Lodge #1684 Home
Welcome to Oak Ridge, TN BPOE Lodge 1684
About Oak Ridge:
Oak Ridge is often referred to as "The Atomic City" stemming from its birth in 1943 when the U.S. Government built the city and three plant facilities for the purpose of designing and building the atomic bomb used in ending the war with Japan in 1945. The city is comprised of 96 square miles of land with most if it owned and occupied by the Department of Energy's reservation and approximately 24 square miles of it used for the city residential and commercial areas.
It is home to the American Museum of Science and Energy where visitors can visit and learn about atomic and nuclear energy and the early construction of the city and the federal plants. It is also home of the Oak Ridge National Labaoratory where research is conducted on the non-war usage of nuclear energy and other energy related research.
Oak Ridge is located in eastern Tennessee approximately 20 miles northwest of Knoxville. It is easily accessible from I-75 and I-40.
To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to recognize a belief in God; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; to cultivate good fellowship; to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization, and to provide for its government, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America will serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks Care and Elks Share.
In Order to be a GOOD ELK, you must understand why it's GOOD to be an ELK.
OUR LODGE IS CELEBRATING 70 YEARS AND $1 MILLION IN CHARITABLE DONATIONS
Oak Ridge Lodge Number 1684 of the Benevolent and Protective Order for Elks (BPOE) is celebrating its 70th birthday this week. The lodge was formally chartered on July 11, 1946.
Many people have probably passed by the local lodge located at the corner of Emory Valley Road and Briarcliff Avenue many times and wondered who are the Elks and what do they do?
Oak Ridge Lodge 1684 is one of the nearly 2,000 BPOE lodges located across the country that have a combined membership of nearly 800,000 members. The Elks organization was founded in New York City on February 16, 1868 under the name "Jolly Corks" by 15 actors, entertainers and others associated with the theater. In ensuing years, membership expanded to other professions.
The Order spends more than $80,000,000 every year for benevolent, educational and patriotic community-minded programs. These may be in such fields as benefiting physically handicapped children, sponsoring Elks National Foundation scholarships, scouting, athletic teams, veterans' works, a national "Hoop Shoot" free-throw contest involving more than 3 million children, physical and occupational therapy programs and patriotic programs. For many years the Elks were second only to the federal government in the dollar amount of college scholarships awarded annually.
Elks invest in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, by undertaking projects that address unmet need, and by honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans.
Some examples of what Elks do include the Elks in Alexandria, Va., holding a soup kitchen at the Lodge each weekday at lunch, serving 30 people, many of whom are veterans. The Wheeling, W.Va., Elks Lodge hosts local youth once a week for a wholesome meal. They also provide homework help and invite community leaders to speak at the meals. The Elks in Lockport, N.Y., provide an annual weeklong summer camp tailored to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
The Oak Ridge Elks have conducted numerous charitable functions over the years. In 2015 lodge members held the following functions:
Drug Awareness and Youth Activities:
- In June the Elks hosted their 3rd annual Drug Awareness Day at the Municipal Pool. Committee members partnered with Anderson County Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention, Anderson County Sherriff?s Department K9 Unit, Oak Ridge Parks and Recreation Department, TWRA and Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition in providing free demonstrations, toys and literature on the bad effects of drugs and alcohol. The Elks provided free pool admission to 241 children on that day.
- Sponsored STEM fall break camps for the girls at Girls Inc. of Oak Ridge. The girls enjoyed trips to ORNL, Cinemark Theater, Tri-County Roller Arena, the MUSE and the Fruit and Berry Patch.
- Hosted our 3nd annual "Drugs are Scary" indoor trick-or-treat in the Lodge room. This activity provided a safe, supervised place for children of to have fun, receive candy and show off their costumes. There were over 800 people in attendance along with Elroy the Elk.
Serving the Community:
- Lodge members transformed the lodge?s banquet/Lodge room into a "Hollywood Nights" themed setting as it held it?s 2nd annual Prom Night for the clients, staff and caregivers from Emory Valley Center.
- Lodge members hosted a bowling party for the adult clients from Emory Valley Center and provided them with pizza for lunch.
- Lodge members utilized the Elks Community Outreach Grant funding to adopt 15 Veteran residents from the Ben Atchley State Veterans Home in order to purchase items on their Christmas wish list. Lodge members went above and beyond by spending an approximated amount of $91.00 per resident spending a total of $1,363.67.
Other Charitable Functions conducted during the past few years have included:
- Collected donations to contribute $300.00 to the Ben Atchley State Veterans Home adjustable beautician/barber sink fund.
- Collected donations to give $600.00 to the Volunteer State Honor Guard in order to provide new brakes and general maintenance for their vans.
- Collected $230.00 in donations to give to the Oak Ridge Holiday Bureau.
- Participated in "Can Underage Drinking" campaign by collecting non-perishable food items to donate to a local food banks.
- Donated $250.00 to Oak Ridge High School Graduation Celebration.
- Hosted Veterans Day dinner and dance. All Veterans and their spouses enjoyed a free dinner and dancing during the evening. The Volunteer State Honor Guard served as our special guest.
