Elks host annual dinner to honor Veterans
For over twenty years the Cameron Elks Lodge 2615 has been serving a dinner for veterans in November close to Veteran’s day. According to Elks Secretary Jennifer Riley the idea came about after the Elks began making money at bingo. Since the primary interests are Veterans and youth, they decided this was a way to give back to the community and it has been going strong ever since.
Each Veteran is given a hat, a pin and a $15 Walmart gift card when they check in at the dinner. Other businesses provide raffle prizes or monetary gifts, which are then raffled off. Items include gift cards to restaurants, hats, electric tooth brushes, golf shirt, golf balls and many more items.
This year’s dinner on Saturday, November 4, served 103 Veterans and their 96 guests. Each Veteran is allowed and encouraged to bring one guest to the dinner. Along with the gifts they received at check in, almost all the Veterans also received a raffle prize.
The Elks Lodge served each of the 199 guests, all of the 27 Elks and their family members and the numerous other volunteers, including youth from the Cameron 4H club and CHS Varsity Cheerleaders at the dinner. They also packaged 25 meals and sent them to the Veterans Home in Cameron for those who wanted to attend but were unable.
In the corner of the room, close to the serving line, there was also a table arranged and decorated to honor prisoners of war and those missing in action. According to Riley, the table is decorated full of special symbols to help remember those brothers and sisters in arms. It symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors.