Riverside, CA 643

Lodge 643 History 1970 - 2010


1970-1971 - For our Sixty-eighth Exalted Ruler we welcome Brother George Petrie.  Brother Petrie presented a check for $5,455 to the Major Project.  In October, the Lodge for the benefit of the Major Project sponsored a rodeo.  Many bus trips, dances and golf tournaments were scheduled and were well attended.  Our Exalted Ruler informs us that the number of Elks now total 1,508,050 in 2146 Lodges throughout the Fifty States, Canal Zone, Puerto Rico and The Philippines.  Brother Win Waite relinquished his duties as editor of our bulletin after serving for eleven years.

1971-1972 - Installed as our sixty-ninth Exalted Ruler was Brother Stanley Everett.  Brother Stan was lucky enough to have the State Convention held in Hawaii where he presented a check for $7,889 to our Major Project.  A Lodge Improvement Committee was formed and was given the job of raising money to pay off the indebtedness of the Smith property that was purchased for the sum of $86,000.  Brother Gib Welch agreed to be the editor of our bulletin and a new page was added showing the names of our brothers having birthdays each month and inviting each down for a free dinner on any Monday night of that month.

1972-1973 - Our seventieth Exalted Ruler was Brother Paul Wagner.  Brother Paul informed us Mike Strohback had won a National Scholarship award in the amount of $2,500.  Also that Bonnie Lee McGaugh had won an award of $600.  Our Lodge received a Public Service Award from Riverside County in recognition of community leadership and co-operation on behalf of the Riverside County Election Department.  Much progress was made on reducing the indebtedness on the Smith property.

1973-1974 - Ushered in as our seventy-first Exalted Ruler was Brother Herbert Barnett.  This year the ritual team placed first in the District Contest and went to Fresno to compete in the State Competition where they came in fourth.  While at the State Convention, Brother Herb presented a check for $6,202 for the Major Project, making a total of 640,000 for all Lodges in California and Hawaii.  Our Lodge was honored by a visit by our State President Yubi Separovich on August 13. Changes in our Lodge operation included the taking over of the dining room to be administered by the Lodge rather than by leasing, as had been done in the past.  Don Spicer was hired to manage this facility.  At the Grand Lodge Convention, it was proposed to take the word white out of our constitution.  This resolution was passed by a majority of seventy-four percent of the delegates and was later presented for ratification by each Lodge throughout our land.  It became binding by the vote of a majority of the Lodges.

1974-1975 - In our seventy-second year our Exalted Ruler was Brother Lowell "Butch" Mercier. This year the State Convention was held in Anaheim and Brother Butch presented a check to the Major Project in the amount of $11,210.  A total of $759,100 was collected. District Deputy Ken Moore from Corona visited our Lodge on September 16 and delivered a fine address.  Our by-laws were amended to increase our annual dues from $40 to $52.  Also the operation of the club shall be by the Exalted Ruler, Esteemed Leading Knight, Esteemed Loyal Knight, Esteemed Lecturing Knight and the Board of Trustees.  Another change included changing the fee for Life Membership from $500 to $625. Many bus trips were scheduled and filled during the year and our social activities were well attended.

1975-1976 - Brother William Colacino is our seventy-third Exalted Ruler.  Brother Bill started off his year by placing a great deal of emphasis on member participation and succeeded in the complete renovation of our club facility.  Our Lodge is preparing for the celebration of the bi-centennial year of our country in 1976 and we hope to extend our work in many facets of this worthwhile endeavor.  As we continue to strive toward goals that will endeavor us to write many more pages of history about Riverside Lodge No. 643, we should keep in mind that the seventy-five years of our existence has brought about many changes.  It has been our ability to adapt to those changes and seize opportunities as they have risen that has molded our Lodge into the fine organization that we enjoy today.  May those who will have the pleasant responsibility of guiding our future, be motivated by the fine ideals that have been the norm for seventy-five years. On February 2nd, the Lodge celebrated its 75th year of existence.  George B. Klein was elected G.E.R. Brother Andrew Scherrer served as his D.D.G.E.R.  It is noted that the Elks' membership stood at 1,611,139.