- Prepared and delivered meals to 25 Veteran residents at Patriot Park Assisted Living.
- Presented a local middle school student with a certificate and a $25.00 VISA gift card for his winning entry in the local Elks Drug Awareness Poster Contest.
- Provided red ribbons and drug awareness stickers to the students and staff at both Jefferson and Robertsville middle schools during Red Ribbon Week.
- Participated in the City of Oak Ridge Christmas parade for the 7th consecutive year. Youth volunteers handed out candy printed with an anti-drug message. They also enjoyed a pizza party back at our Lodge after the parade and were given Elks Drug Awareness sweatshirts to wear to school.
- Hosted an Elks "Youth Hoop Shoot" activity at the Boys and Girls Club. In this event the winners had the opportunity to advance to the district, state, regional and national competitions with all travel expenses for the contestant and parents provided by the Elks.
- Hosted Pinewood Derby Boy Scout Activity at our Lodge.
- Hosted Oak Ridge City Council election, meet the candidate?s event.
- Provided $750 donation to East Tennessee Children?s Hospital.
- Provided $750 donation to St. Judes Children?s Hospital.
- Provided a new storage building for the Oak Ridge Agape House.
The four cardinal principles of the Elks are Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity.
It is estimated that over the past 70 years members of the Oak Ridge Elks had donated nearly $1,000,000 in charitable donation funds and member volunteer hours aimed at helping its community be a great place to live. The above listed events are from just the past two years of the Lodge?s history and serve as examples of what the Oak Ridge Elks have been doing silently and behind the scenes in our community for the past 70 years.
So, for those many people who have passed by the Oak Ridge Elks Lodge and wondered who the Elks were and what they did, now you know. The secret is out.
In addition to having the opportunity to work on various charitable events and functions members of the lodge and their families can also enjoy the lodge facilities where they can have a meal from the buffet or ordered from the menu at its full-service restaurant. They can also enjoy a cocktail at its large lounge, watch sports on its giant screen TV or just relax, visit and socialize.
The lodge is always looking for new members wishing to participate in the great charitable works and events it provides for the community. We?d love to give those interested a tour of our nice facility. Anyone wanting to know more about the Oak Ridge Elks can call the lodge at 483-3510. For more information on the Elks you can visit the web site at www.elks.org.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America is one of the oldest and largest fraternal organizations in the country. Since its inception in 1868, the Order of Elks has grown to include more than 1 million men and women in more than 2,100 communities.
The BPO Elks is committed to the ideals of charity and patriotism. To that end, Elks have now disbursed, over the course of the Order's history, more than $3.6 billion in cash, goods, and services to the nation's youth, its veterans, the disadvantaged and handicapped, and to individuals and groups in support of patriotic and civic programs. Annually the BPO Elks give more than $200 Million in this fashion, and the Order ranks as one of the largest private providers of college scholarships in the nation.
The Elks have created a quiet network of good deeds that has profoundly changed millions of lives for the better, yet there is little public awareness of the impact of their vital work. Why is this so? Quite simply, the Elks have rarely sought recognition; nor have they gone to the general public with fund-raising efforts nor received monies from any level of government. Indeed, the flow of money and goods moves in the opposite direction: the Elks donated to the government the first veterans hospital; they contribute regularly to schools and police and fire departments; and they assist the young and the needy throughout this great nation. How could this powerful force have come into being? And where does all this charitable giving come from? From the generous hearts of Elks members whose eagerness to share, whose prudent long-term planning, and whose willingness to serve for free and with enthusiasm infuses the Order with an exuberant and enduring expression of the true volunteer spirit.
Of note is the fact that the elected leadership of the BPO Elks--from the Exalted Rulers (Presidents) of the local Lodges to the National President, known as the Grand Exalted Ruler, as well as other decision makers at various levels--all serve without salaries. The Elks organization is governed through democratic representation, with overall statutes set by voting at national conventions. The BPO Elks national headquarters is in Chicago. The Chicago campus is also the site of the Elks National Veterans Memorial building, and it is the home of the Elks National Foundation, the Order’s charitable trust; the Elks National Veterans Service Commission; and The Elks Magazine, the official monthly publication that is sent to every member of the Order.
The Elks and Patriotism: Inspiring National and Civic Pride
Since the earliest days of the Order, patriotism has been among the many hallmarks that make the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks stand out from other fraternal organizations. With a membership composed entirely of U.S. citizens, the BPO Elks is committed to promoting the pinciples of individual freedom, opportunity, and dignity.
The Stars and Stripes
Elks have always been moved in the presence of the flag of the United States of America, which is why, in 1907, Elks members adopted a resolution designating June 14 as Flag Day. In 1911 the Grand lodge mandated that all local lodges observe Flag Day with appropriate ceremonies, making the Elks the first national fraternal organization to require the observance of Flag Day. Finally, on August 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman, himself a member of the Order, permanently designated June 14 as Flag Day by signing an act of Congress. But observing Flag Day isn't the only way that the Order demonstrates its deep reverence for the banner that symbolically embodies the values of the nation. Many lodges give or sell flags to worthy groups and provide training in proper flag etiquette. Some lodges even provide flags for newly sworn citizens, while other lodges give flags to their local schools for display in the classroom and provide educational materials to help grade school students learn the Pledge of Allegiance. Each year, Elks across the country sponsor essay contests that encourage elementary and high school students to explore why the flag is important in their lives.
