President Reagan Addresses the 1988 Elks National Convention
Carmichael Elks Lodge #2103
Why Be A Member of The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks?
...We Elks are a nation-wide fraternal organization of well over 1.2 million American citizens. We love our country and desire to preserve its cherished institutions, traditions and values. We respect our neighbors and constantly seek to promote their well being. We love and enjoy life and believe this enjoyment is increased by sharing it with family, friends and all with whom we come in contact.
BECAUSE We seek to bring into our fraternal family only those who delight in wholesome associations with congenial companions. Only persons who possess a deep sense of patriotism, fair play, chivalry and dedication to noble causes. Persons who find the fulfillment of their existence in service to humanity, desiring to join in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, aiding those in distress; proving themselves to be true friends to all in need.
BECAUSE We lead no one to our doors with any promised material benefits or fame. We pledge no advancement of personal or career ambitions; instead we want to help each other become better and happier persons. We believe in not merely wishing others well but in manifesting this belief by deeds, seeking to serve rather than to be served. To Elks, laughter is better than tears and a kind word is more powerful than a frown. The dream of a better world becomes reality when shaped by enough willing hearts and hands.
BECAUSE We neither question one's religion, nor do we exclude anyone because of creed, race, ethnic origin, educational attainment, vocation, material status or physical stature. We measure character by what one is and does, not by titles or position. We do not seek to impose different beliefs in place of personal commitments to God, Family and Country, nor do we ask anyone to act in any manner contrary to the dictates of conscience. We do not permit religious or political differences to intrude into or have any effect upon fraternal deliberations at the local, district, state or national levels.
BECAUSE You can join with the millions of fine and noble American citizens who have helped better the destiny and way of life for countless thousands in our country for over 135 years. The generosity is without fanfare and often even without the recipient's knowledge. You may even have been helped at some point along the way. We have always been there, quietly providing help and encouragement. Now it's your turn to get involved, to join America's quiet humanitarians, and begin giving your life new purpose and fulfillment. You'll never have to stand alone in an uncaring world around you. Now you'll have a nation-wide family of women and men.
BECAUSE We expend over two million dollars yearly to bring encouragement, cheer and comfort to hospitalized veterans throughout the United States in fulfillment of our solemn pledge: "So long as there are veterans in our hospitals, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them."
BECAUSE Through the Elks National Foundation, a perpetual fund with assets exceeding three hundred and twenty million dollars, we provide several million each year for college scholarships, grants for higher education to children of deceased Elks and other charitable, benevolent endeavors.
BECAUSE Through our local Lodge, district, state, and National programs, we provide healthful activities, guidance and assistance to over eight million boys and girls every year. We fund scholarships, athletic teams, summer camps, scouting and drug education programs. We encourage civic, environmental and patriotic involvement through essay contests, seminars and distribution of materials; as well as family oriented activities in our Lodges.
BECAUSE Elks operate numerous camps, hospitals, clinics, training centers and in-home services for the care and treatment of children and adults with physical disabilities including vision and speech problems, as well as mental impairment and emotional problems, all across the country.
BECAUSE In our many benevolences Elks and Lodges throughout the United States, spend over forty-five million dollars annually in our various works of community betterment and charitable programs. This does not take into consideration donated hours equivalent to over thirty-five million dollars.
BECAUSE In approximately 2,100 Elks Lodges throughout the United States, individuals prominent in public, business and professional life can be found. In these Lodges, located in the principle cities and towns throughout America, the handclasp of fraternity and a warm welcome as a visiting member await you.
BECAUSE The Elks Lodge in your community affords you the opportunity to join your neighbors and friends, and take a prominent role in the improvement of community life.
BECAUSE The cardinal principles of the B.P.O. Elks are Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity. With the practice of these virtues your community will be a better place in which to live.
To be eligible for membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, you must be a citizen of the United States over the age of 21 who believes in God.
You can be sponsored by any member in good standing from any lodge in the country. You'll also need two other Elks who will be your references. The Elk who proposes you for membership will provide you with a copy of the Membership Application, or will email you a link to the online version of the form. Please follow all instructions and answer all questions. If applying via hard copy, please return your completed application to the Lodge Secretary.
Your application will be read at a regular Lodge meeting. It will then be forwarded to the Investigating Committee, who will call you and set up a time for you and your sponsor to meet with the committee so that they can interview you.
After the interview is concluded, the committee will report to the Lodge concerning your membership. The members will be given a notice not less than 10 days nor more than two months before the vote will be taken.
When the vote is concluded, you will be notified and asked to present yourself and your spouse for indoctrination. During indoctrination, you will learn more about the Order's programs and charities. You will also be told during the program the date you will be initiated.
After initiation as an Elk, you can take part in all meetings and social functions of the Lodge.
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