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The History of the Elks National Foundation

We, as members of Chico Lodge #423, are quite familiar with our Major Project “aid to children with disabilities” also known as the Piggy Bank Program. This program is governed by the California-Hawaii Elks Association of which we are a member. However, many members may not be as familiar with the ELKS NATIONAL FOUNDATION, hereafter referred to as ENF.

John F. Malley

The Elks have been dedicated to helping others since the Order was founded in 1868. The idea of an Elks Charitable Trust was first introduced by John F. Malley during a banquet at Meriden, Connecticut, Lodge on February 21, 1927.

His plan called for the creation and maintenance of a permanent charitable and philanthropic fund, fueled completely by voluntary donations. There would be no taxes or levies, direct or indirect.

Brother Malley’s dream became reality the following year when he was serving as Grand Exalted Ruler. At the 1928 annual convention, the Grand Lodge delegates voted to create the Elks National Foundation. The Grand Lodge got the ball rolling with an initial $100,000 grant. Today we boast more than 100,000 active donors and an endowment fund valued at $637 million.

ENF policy states that donations to the endowment fund can never be touched. Only the income earned by this fund can be used to support charitable programs. Capital gains and appreciation are considered principal, not income, and therefore cannot be spent.

The mission of the ENF is to help Elks build stronger communities. We fulfill this pledge by investing in communities where Elks live and work. We help youth develop lifelong skills, send students to college, meet the needs of today’s veterans, support the charitable work of the state Elks associations, and fund projects that improve the quality of life in local Elks communities.

A board of seven trustees, who are all past Grand Exalted Rulers of the Order, governs the ENF, which is located at the Elks national headquarters in the Elks Veterans Memorial building in Chicago. The director, Jim O’Kelley, oversees the administration of the ENF’s day-to-day operations.

Thanks to the ongoing support of our donors, the ENF continues to expand on Brother Malley’s vision, mobilizing Elks across the country into a force for positive change.

Nearly 90 years after Grand Exalted Ruler Malley shared his vision with the Order of Elks, the ENF continues to unite all Elks in service to their communities.

By Charlie Carroll, PDDGER—Lodge Historian

ER’s Message November 2017

Fall is upon us! We had a great time with our State President, Chuck Nolan and First Lady Ginger. Thank you to everyone who came out on Friday to show them our Chico Lodge hospitality! It was nice to spend time with the Vice Presidents and learn more about what other Districts are doing to promote Elkdom. Chuck’s message for California lodges this year is “Reach Out-Share the Experience”. I would like to remind you to continue to invite friends and family down to the lodge for the great events we have coming up through the end of the year!

A special thank you to John Strattard, Esteemed Leading Knight, and his crew for your hard work on Italian Night. Members always look forward to the Purple Pig Fundraiser which supports local children with disabilities!

John also did a great job filling in for me at the first lodge meeting of the month while I was in Philadelphia on a business trip. Philadelphia is the home of BPOE #2. Unfortunately, they closed their doors in 1979, but their beautiful lodge building is standing! I like to visit other lodges when I travel. I have found that in most large cities, the lodges that once prospered have closed and smaller lodges on the city outskirts have sprung up. There are many reasons for this to happen. It’s important that we focus on sustaining and revitalizing membership with great activities to participate in that also support worthy causes.

In the spirit of giving, I wanted to let you know about two grants our lodge used this year! The Beacon Grant used $2,000 to support the efforts of Food From the Heart. They serve a free dinner every Wednesday to about 55 deserving people from many walks of life – senior citizens, veterans, families, as well as the  homeless.

The Gratitude Grant provided $2,300 toward the Jesus Center’s new transitional housing program for women. Beds were purchased for the seven women who will be living there while being assisted with getting back into the workforce, going to school, and gaining life skills to transition into living on their own.

Midterm will be held in Sacramento the weekend of November 3rd—5th. I will be attending with Matt Goddard, Chairman of the Trustees; John Strattard, Esteemed Leading Knight and Norm Stump, Secretary. It’s a great opportunity to review the progress we have made throughout the year and share ideas with other officers.

October wasn’t all fun and games. We faced some great tragedies locally in our state with many fires and nationally in the Las Vegas shooting. All of us were touched by these events. If not by people in our direct circle, we knew someone with a loved one in danger. Both give us pause to stop and reflect on what values are important to us and why. It also gives us opportunity to show support toward each other and lend a helping hand when needed. With Thanksgiving approaching, it is a good time to express our gratitude toward our friends, family, and fellow Elks.

Fraternally, Jen White Exalted Ruler

Essay Contest 2017

Essay Contest 2017

The annual Elks Americanism Essay Contest is a program of the Elks’ Grand Lodge Fraternal Committee, this contest is for students in 5th through 8th grades and is designed to promote interest and reflection on freedom and liberty.

The theme of this year’s essay is:

“Why Our Veterans Are America’s Heroes?”

Contest Rules

  1. Contest Poster

    Eligible participants must be Students enrolled in the 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th grade at the time of the contest.

  2. Essay length is not to exceed 300 words.
  3. Essay must be typed or legibly printed in ink. Also, Essay must be submitted as written (or typed) by the entrant.
  4. Essay must be submitted for judging to the Elks Lodge nearest to the address of the entrant. (Schools in the school districts of Chico, Durham, Biggs, Gridley, Hamilton City and Oroville are in the  area)
  5. Student participants must be identified by name, grade, school attending and sponsoring Elks Lodge (Chico Elks Lodge #423) on the Essay.
  6. Essay should be submitted to Chico Elks Lodge #423 on or before December 15, 2017.


Plaques awarded by the Grand Lodge for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place for national winning essays in Division I and Division II. Winners will be announced at the Grand Lodge Session in San Antonio, Texas, July 1-4, 2018.

Questions & Comments

Questions and comments can be directed to the Chico Elks Lodge #423 Americanism Essay Contest Committee using our contact page.

Online Essay Submission:

Essays must be received no later than December 15, 2017. Essays may be submitted using the form below or in person or by mail at the Chico Elks Lodge #423 at 1705 Manzanita Avenue in Chico, CA 95928.
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(used only to contact the winners)

Acceptable file types: doc,pdf,txt,gif,jpg,jpeg,png.
Maximum file size: 1mb.

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Christmas Brunch December 17th 2017

Christmas Brunch December 17th 2017

The Chico Elks Lodge 423 will be celebrating a Christmas Brunch on Sunday, December 17th, at 10:00 am.
Current Elks Members of any lodge and their guests are invited: Adults $16.00 Children (12 & under) $8.00

Menu: Fresh Fruit, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Potatoes O’brien, Biscuits & Gravy, Muffins,
Fizz & Mimosa Specials in the lounge.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the lodge office at 343-1431 and must be purchased by December 13th.

Children’ Christmas Party to follow and requires separate reservations—Read More