Philipsburg, PA 1173

Philipsburg, PA Lodge News

Philipsburg Elks Receives Community Service Award

Good evening. My name is Pete Byron and I am the Exalted Ruler of the Philipsburg Elks.

Let me beginning by saying how genuinely honored I am, and my organization is, in having been selected as this year’s recipient of the award for Outstanding Community Service. Coming from an organization such as the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership—I know we have good reason to be proud.

Although this is humbling and I am not attempting to sound arrogant, I can’t help but feel this award is in a small way deserved. To the community-at-large, sometimes the officers and members of the Philipsburg Elks feel we are perceived a little too much as a bar or a social club. And, indeed, that is part of our organization. Yet, it would be unfortunate if that was all we were recognized for because we are some much more.

All Elks, those members in Philipsburg and around this country, are unequivocally and unquestionably dedicated to the causes of Charity and community service. Charity is our cardinal principle and benchmark responsibility. We, as Elks, are called to live our lives dedicated to charity’s best attributes: the donative spirit and the compassionate heart. And, in my humble opinion, our collective dedication to and unwaivering focus from this call is what makes this organization great.

And if my words don’t necessary tell you how dedicated we are, let me give you some examples. The Elks, on a national level, and this Elks, on a local level, perform charitable and service work nearly each and every day. We clean local roadways of trash and litter; we organize, lead, and participate in program which assist our Veterans, by provide clothing and personal needs to those in VA homes and leading social activities such as fly-tying programs; we sponsor and lead causes of local pride and distinction, such as the refurbishment of and care for the Philipsburg Santa; we raise considerable revenue for charitable programs, like our Home Service program, which provides free health care and health consultation services to shut-ins in this state and in others; we participate in and lead youth programs aimed at the causes of drug awareness and education, which we make available each year during Philipsburg’s Heritage Days; we provide scholarships to talented youth across our nation—in fact, we are the second leading provider of scholarships in this country, second only to the federal government in the number of dollars we provide to those in programs of higher-education; we sponsor Teener League baseball teams; and we are the creators and sponsors of Hoop Shoot program, which draws the participation of youth around the country. And this is such a sampling. Needless to say, we are proud of what we do.

I don’t mean to go on-and-on but I thought I might take this opportunity to demonstrate to each of you why we are proud of what we are and what we do.

In closing, again, let me thank you for this recognition and, in particular, Stan Lafuria, the MVEDP Board of Directors, and your hard-working staff. This was a wonderful evening and we thank you for your warn invitation and wonderful event. Although we do not do our work because we might get recognized, it is encouraging to see this organization, the MVEDP, stepping-up, recognizing organizations dedicated to community service, and thereby demonstrating how important community service is to all of us, especially the Moshannon Valley. Thank you again. Good night.