1976-1977 - our Seventy-fourth Exalted Ruler was Brother Rollin Magnuson.  He reported that over 2,750,000 boys and girls participated in the Hoop Shoot project.  Many social activities were well attended. Marvin Pike was elected State President. Joe Cenos served as Vice President and Carl Sappinton of Redlands was appointed D.D.G.E.R.  On January 5th Chairman of the Board, Russell Walling, recommended that the Smith property next door be put up for sale.

1977-1978 - Brother Raymon Wiest became Exalted Ruler.  Four eagle scouts were introduced to the Lodge.  Don Luce was elected to serve as State President.  On September 18th, a firm offer of $125,000 was submitted for the Smith property.

1978-1979 - Brother Lee Dunn was welcomed as Exalted Ruler and our membership stood at 1,310. Key cards were installed as a security measure.  Our Exalted Ruler presented $10,000 to the Major Project.  Brother George Petrie was appointed D.D.G.E.R. for the Southeast District. Robert Robb was elected State President along with Tom Mitchell from Ontario as Vice President. The Lodge adopted a budget of $290,356.

1979-1980 - Brother Fred Pettit became our Exalted Ruler and he reported that the Riverside Lodge had again contributed $10,000 to the Major Project.  It was during this year that Brother William Holmes who served as secretary and Lodge manager from 1932 to 1964 passed away. Brother Holmes had been an Elk for 59 years.  Riverside Lodge came in first in the District Ritual Contest.

1980-1981 - Brother Fritz Fieber was installed as Exalted Ruler. It is interesting to note that during World War II, Fritz served in the German Navy. He came to America, was naturalized and became a dedicated member of the Elks. James Duncan served as State Vice President. Riverside again came in first in the Ritual Contest. 1981-1982 - Brother Jeffrey Cimino became Exalted Ruler. Brother Jeff continued our many social functions such as the Crab Crack and the Easter Bunny program. Sam Digati became secretary, replacing Brother Paul Pilliter. Brother David Byer from Yucaipa was elected State Vice President and John Gordon from San Bernardino was appointed D.D.G.E.R. 1982-1983 - Brother Tom Leslie became Exalted Ruler; his wife had an active year in promoting many functions in our Lodge. He reported that on May 10th, the Desert Hot Springs Lodge was instituted. Ken Moore became State President and Marvin Lewis from Brawley was installed as G.E.R. Brother Gerald Leibert was chosen to serve as D.D.G.E.R. A police dog was purchased by the Lodge and is being trained by Officer John LaRosa. 1983-1984 - Brother Harry Danko was installed as Exalted Ruler. He was very active in promoting projects to better our Lodge. The Riverside Lodge came in first in the District Ritual Contest. Bud Ketsdever, formerly from Riverside, became the State Vice President. The Lodge presented $18,300 to the Major Project and Brother James Duncan was appointed D.D.G.E.R. 1984-1985 - Brother Warner Vitille was elected Exalted Ruler. This was the year the roof of our building had to be replaced. Again, Riverside Lodge won the Ritual Contest. David Byer was appointed D.D.G.E.R. Our membership stood at 1,116. E.L. Yeager Company was awarded the contract to repair our parking lot. 1985-1986 - Brother Tom Rutherford was ushered in as Exalted Ruler. Tom reported that $1,081,000 was presented to aid in the restoration of the Statue of Liberty by the Elks. Riverside Lodge again won the Ritual Contest. Brother Frank Keller from Corona was appointed D.D.G.E.R. This was the year the barbecue was added to the outside of the building. Brother Wally Shaddnagle announced the first wedding had been booked for our Lodge room. 1986-1987 - Brother Randy Akes became our Exalted Ruler. The 2nd Chili Cookoff was held June 1st, and the 3rd annual bazaar was held November 8th & 9th. George Murray became State Vice President with Tim Martin selected as D.D.G.E.R. The Southeast District contributed $175,000 to the Major Project (or about $18.64 per member). 1987-1988 - Brother Dean McAfee was installed as Exalted Ruler. The 1st annual Swap Meet was held August 8th. Brother John Haldenwang was appointed D.D.G.E.R. and Ernie Tudor was selected to serve as State Vice President. On November 19th, the Past Exalted Rulers of the Lodge performed the Initiation Ritual. 1988-1989 - Brother Fred Farrell was installed as Exalted Ruler. He introduced the first "Forget Me Not" Dinner for the wives of our departed brothers. He was also responsible, along with Brother David Platt, in upgrading our bookkeeping system. Approval of our remodeling our office space in order to rent to outside business was enacted. A Rehabilitation Fund was approved to accept funds for repair of our Lodge. 1989-1990 - Brother Rick Nichols became our Exalted Ruler. On April 29th, our Ritual Team won first place in the Southeast District. The 5th Annual Chili Cookoff was held June 4th. Jerry Rucker from San Bernardino was appointed State Vice President and Brother George Murray was appointed D.D.G.E.R. Brother Lou Roffman was awarded Elk of the Month for setting up a Drug Awareness program at Jefferson Elementary School.


