On Friday, August 23rd, 2019 the Homer Elks Lodge hosted an event for Foster Families through the Cortland County Office of Children and Family Services. The lodge provided a family picnic for the children, their families and agency employees. It was a great day of amazing food cooked by Elk volunteers, snow cones for the kids and many great games and activities. There was a prize table and each child was able to leave with a toy or game of their choice. It is a joy to see these kids having a good time, receiving their prizes, playing games, forgetting their problems and just enjoying life. This is the second year running for this event and both the families and the agency were once again so grateful that the lodge is able to host this end of summer picnic. We were able to serve over fifty people from the Foster Care Community as well as the agency employees. This event was made possible through securing $2,500 from the Promise Grant provided by the Elks National Foundation"s Community Investments Program.
On Saturday, August 17th, 2019, the Homer Elks Lodge Veterans Committee hosted a Veterans Service fair and picnic. There were several booths set up around the lodge facility by Local Agency Services that are available to both Active Duty Service members and Veterans within the community. It was a day of friendship and honor as Veterans ranging from WWII, Korea, Vietnam and The War on Terror were all in attendance. The stories and camaraderie were truly amazing to hear and be a part of. Each Veteran and Active Duty Service member that attended received a draw string Elks National Veterans Service Commission (ENVSC) bag that contained a bandana with the event theme "Operation Elks for Vets" printed on it, a soft fleece blanket, several snack items, a notebook and an American flag. There were also raffle items given away that included challenge coins and other patriotic materials. More than 60 veterans and active duty service members attended to take advantage of the information being offered by the many vendors and to enjoy the Chicken BBQ style picnic. This event was made possible through securing $2,000 from the Freedom Grant provided by the Elks National Foundation's Community Investments Program.
At the conclusion of its Flag Day Ritual Ceremony on Friday, June 14th, 2019 the Homer Elks Veterans Committee, as part of its service recognition program, honored a local veteran for his contributions and service. Former Army 1st Staff Sargent Robert Grummons, who severed our nation in Korea, was selected to be honored with a service recognition pin and certificate to acknowledge his achievements and service to our Nation. Robert passed away in 2005 so accepting the award on his behalf was his son and long time Elks Member Jeff Grummons. The Committee accepts applications and awards recipients quarterly. Qualifications for the award are Cortland County, NY residents who have compiled exceptional and exemplary service records as service members, veterans and citizens. There were 62 attendees to witness this important recognition of one of our country's service members.
On Friday, June 14th, 2019 Homer Elks Lodge #2506 hosted its annual Flag Day ritual ceremony. In addition the the ritual service the lodge invited the local American Legion, Post 465, to perform its Flag Retirement Service. This has become a tradition for the Lodge and the Legion to partake in this community event to honor our Flag. Afterwards the 62 attendees enjoyed a dinner served by the lodge.
As part of a Toys for Tots fund raiser on Sunday, June 9th, 2019, Homer Elks Lodge #2506 hosted a Bike Rally Poker Run event. Registered riders gathered for a 90 mile ride across Central New York on a beautiful spring day. The Homer Elks Veterans Committee donated, prepared and served the food for the Chicken BBQ that was held for the riders and guests after the ride. There were about 50 riders and around 100 total attendees who also enjoyed raffles, games and entertainment hosted at the lodge. This event was able to help Toys for Tots raise over $2,000 for their cause.
Homer Lodge #2506 will be hosting a Cornhole Tournament on Sunday, April 28th, 2019 at 4pm. This event is part of the South Central District Winter Olympics. The spirit of the Olympics is to encourage lodge comradery thoughout the district. Donations from teams are encouraged and all proceeds will benefit ENF. Contact us to sign up.
On Saturday, March 30th, 2019, Homer Elks Lodge #2506 hosted its 7th annual March Madness 3k Race. There were over 200 registrants with over $3,500 being raised. All proceeds are donated by the Lodge towards ENF and State Major Project.
Once every month throughout the year representatives from the South Central District help conduct a Bingo game at the NYS Veterans Home in Oxford, NY. On Saturday, March 16th, 2019 the Homer Elks Lodge sent a contingent of lodge members to the home to play bingo with the Vets. Additionally, Homer Lodge donated several items to the home through the activities coordinator there. The items included decks of cards, card holder sewing kits and activity kits. These items were secured for donation through the Elks National Veterans Service Commission (ENVSC).
On Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 the Homer Elks Veterans Committee prepared 20 care packages to send overseas to Afghanistan for Cortland County resident Staff Sargent Thomas Frost and his troop. The care packages contained coffee, peanuts, beef jerky, candy and other snacks that let these service members know how much we appreciate them and remind them a little of home. The packages also contained thank you notes and colored pictures from area youths. Four members from the Cortland chapter of the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) and Women's auxiliary also assisted in both packing the boxes as well as making a monetary donation to help offset the cost of shipping.
On Wednesday, November 21st, Homer Lodge #2506 donated 26 boxes of personal care items for Veterans to the Tompkins/Cortland County VA Outpatient Clinic located in Freeville, NY.
On Sunday, January 6th, Homer Lodge #2506 used its Beacon Grant to provide over 100 area youths with winter coats for the cold months ahead. All coat sizes were predetermined with each size category having a variety of colors available to choose from. Each child was able to come in, pick out the color coat they wanted and write their name inside. Coloring and craft activities were also available. A hot meal was also provided by lodge volunteers for the children and their families when they picked up their coats. This event was made possible through the ENF's partnership with the Non-Profit Organization Operation Warm, which provided the coats.
Homer Elks Lodge #2506 hosted a concert on Saturday, November 10th, 2018 celebrating and entertaining local area veterans. The Lodge hosted singing group The Belle Tones, commonly know as the 21st century Andrews Sisters. The group performed a family friendly show containing both patriotic and popular songs from decades past. Many veterans were entertained and one specially honored as a very memorable evening was had by all in attendance.
Homer Lodge #2506 held a Purple Heart Donation Drive throughout the month of October to recognize ENF Month and to raise funds for the cause. Along with the purchase of a $10 Purple Heart, each donor's name was placed into a drawing to for a chance win four Elks 150 year Anniversary tumbler glasses to go along with a bottle of Old Elk (the glasses and bottle were donated for the raffle). With this drive, regular member donations and a Halloween Fundraiser Event, the lodge was able to raise over $750 throughout the month for ENF donations. The winner was drawn and announced on Thursday, November 1, 2018.
Homer Elks Lodge #2506 used its 2018-19 ENF Gratitude Grant to purchase 10 Samsung Google Chromebooks for a free after school tutoring program that was recently started by a local church, The lodge presented the Chromebooks along with 10 wireless mice on Sunday, November 11th, 2018 to the program's director.
On Friday, August 24th 2018 the Homer Elks Lodge donated toys, games and supplies to the Cortland County Child Protective Services (CPS). The purpose of the donation of these supplies was to provide activities for the children that are waiting to be placed with a Foster Family as well as to assist the CPS employees in caring for them while they wait. This donation was made possible through securing $1,500 from the Anniversary Grant provided by the Elks National Foundation.
On Friday, August 24th 2018 the Homer Elks Lodge hosted an event for Foster Families through the Cortland County Child Protective Services (CPS). The children and their families were provided with hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken strips, salt potatoes, watermelon, assorted cookies, lemonade and iced tea for a picnic style diner. There was also a snow cone machine. In addition to the food we also provided bounce houses and several games for family activities. At the end of the event we raffled off all of the games for the families to take home with them. We were able to serve over ninety people from the Foster Care Community as well as the CPS employees. This event was made possible through securing $2,500 from the Promise Grant provided by the Elks National Foundation.
On Sunday, August 19th 2018 the Homer Elks Lodge hosted an event for children form active duty or veteran military families. The children were provided with backpacks and were able to pick out their own supplies that had been laid out for them to choose. The children and families were also provided with lunch fare consisting of hamburgers, hot dogs, salt potatoes, watermelon, lemonade and iced tea. We were able to give away a total of 96 backpacks filled with supplies to the greater community. This event was made possible through securing $2,000 from the Freedom Grant provided by the Elks Veterans Service Commission.
The Homer Elks Lodge #2506 Veterans Committee recently held an event to organize, pack and ship 13 care packages for a Military unit currently stationed oversees in Afghanistan. This was made possible through donations that were solicited for over a month from both members and outside businesses/organizations
With more than 30+yrs marching for Memorial Day in Tully and Preble for Tully Legion 936. PERS from Homer Elks 2506. Dick Crawford (l) and Dave Ames (r) are proud to carry our Nations colors.