Elks Care, Elks Share
Updated: Apr 24
By Christine Laino, Elks Member
Have you ever wondered about what goes on in that building at 48 Ames Avenue in Rutherford? Ever notice the big Elk out front? Who is part of that organization? What is their mission?
Let’s meet our members and get a few answers?
What is the Elks’s mission?
This Fraternal Order was founded "To promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American Patriotism and cultivate good fellowship."
What is its full name? Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the U.S.A. (A Fraternal Organization)
Meet our Exalted Ruler. Beth Toole is a mother of two, Matt and Leona, and wife to Dave. She has lived in Rutherford for twenty-seven years and has always been an active member of the community. She enjoys being creative and giving back.
Beth explains, "Being a member of the Elks is an important part of my life. Knowing what we do as an organization to benefit other people's lives is extremely worthwhile. One of the best parts of being an Elk is not only meeting extraordinary people but also being able to call them friends.”
How many members does the Rutherford Elks have?
300 members/volunteers and 90% live in town. The Rutherford lodge currently has the most members in the Northeast district of NJ.
Who are the members?
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 must be sponsored by a member of an Elks Lodge. Go to www.Elks.Org for more details.
Did you know that Nationally the Elks has 1.1 million members in more than 2,100 lodges nationwide? Once you are a member of the Rutherford Elks lodge, you are welcome to visit and enjoy any of the Elks lodges nationwide.
"My passion is supporting New Jersey’s fallen heroes’ families, their children, and our severely injured soldiers." Brian Murphy, District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler of the North East District/ Past State Chairman of the Army of Hope.
How much has the Rutherford Elks donated back to our community?
$8.4 million as of March 2021. The Elks is one of the largest and most active fraternal organizations in the United States; consisting of American Citizens of the United States and its Territories.
There are 110 Elks Lodges in the NJ State Association. During this pandemic, the New Jersey State Elks Association has donated more than $812,000 to support our community food banks, provide PPE for our Fire, EMS, and Essential Medical Workers, support our Veterans living in facilities as well as Homeless Veterans throughout New Jersey and provide for our Special Needs Children and the Youth of our communities. We provided thousands in community investment grants for our communities in New Jersey. Last year we gave out more than $120,000 in college scholarships in New Jersey.
When did the Elks form? The Elks organization was founded in New York City on February 16, 1868, under the name "Jolly Corks" by 15 actors, entertainers, and others associated with the theater. In the ensuing years, membership expanded to other professions.
When was the Rutherford Elks started? 1899
When was the building erected and dedicated to the Elks? 1908
What types of programs are the Elks spearheading and supporting? Veterans, Special Needs Children, Supporting the local Food Pantry and First Responders, granting many different Scholarships, Promoting Drug Awareness, and Maintaining Active and Healthy Lifestyles to name a few. Nationally, the Order spends more than $80,000,000 every year for benevolent, educational, and patriotic community-minded programs in such fields as benefiting special needs children, sponsoring Elks National Foundation 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.
Why should I become an Elk?
Connect and meet new people in your community, attend/participate/chair/enjoy one of the many community events that occur throughout the year, enjoy the facilities not only the downstairs bar and kitchen area but there is a social hall for special occasions, pay it forward to those individuals who need help and support, know that your hard-earned dollars are benefitting worthy causes, and so much more.
"I have found a home with the members of the Rutherford Elks 547. The group has a passion for community support, as well as fostering great friendships and social support amongst members," Danielle Sette, Elks Member for five years.
Rutherford, NJ No. 547
48 Ames Ave
Rutherford, NJ 07070-1702
Learn more: https://www.elks.org/