The meeting of the Coronation Elks on November 18, 2013. (L-R) Coronation Elks member Brett Alderice, Alberta Elks Association President Leonard Shain (with travelling gnome), members Michel Morehouse, Ron Pasolli, Diane Schmidt and Roy Poisson.
The Coronation Elks #360 met with Alberta Elks Association President Leonard Shain on Monday, November 18 at the Coronation Community Hall to discuss new initiatives for the charity group and possibilities for new membership.
The meeting began with discourse on past and current initiatives taken on by the Coronation Elks, including the success of the local Remembrance Day Ceremony and academic bursary given to local student Bianca Checkel for scholastic award.
After some discussion on funding opportunities to be examined within the Town of Coronation – including the campground path paving and family day arena sponsorship – Alberta Elks President Leonard Shain stood to discuss the role of the Elks in Coronation.
“We’ve had over 60 years in the [Coronation] community,” he said, “it used to be a men’s club, but it’s not an old boys club anymore.” Shain spoke to the changes in the Elks since their Canadian Inception under the federal charter in 1913, including more flexible formal dress requirements and the acceptance of female members within their ranks.
Shain noted that the group has been humble about self-promotion in past, but that membership goals and desired community-service outcomes of volunteer initiatives was encouraging the group to become more vocal. Along with invitations to local press and community leaders to attend the meeting November 18, the Alberta Elks sent a letter to the Town Council stating a need for assistance and outlining the over $12,000 charitable donations and 4,800 volunteer hours enacted by the Coronation Elks from 2000-2011.
Roy Poisson, member of the Coronation Elks for 30 years, spoke to the Elk’s assistance in developing the Pro Rodeo in town, building the Golf Course and continued service to the community as a source of pride.
“When we opened the upgraded hall within town, it operated for 60 years without burden to the taxpayer,” he noted. It was added that current initiatives were carried out with about 10 members and five active members.
Shain spoke to the ever-evolving landscape of social media technologies as a way to assist in the promotion of the group, and referred to the Elks theme – dream it, believe it, achieve it – as a statement reflecting the forward-thinking realities of charity groups in flux.
“We have to dream as a lodge,” Shain said, “and as long as you can believe in that dream, you can achieve it.”