Founded February 16, 1868, The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of
the United States of America, is a nonprofit fraternal organization dedicated to charitable works. From its meager beginnings, it has grown to be the largest fraternal organization in our nation, boasting over 2,000 Lodges made up of
well over one and a quarter million members.
The B.P.O.Elks is comprised of patriotic Americans who believe in God, want
to be an active force for good in their community, be better citizens, amd enjoy the good fellowship of enthusiastic, successful men and women. The Order of Elks questions no person's religion, nor bars him/her because of race or creed.
It is not concerned with political affiliations. It is nondenominational.
Elks stage year-round shows and entertainments for disabled veterans in every V.A. hospital in the country. Elks donated the first V.A. hospital to the U.S. Government in Boston. In 1907, the Elks pioneered the observance of June 14
as Flay Day, the anniversary of Old Glory's birth in 1777.
Since its inception, the Elks contributed more than $333 million dollars for charitable, welfare and patriotic programs. The Elks are second only to the U.S. Government in the amount of money it provides for scholarships each year.
Elks scholarships are measured in the millions of dollars annually. They sponsor many youth groups such as youth sports, scouting and 4-H Clubs, D.A.R.E. programs, summer camps, adopt-a-school, Hoop Shoot, etc.
The B.P.O.E. does not compete with other civic organizations. To the contrary,
the Elks recognize the philanthropic efforts of many other civic and community organizations, assisting those organizations when and where possible.
The B.P.O.E. has its own national magazine and almost every lodge publishes a monthly news bulletin for its' members. The Grand Lodge national headquarters
of the B.P.O.E. are located at 2750 N. Lakeview Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60614-1889, phone (213) 477-2750. A book entitled History of the Elks can be purchased from the Grand Lodge.
The principles of the B.P.O.E. are:
CHARITY, JUSTICE, BROTHERLY LOVE, AND FIDELITY.
The motto of the B.P.O.E. is:
THE FAULTS OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WE WRITE UPON THE SAND,
THEIR VIRTURES UPON THE TABLETS OF LOVE AND MEMORY.
The B.P.O.E. is based upon the Golden Rule:
TO DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD THEY SHOULD DO UNTO YOU.