Philipsburg, PA 1173

Philipsburg, PA Lodge News

Editorial -- Philipsburg Journal, April 13th edition

To those who have expressed concern about the Philipsburg Santa, its future, its care and upkeep, and its suggested neglect, let this message be clear: he will be repaired, he will be back next year, just as good as before, at his placement in Cold Stream Park, and he will continue to return each and every year thereafter. This was our promise when we took custody of Santa and continues to be our promise to Philipsburg today.

The Philipsburg Santa is a project of the Philipsburg Elks and has been since his return 2 years ago to the Coldstream location. Admittedly, we suffered a set back this year. The temporary wooden support poles of last year were replaced with aluminum flag poles this year. This had always been the plan: poles which would support Santa during the holidays and act as a flag plaza during the summer season. Although the poles were damaged, modifications are being made which will increase the strength and structural integrity of poles to better allow them to withstand the sometimes extreme and unpredictable weather-related stresses, stresses encountered this year.

We can appreciate the impact of seeing Santa down—fallen and seemingly forgotten. However, nothing could have been farther from the truth. The delay in his initial removal was weather- and equipment-related. Once down, a crane was required to salvage the poles and to avoid further damage to Santa; again, we encountered bad weather and soft, unstable soil. We knew of Santa’s falling the very day it happened; I, along with multiple members of the lodge surveyed the damage that very day; the following day, the Elk’s Santa Committee was making arrangements to remove him; and not once was expense, lack of time, or difficulty used as an excuse to ignore the situation.

It is easy, given the seemingly endless difficulties our community faces, to focus on the bad. We, as Elks, choose to do the opposite. Philipsburg is a great community of closely-knit, caring people. And, as an organization, we are proud to be here. This pride drives our collective community spirit. The Philipsburg Santa is an important part of our work but is not, by any means, our only project. We clean highways, we care for shut-ins, we provide scholarships to our youth, sponsor and participate in drug awareness programs, and lead programs to benefit our veterans. Although we have been in this community for 98 years, look for the Philipsburg Elks to take on an ever-increasing role in this community.

Finally, benevolence and community service are virtues all Elks are dedicated to; indeed, they are our benchmark responsibilities. We do not neglect our causes; we do not evade our responsibilities. We are good neighbors and genuinely care about this community and its future. If you are community-minded and focused and care to take a more active role, may I suggest you give our organization a look? I bet you will like what you see. Visit us at and see the multitude of ways that Elks Care -- Elks Share.

The Officers of the Philipsburg Elks
Philipsburg, PA

David “Pete” Byron, Exalted Ruler
David Holmes, Esteemed Leading Knight
Jaxen Herrington, Esteemed Loyal Knight
Tom Holden, Esteemed Lecturing Knight
Daniel Nelson, Esquire
Ed Storck, Chaplain
John “Jack” Herrington, Inner Guard
William Sicks, Tiler
Robert Wiser, Organist
Amanda Buzard, Secretary
James Olenick, Treasurer
Edward Finnegan, Trustee
Gary A. Helsel, Trustee
Harold Peterson, Trustee
Joe Yurky, Trustee