Wilkins, PA 577

Wilkins, PA Lodge News

‘TAKE A TIP’ FROM WILKINS ELKS 577 IN PITTSBURGH PA … SIX LOCAL CHARITIES DID.And to the 577 Lodge Membership, “It’s Personal”

Wilkins ELKS 577 may very well be your ‘great grandfather’s Lodge, but today it is also yours, your mom and dad’s, your son’s, your daughter’s and in dozens of cases, your grandchildren’s favorite place. “

“The key to our growth and the growth of any charitable organization is to stay mission-focused, lead with strength, vigor and passion, align ourselves with our ELKS charities and our local charities most relevant to our members and the community at large,” says Exalted Ruler, John Weber. “It doesn’t hurt creating exciting special events that bring our membership, their families and friends together for causes close to their hearts,” says Weber.

Over the past four months, the Wilkins ELKS 577 Lodge special events raised over $13,000 for our Homeless Veterans, Home Services for our elderly and sick families, Elks National Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Breast Cancer Awareness, local fire victims, Allegheny Special Olympics and Autism Speaks Pittsburgh Chapter.

Of that $13,000, nearly $11,000 was a result of the 577’s GUEST BARTENDER NIGHTS. “When you designate that the evening’s proceeds go directly to an organization that has impacted one of your own, this Lodge fills the house,” says Roni-Sue Stevens, Lodge Officer and Board Secretary.

Left to right: ER John Weber and Member Gerry Meyer as the 577 Lodge GUEST BARTENDERS helped raise – along with over 300 Lodge donating members and families and friends of Autism Speaks – $2,360.“It’s personal,” says member Gerry Meyer, Jobe Funeral Home Director, volunteer fire fighter, St. Colman volunteer and, along with E.R. John Weber, last month’s Guest Bartender for Autism Speaks Pittsburgh.  “We had a mom testify about the minute-by-minute daily challenges young parents face with having a child, a baby with Autism. That mom is Carmen Boyle, sister of one of our members.  Her youtube video went viral and our Facebook Page lit up like a Christmas tree leading up to the event,” says Meyer.

"There is no respite, ever, being a parent of an Autistic child," says Carmen. "But organizations like Autism Speaks play a very large role in helping young parents in so many important ways ... finding doctors who have the professional training to treat babies and children with Autism. Classes and seminars and advocates who teach us the things we need to know and how to cope day to day. Get the support we need to make our child's life as normalas possible through all stages of childhood ... and life" says Carmen.

Nearly twenty years ago, when Carmen’s son Marc was born, statistics reported 1 in every 1500 babies were diagnosed with Autism. Today it's 1 in every 67.

On February 28th, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh was the benefiting charity. 577 Lodge members Gina and Jeff Walter’s compelling story helped drive attendance and donations on how the doctors and staff and support programs of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh changed their lives and the life of their precious baby daughter, McKenna forever by providing life-saving medical care and technology McKenna needed immediately after her birth.

McKenna's adoring grandmother, fellow Member and Officer of the 577 along with 577 Officer and Lodge Secretary Roni-Sue Stevens stepped behind the 577 Lodge BAR as GUEST BARTENDERS surrendering all their tips to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh so more of our babies and children get the expert medical care and best support during their stay.

It is the personal experiences of its members and the testimony of individuals as spokespersons for the evening’s designated charity that helps drive the success, the turnout of the 577’s fun-pay-it-forward events, like the 577’s Guest Bartenders Night, is escalating each month:
1.    Home Services: $265
2.    ENF: $277
3.    Our Homeless Veterans: $1,205
4.    Allegheny County Special Olympics: $1,668
5.    Autism Speaks Pittsburgh Chapter: $2,360
6.    Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh: $2,500 (Prudential matched this total with a $2,500 donation)