1990-1991 - The Riverside Elks Lodge celebrated its 90th birthday under the supervision of Exalted Ruler Brother Robert Krowel, Jr. with many visiting dignitaries helping to make it a success. Brother Jerry Rucker was designated as D.D.G.E.R. and Brother William Brinker was selected as the State Vice President. Russell Waite, a Past Exalted Ruler was P.D.D.G.E.R., passed away August 10th. 1991-1992 - Brother Lee Lanham ruled as our Exalted Ruler. It was Lee's job to see that our heating and cooling system was modernized. 1992-1993 - Brother Jon Scharb was selected as Exalted Ruler and supervised the 8th annual Chili Cookoff. Jon reported from the Grand Lodge Convention that life membership can be awarded to an applicant who has been a member 40 years, not less that 20 years at this Lodge, and over 70 years in age. Brother Charles White from Moreno Valley was appointed State Vice President and William Brinker was chosen as D.D.G.E.R. 1993-1994 - Brother Philip Tobrock became Exalted Ruler. A large rummage sale was held to add to the general fund on July 10th & 11th. Billy Barty came to entertain at our Lodge. It was decided to change our meetings from Monday to Thursday night. 1994-1995 - Brother Jim Hoogerwerf was to wear the mantle of Exalted Ruler. Members took it upon themselves to refurbish the lounge with $578 collected in order to paint the room and rewire some of the lighting. On March 6th, the 5th annual "Forget Me Not" dinner was held and 40 widows were served, (the oldest being Myrtle Eagle at the age of 98). Our Lodge provided $10,500 for scholarships to deserving students in Riverside area schools. Brother Ken Moore from Corona was elected G.E.R. Brother Fred Farrell was installed as State Vice President and Brother Charles White became D.D.G.E.R. 1995-1996 - Brother C.R. "Jim" Beem was to fill the office of Exalted Ruler this year.  This was the year the Grand Lodge eliminated the word male and gender in our constitution.  A new entrance to our Lodge was installed.  On August 19th, 200 handicapped children were taken to a California Angel baseball game.  Brother David Williford was appointed D.D.G.E.R. and Brother Gene Baxter became State Vice President.

1996-1997 - Brother Ruppert Pittman became Exalted Ruler.  Brother Rupp reported the Riverside Lodge contributed $11,092 to the Major Project and that the Southeast District contributed $167,724.28.  He also reported California and Hawaii had contributed $624,552 to the Elks National Foundation.  Brother Tim Martin was elected State Vice President.  Brother Fred Farrell was appointed D.D.G.E.F.  The Lodge took 261 handicapped children to an Angels baseball game.

1997-1998 - Brother James Lennon was to become Exalted Ruler.  The Third Annual Crayfish Cookoff was held June 13th & 14th. The Kamper Club continued to hold their weekend trips.  The Southeast District donated the highest amount to our major Project in the state in the amount of $168,631.  Riverside's contribution was $8,538.  Temecula has received dispensation for a new lodge.  Riverside Lodge hosted over 350 handicapped children to a day at the Circus in Anaheim. Monte Carlo Night was held February 7th.  On January 29th, Northrop Grumman Aircraft Corporation presented their program on the Stealth Bomber.

1998-1999 - Brother David Brown was installed as Exalted Ruler.  The mid-term conference was held in Riverside for the first time.  The bylaws were changed to having the Board of Trustees the Governing body of the Lodge.  It was recommended that a non-Elk manager be hired and no Elk could be hired to perform work in the club or dining room.

