It takes vision to create a bright future.
© Justin Crann
Jim McLeod, grand exalted ruler of the Elks of Canada, and Marg Brown, Supreme Honoured Lady of the Royal Purple of Canada, pose for a photo outside of Temple Gardens Saturday.
This is the philosophy the Saskatchewan Elks Association have for their organization and "the vision for the future" will be on the agenda during the provincial conference held in Moose Jaw on June 12-15.
"We have hired a marketing consultant for the national level and he is looking for ideas and ways to bring us into the 21st century and to keep the order going, to keep the good times going and to keep members interested and attract new members," said Harold Claffey, publicity director for the Moose Jaw Elks.
Claffey said the Elks took a big step forward over twenty years ago in the early 90s when the organization changed from an mens only organization to welcoming women.
"We opened our membership to both sexes in the early 90s and women now play an important role," said Claffey. "In-fact our first vice president is a woman and she is probably going to become president next year."
The upcoming conference is expected to host around 160 people at the Legion Hall and will be both a weekend to touch base with different leaders in the organization and to unite the different lodges from across the province.
"It's about keeping in touch with each other and making sure that there is Elks beyond our lodge and that we are active provincially. We renew friendships and make new friends," said Claffey.
The Elks have had a massive impact fundraising, both in Moose Jaw and across the province. Most recently, the Elks were a part of a major renovation of Moose Jaw's Elks Senior homes — a project that Claffey estimated costing around $500,000.
"The federal government kicked in a substantial amount. We did all the floors and all the wiring in all the floors in Moose Jaw," explained Claffey.
The upcoming provincial meeting will also discuss plans for the October walkathon for the Saskatchewan Pediatric Auditoritory Rehabilation Centre (SPARC). This year's walk will be held in Moosomin and will look to match the $12,000 that was raised at last year's walk in Moose Jaw.
For more information on the upcoming conference, visit www.elks-sask.org.
Nathan Frank can be reached at 306-691-1263.