About The Yorktown Elks Lodge
ELKS – HISTORY
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America is one of the oldest and largest fraternal organizations in this country. The Grand Lodge of Elks, located in Chicago Illinois, is the governing body for all local Elks Lodges. It’s Mission is to inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to recognize a belief in God; to serve those in need, to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; to cultivate good fellowship; to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization and to provide for its government. Since its inception in 1868, the Order of Elks has grown to include more than 850,000 men and women in over 2000 local Lodges in the country. Over its 147 year history, ELKS have distributed well over $4 billion in cash, goods and services and currently, the Order spends more than $80,000,000 every year for benevolent, educational and patriotic community-minded programs in such fields as benefiting handicapped children, sponsoring scholarships, scouting, athletic teams, veterans’ works, a national “Hoop Shoot” free-throw contest involving more than 3 million children, physical and occupational therapy programs and patriotic programs. Funding for the nationally and locally sponsored programs comes from the generous monetary donations of the membership and friends to the Elks National Foundation and local Lodges respectively.
OUR MEMBERSHIP IN THE ORDER
In the fall of 1964, preliminary meetings were held in Joseph Lauria’s real estate office between several interested residents and new Lodge Organizer, George Sordolet of the N.Y. State Elks Association. As interest grew, organizational meetings moved to the basement of the Chase Manhattan bank and the restaurant in the Roma building, where a petition to form our Lodge was developed. On March 30,1965, dispensation was granted by Grand Lodge to Joseph Lauria, Howard Brindle, Armand Andre Jr. and 140 others, to form “Yorktown Lodge # 2324”. On Father’s Day, June 20, 1965, our Lodge was officially instituted with a ceremony at the Peekskill Armory. On that day, the 433 new members who were initiated into the order were joined by 39 transferees, resulting in a total of 472 Charter members. Approximately 900 people attended that ceremony, which included members of the Grand Lodge, the NY State Elks Association and Local Lodges. During our first 50 year history, 1692 men and women became members of our Lodge; of those, many have transferred to other locations, many have passed on and some simply relinquished their membership. As of December 1, 2016, we have 268 members on our roster and we are continuing to grow from a low of slightly below 200 just a few years ago. Three of our current members; Joseph Petriello, Joseph Pikula and Anthony Poli were elected to Honorary Life membership in recognition of their extensive and dedicated service to our Lodge. We now have a total of 27 individuals who have achieved Life membership in our Lodge, and of those, 11 Charter Members remain on our roster: William Geiss Jr., John Hynes Jr., Consolato Leonardo, Vincent Licenziato, Louis Mastro, Herman Moeller, Joseph Occhipinti, Lawrence Percival, Joseph Petriello, Anthony Poli, and Robert Simmonds.
LODGE EARLY YEARS
Our first “Home“ was in a converted private dwelling located on Moseman Avenue, the property which is currently occupied by BOCES. During those early years, our Lodge sponsored a Boy Scout Troop, participated in many local Patriotic Celebrations, supported local charitable organizations, and held its first “annual” Clam Bake in September 1969. The sport of boxing was popular at that time and our Lodge sponsored three round matches on the property to help raise funds for charity. Francis “Chico” Vejar, a retired professional boxer who later served as Executive Director of both the Fairfield and Westchester County chapters of the United Cerebral Palsy Assoc. and helped establish the Jimmy Vejar Day Camp in Rye Brook, NY, for children with cerebral palsy, helped promote those events. We occupied our “Home on The Hill” for ten years, moved to a small space in the lower level of the Triangle Shopping Center for the next five years. In 1980, we purchased the building and property on Waverly Road, our current home.
FULFILLING THE ELKS MISSION TODAY
During a typical Elk year, our Lodge, through the volunteer effort and monetary donations of its members, contributes approximately $ 10,000 in cash, logs in more than 5000 work hours of volunteer service and travels more than 5000 miles in support of our programs. We support Youth Programs including Scholarships, Eagle Scouts, Gold Award Girl Scouts, SOAC and YAC sponsorships, Hoop Shoot, Drug Awareness/Alliance for Safe Kids, Homeless Children Christmas Party, and more….serving approximately 5700 total participants. Our Lodge supports the Needy and Handicapped via its Special Olympics, Cerebral Palsy, Guiding Eyes, and Senior Citizen programs where over $6000 in cash and almost $19,000 in goods and services are provided. Our Veterans programs cater to almost 500 veterans at Castle Point and Montrose Hospitals where food, clothing, cards & gifts and lots of love are shared. We demonstrate our Patriotism on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and with our Flag Day Ceremony. We participate in Community/Service programs like the Battle of Yorktown, Yorktown Citizens Task Force Against Heroin, Yorktown Community Day, and provide goods, services and/or financial support for organizations like The Friends of Karen, American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, My Brother Vinny, Support Connection and many others. We also take time to relax and fraternize at special events like our Annual Charity Golf Outing, our Annual Clam Bake and at our Lodge Bar & Grill.
On November 6, 2015, we gathered together at the Villa Barone Hilltop Manor for a Gala Celebration of our Fiftieth Anniversary, commemorating our service to Elkdom and our Community
ELKS PRIDE !
We are proud American citizens of every race, color and creed, who are happy to reach out to others in need, and we welcome those in our community to join us in our “Labor of Love”. We believe and practice our motto – ELKS CARE – ELKS SHARE. Our Lodge, located at 590 Waverly Rd., offers Bingo to the public every Thursday night and our excellent meeting and banquet/catering facilities are available to our lodge members and those who are in need; call 914 245 9839 for more information.