1999-2000 - This is to be change of the Century and Brother Mike Boone is selected to be the Exalted Ruler.  On January 6th, Riverside Lodge received $75,000 from the sale of a $15,000,000 lottery ticket.  A program called Elks Care for Kids collected $3,500 to take terminally ill children to Disneyland.  Riverside Lodge made a $1,000 contribution to the World War II Memorial Wall. P.D.D.G.E.R. Arthur Swarner passed away.  Linda Madison became the first lady Elk to start through the chairs.  She placed 3rd in her station at the Ritual Contest.  On June 3rd, Vice President Dick Roberts was presented to the Lodge.  The dedication of the Smoking Room was held on July 18th.  On July 22nd, four new Trustees were installed. D.D.G.E.R. Dutch Brandau made his official visit to our Lodge on August 26th.

   April 2000 – March 2001   Brother C.R. "Jim" Beem was our 99th Exalted Ruler. Lodge 643 celebrated its’ 100th year anniversary.  Elks Major Project screened 212 children for vision problems.  Our own Ron Robinson was inducted into the Southern California PGA Hall of Fame. Lodge 643 donated a dog to the Riverside Police Department K-9 unit.  ENF reported the California – Hawaii Elks raised a total of $550,639.32. Mel “Tuxie” Tuxhorn was awarded the “Paul Glab” Lifetime Achievement Award.


  April 2001 – March 2002   Brother Jack White was our 100th Exalted Ruler.  Our own Jim Beem served as the State Vice President for the Southeast District. E.R. Jack White brought back the old Lodge tradition for “Elk of the Month”.  $10,500 was awarded in college scholarships.  The “Chip Chuckers” donated $2,000.00 to the Lodge.  We helped to sponsor Christopher Abalo, 14 years old, to the 2004 Olympics in Greece by raising $2,009.00.  The large screen T.V. was added to the lounge.  Our beloved brother, Fred Farrell, a PER, PSVP, & PDDGER, served as the Tiler for the California – Hawaii Elks Association.  Harry Palmer was this year’s recipient of the “Paul Glab” Lifetime Achievement Award.


  April 2002 – March 2003   Brother Mike Umbarger was our 101st Exalted Ruler.  Riverside Elks Lodge 643 was 6th in California for donations to ENF with a total of $11,490.00, (which ranked #1 nationally for Lodges between 500 – 700 members).  Elks Major Project supplied Joshua Walker, (14 years old with vision disability), with contacts for 2 years and a new pair of eyeglasses. Clarence Voll was honored for his 64 years membership in the Elks.  The “Chip Chuckers” donated $1,500.00 to the Lodge.  Our own Jim Beem served as the State Vice President for the Southeast District. Ingrid Hernandez, (daughter of our member Otto Hernandez), was the first Elks Lodge 643 recipient of the “Legacy Scholarship Award”.  The Veterans committee delivered 25 Christmas baskets to the Jerry Pettis Memorial Hospital.  Scholarship committee gave out $10,000.00 in scholarships to High School seniors.  Bob Schweitzer received the “Paul Glab” Lifetime Achievement Award.


  April 2003 – March 2004   Brother Tony Conover was our 102nd Exalted Ruler.  The Lodge meetings were changed from weekly to the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month.  Fred Farrell, PDDGER, PSVP and PER celebrated his 85th Birthday May 33rd, 2003.  PER Mike Umbarger served as District Public Relations Chairman.  Our Lodge took 3rd place in the Ritual contest, Leading Knight Jessica McDonald, 2nd place, Lecturing Knight John Koop, 3rd place and Inner Guard, Vivian Tate 2nd place.  Riverside Elks & Friends bowling awarded in excess of $2,800.00 back to our bowlers in prize monies.  Chuck Grano donated a new gate, ($1040.00) and the labor to install it.  The parking lot was re-striped. Charles “Sam” McCall, PDDGER received his 55 year pin, PER James St. Clair, John Morrison, John Bruyner and George Paulin received their 50 year pins.  Proposed for Life Memberships were: Carl Ginter, Robert Castillo, John R. Bruyneel, and Thomas J. Brady.  Our route 66 Booth netted $5,000.00.  CA-HA Elks Association reported that they offered over $40,000.00 in college scholarships.  Our Lodge passed out 34 Christmas baskets to needy families.  Chuck Grano was the recipient of the “Paul Glab” Lifetime Achievement Award.


