“The Elks are a community service fraternity. It’s what our main purpose is, to give back to the community,” says Lincoln City Elks Lodge 1886 Exalted Ruler Ed Hogan.
And this holiday season, the local Elks Lodge is giving back in a unique way by hosting a drive through/walk through event.
On Dec. 20, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. the Elks are inviting the public to drive through their lodge parking lot at 1350 SE Oar Ave. in Lincoln City to say hello to Santa Claus and collect a kids goodie bag. Santa’s elves will be in attendance to hand out bags filled with candy and other stocking stuffers to all kids ages eight and under while supplies last. And of course, Santa will be perched in his chair waving to all the boys and girls.
“A lot of things are being cut out this year because of COVID,” said Gail Hogan, the Elks secretary. “If we can find a safe way of doing things then we should still try to do it.”
Traditionally, the Elks Lodge of Lincoln City would host a Christmas event each year that would often draw a strong turnout.
“In the old lodge, the kids would come in and for a couple hours we’d have a big party,” Ed said. “We used to take our grandkids there and foster kids there. Right now, we’re really just trying to get our name out there again and show we are doing things in the community.”
Since being re-established last year, the Elks have been hard at work in the community. This year they’ve been able to hand out three charitable grants including a donation to the Lincoln City Food Pantry and helping with the annual Christmas Basket program with North Lincoln Fire and Rescue and the Eagles Lodge. In the future, the Elks are planning for more community events and more holiday fun.
“Santa will always be on our list to have,” Gail said. “Last year, Christmas seemed to sneak up on us. We were instituted in May and we were busy getting up and running. But this year we are getting more prepared and we’ll use this as a way to get prepared for next year.