At their 1983 national convention, the Elks passed a resolution endorsing the Liberty Centennial Campaign's work to restore the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and pledging its full support to the campaign. For its part, the Order vowed to raise one million dollars in three years. Elks from across the country enthusiastically responded to the Order's pledge, and by 1986 the Order had exceeded its original goal, contributing more than $1.38 million to restore this treasured symbol of the nation's promise of freedom and opportunity.
The National World War II Memorial
In 1999, the members of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks gladly approved a resolution pledging an amount equal to one dollar per member to the National World War II Memorial. The memorial, which has been built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. will preserve the memory of the more than 16 million people who served in World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions more who made other sacrifices to support those in combat overseas. The Elks exceeded their pledge, generating more than $1.22 million for this monument of tribute.
In nearly 2,200 communities, local Elks lodges work valiantly to promote civic pride. Local lodges regularly hold functions to recognize and celebrate the achievements of local emergency services personnel, teachers, leading citizens, educators, students, and government officials. Elks also demonstrate the pride that they feel toward their communities by volunteering and making financial contributions to local charitable organizations.
In Defense of the Nation
In times of war and international conflict, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has made considerable contributions to the nation's armed forces. The Order considers its work done to aid in the defense of the nation as one of its proudest and most lasting achievements.
World War I
Elks patriotism and generosity helped the nation to victory in World War I. In 1917, the Grand Lodge allocated $2 million to finance efforts to assist U.S. soldiers. The Order organized and equipped the first two base hospitals in France. And to accommodate the maimed and wounded, the Elks built a 700-bed Reconstruction Hospital and gave it to the War Department in 1918. This was the first of what were to become the Veterans Administration medical facilities. That same year, the Order built a 72-room Community House to take care of the families visiting the 40,000 soldiers stationed at Camp Sherman, Ohio. During the war, the Salvation Army was severely handicapped in its great efforts to aid servicemen by lack a of funds. To make sure that this work continued, the Elks undertook campaigns to raise funds for the Salvation Army, and on many occasions the Elks assumed the entire coast of these undertakings. In addition, at Christmastime in 1918, the Order gave the Salvation Army $60,000 to continue its programs. Following the war's end, the Elks made 40,000 rehabilitation, vocational, and educational loans to disabled veterans who were ineligible for government help or who were waiting approval of their applications. This service was so effective that the government followed the Elks’ example and established a revolving fund that was the precursor of the GI Bill. More than 70,000 Elks served in the armed forces during World War 1. More than 1,000 made the supreme sacrifice.
World War II
Throughout World War II, the Elks contributed to the war effort by providing for members of the armed forces both at home and abroad. By the time hostilities ceased, the Grand Lodge had spent more than $1.5 million, while local lodges spent hundreds of thousands of dollars more to provide assistance to our men in uniform. During World War II, Elks lodges spearheaded local recruitment efforts, directly helping to enlist more than 142,000 men into the armed forces as well as thousands of construction specialists who dramatically aided the war effort. Additionally, more than 400 lodges conducted refresher courses that qualified thousands of young men for training as army flying cadets. The Order also realized the need to boost the morale of servicemen stationed far from home. Across the country, the Elks sponsored 155 Elks fraternal centers, where GIs were invited to relax, socialize, and enjoy the hospitality of the Elks. More than one million servicemen visited the center in New York City. For those serving overseas, the Elks prepared and sent care packages containing candy, personal grooming supplies, and other comforting items.
Korea and Vietnam
When war broke out in Korea in 1950, the Elks responded by sending gift packs to those serving their country as they had done in World War II. In 1951, the secretary of defense appealed to the Order for help in procuring blood for the wounded. Within a few months, Elks lodges obtained more than half a million pints. During the Vietnam War, the Elks again answered the call by beginning the Letters from Home campaign. Elks members from across the country flooded our young servicemen and women with letters expressing gratitude for the sacrifices they were making on behalf of the nation. In addition to the letters, the Order provided care packages to soldiers.
Operation Desert Storm and Beyond
As in previous conflicts, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks stood ready to aid the men and women of the U.S. armed forces when the Gulf War commenced. Once again, the Elks mounted a letter writing campaign to thank these patriots for their dedicated service, and gift packs for soldiers were provided as they had been in the past. At the close of the Gulf War, many Elks lodges made arrangements to host ceremonies honoring the brave soldiers returning from the conflict in the Middle East, making the Order one of the first organizations to formally welcome these veterans home. And now the Elks have stepped forward yet again to help our armed forces. Today the Army of Hope is charged with assisting the families of those in uniform with their need’s at home. Through these programs and many others, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has truly established itself as a leading force in promoting the values that help shape and strengthen the United States.
Back to top