  April 2004 – March 2005   Sister Jessica McDonald our 103rd Exalted Ruler and also our first female Exalted Ruler.  The Emblem Club reported that they donated $1,550 in monies, 9,931 hours to the community and $2,002 in monies and 4,519 hours to the Lodge.  Our Ritual team came home with 2nd Place, Jessica McDonald 3rd Place for Exalted Ruler, Bonnie Collins 1st Place for Leading Knight, Vivian Tate 2nd Place for Lecturing Knight, Cliff Wadley 1st Place for Esquire and Jim Ackel 3rd Place for Chaplain.  The “Chip Chuckers” donated $1,000.00 to the Lodge for ENF.  Our ENF donations per capita were $6.66.  Our Major Project theme child was Brady Dennington, 5 years old, for CA-HA Elks Major Project Exalted Ruler’s March during their annual convention in Ontario. E.R. Jessica McDonald presented a check for $9,330.89 to Oren Richardson, Chairman of the Major Project Board of Trustees.  Our own C.R. “Jim” Beem served as DDGER for the Southeast District and Jim Lenon served as Esquire.  50 year pins were awarded to PER Lloyd Sellin and Jim Duncan.  James C. Henshaw, Ralph T. Brown, Loren Weatherwax, Walter Shaidnagle, Scotty Hill, Paul Bell, Lawrence Castagna, Ralph Jones, and Douglas Denton were nominated for Life Memberships.  Dale Haynes was this year’s recipient of the “Paul Glab” Lifetime Achievement Award.


  April 2005 – March 2006   Sister Bonnie Collins was our 104th Exalted Ruler.  The Veteran’s committee distributed 26 valentine gift bags to veteran’s at the Jerry Pettis Memorial Hospital. The Scholarship Committee report over $58,000 in college scholarships were awarded from local, district and State lodges and $10,000.00 from Lodge 643.  After 16 years, our Ritual Team brought to our Lodge, the 1st Place Trophy for the Ritual competition in the District.  Our own PER James E. Lenon, III served as the State Vice President for the Southeast District.  50 year pins were awarded to PER’s Emerson Pann, Housty Smith and James Duncan, and to F. Don Berry, Jacob Bowser Sr., John Coogan, Alvin Curtis and James Duncan, PDDGER.  55 year pins were awarded to PER’s Russell Waite, Skip Fordyce and Jim Beem, PDDGER.  60 year pins were awarded to PER’s Ludie Britsch and Harold Tiernan, and to Steven Dirani, Dale Haynes, Calvin MacGillnary and Emmett Singletary Jr.  Our Lodge increased its “Purple Pig” donations by 47%. Tom “The Blade” Hall was inducted into the Riverside Hall of Fame on May 9th and was the first Riverside Native to wear a World Series Ring.  Carlos Vasquez was the theme child for Major Project.  State Vice President Jim Lenon reported that he reached his goal of $40,000.00 to the “Purple Pig”. The Veteran’s Committee adopted the Veteran’s section of the Evergreen Cemetery for restoration.  25 needy families were given Christmas baskets.  PER Bill Colacino received a special citation from the Southeast District who’s personal work over the past year has displayed that “Elks Deliver”.  The Southeast District reported that $20,500 was received for Major Project. ENF per capita was $5.66.  Ray Carbajal was this year’s recipient of the “Paul Glab” Lifetime Achievement Award.


  April 2006 – March 2007   Brother John Koop was the 105th Exalted Ruler.  Our Ritual team took 1st Place in District competition.  Brother Cliff Wadley took 1st Place in the “Leading Knight” division.  The “Chip Chuckers” donated $1,000.00 to the Lodge.  The Southeast District was reported to be 1st within the California – Hawaii Elks Association with over $188,000 in donations.  ENF per capita from our Lodge was $4.88.  $2,200 was collected for Major Project during the State Vice President visitation.  Elzie Pettis was nominated for Life Membership.  Sarah Riccio of Hidden Valley was the theme child at the CA-HA Elks Association Major Project Exalted Ruler’s march on May 20th.  ER John Koop presented a check for $1,409.00.  The project of placing personalized mirrors over the lounge to raise money for lounge improvements was begun.  A mural of the United States flag, completely funded by the “Elks of the Year”, was added to the lounge.  Additionally, a mural of an Elk watching over its family, were added to the lounge. Our WEB page was brought up to date and steps were taken to maintain it.  George Blandon received a 50 year pin.  The Veteran’s Committee continued its support to refurbishing the Veteran’s area at Evergreen Cemetery.  The Veteran’s Committee donated $500.00 to U. S. Vets and Christmas baskets were distributed to Veteran’s at Jerry Pettis Memorial Hospital.  PER C.R. “Jim” Beem was nominated for Life membership.  Don Sherwood is this year’s recipient of the “Paul Glab” Lifetime Achievement Award.


