, charitable differences in Elks communities across the country.

An Honored Guest

The party was also a chance to honor Jeff Mitchell, the 2015 CIP Volunteer of the Year from Bradenton, Fla., Lodge No. 1511. Click here to learn more about Jeff! Looking out over the sea of burgundy party hats, Mitchell talked about Elks Feeding Empty Little Tummies, a program he started at his Lodge with an Impact Grant.

“I’m honored as well as humbled to be here,” said Mitchell. “I know there are so many Elks out there doing great things, to have our program and me personally recognized is wonderful.”

Mitchell spoke passionately about his Lodge’s efforts to stop childhood hunger in the community, and urged everyone in the room to think about ways they could take up this cause in their own community.

“Since June 6, 2011, we have served 412,000 meals and have helped 69,700 kids—and that’s just a drop in the bucket,” he said. “We have two missions, one to feed every child we can afford to, and the other is to bring awareness to this problem to our community and the Elks.”

Relive the Fun!

Partygoers mingled with other dedicated CIP volunteers, ate cake and crowded into the photo booth with silly hats and props. The cake may have gone fast, but the memories will definitely last. Click here to relive the celebration. Then, try your hand at some CIP trivia from the party.

If the Community Investments Program could make a wish and blow out the birthday candles, the wish would be for another 10 successful years of helping Elks build stronger communities. And with CIP volunteers like you, it will be a birthday wish that will easily come true.

The Elks National Foundation allocated $9.77 million this year to fund the Community Investments Program. Lodges meet local needs in Elks communities through Beacon, Gratitude, Promise and Impact Grants. These grants offer Lodges opportunities to serve the community in ways that will raise the Lodge’s profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things. To learn more about the Community Investments Program, please visit

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