  April 2007 – March 2008   Brother Cliff Wadley was our 106th Exalted Ruler.  Our Ritual Team won 1st place for the Third Year in a row, which allows us to keep the trophy forever!  Peggy Brauner took 1st place as Leading Knight and Steve Monahan also took 1st place in the Inner Guard position.  Our membership grew by 41 members during this time.  Camy Samuelson, 5 years old from Coarsegold, California, was this year’s theme child at the California – Hawaii Elks Major Project march at their convention in Fresno, California on May 19, 2007.  Our own PER Jim Lenon served as District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler of the Southeast District.  Under E.R. Cliff Wadley’s leadership, our Major Project per capita donation totaled $12,275.13 and averaged $23.79 per member.  The donations to the National Foundation totaled $7,554.71, or $14.64 per member.  Our Lodge was first place in the District of 12 Lodges, and placed 14th in the State of California’s 185 Lodges.  $10,000.00 in scholarship monies was given out to deserving students. The Riverside Police Department received a new dog for their K-9 unit because of our donation of $5,500.00.  $1,800.00 was collected and used for Christmas Food Baskets for the needy.  44 gift bags were distributed to veterans at Jerry Pettis memorial hospital.  The Veterans committee contributed over $3,000.00 to various veteran groups, sent 150 pillow cases to troops in Iraq, 40 boxes of clothing and 100 comfort kits to homeless veterans and filled an additional 200 comfort kits to patients at Jerry Pettis Memorial hospital.  $8,500.00 and donated labor was used to make improvements to our Dining area.  All of this was accomplished while our budget came in as projected and remained “in the black.” Joe Walsh was this year’s recipient of the “Paul Glab” Lifetime Achievement Award.


  April 2008 – March 2009   Sister Peggy Brauner was our 107th Exalted Ruler.  Our Ritual Team won 1st place for the 4th year in a row!  We took five out of seven 1st Place awards, one 2nd Place award and one 3rd Place award.  Tom Leslie was elected President of the PER Association.  The 94th Annual California Hawaii Elks Association State Convention was held in San Diego in May of 2008, and the Annual Grand Lodge Convention was held in Anaheim, Ca. July 6-10, 2008.  Our Lady of Perpetual Help Elementary School was selected as our Lodges “Adopt-A-School.”  $10,000 in College Scholarships was awarded to area students.  Two of our local scholarship winners, (Maria Mercado of Arlington High School, and Phu Nuynh of Norte Vista High School), went on to win an additional $1,000 for 4 years from the Grand Lodge.  CHEA State Vice President Manny Rodriguez’ visitation subsequently netted $3,500 for Major Project.  The Kamper Klub donated $500 to our Rehabilitation Account.  Lodge Bus Trip to Del Mar netted $400 for charity.  The Veteran’s Committee donated $300 to Pettis Hospital and delivered 100 Comfort Kits.  The Vet Committee also donated 125 Comfort Kits, 2 comforters and 7 boxes of clothing to the “US Vets.” The Poker Run netted $1,700.00 for Major Project.  Labor Day Bash and Halloween netted $1,000 for ENF.  Riverside Lodge donation per capita to ENF as of 3-31-2009 was $8.11.  Bus trips netted $947 for the “Building Fund.”  375 children from 22 area schools attended “Youth Fest 2008.”  Lodge membership was approximately 517 members strong.  Dixie Brenner was the recipient of the “Nita Green Lifetime Achievement Award”.  Jim Henshaw was this year’s recipient of the “Paul Glab Lifetime Achievement Award.”


  April 2009 – March 2010 Brother Gerald Troxel was our 108th Exalted Ruler.