Recently in the village of Elkhorn, could be seen roaming gangs of people on many of its streets, they were even wearing gang colours, "Purple". They could be seen looking into yards, public buildings and the park covered with carpets of fall coloured leaves. However, you soon found out when meeting some of them that they were members of the Elks Club, which was holding their annual provincial "Walk for Kids " in Elkhorn on Oct. 22. The Elkhorn Elks Branch 381 hosted the event.
Elks members came from all over Westman and eastern Saskatchewan for a full weekend of helping others while having some fun.
The first official event was a great lunch held at the Elkhorn Legion Hall, provided by the branch Legion Ladies Auxiliary. All reports were that no one left hungry.
The Elks members then formed their walking/riding teams and filled in their registration forms and got a village map with questions to answer as they travelled around the village.
At the same time, you could try your luck with a poker derby, all part of the village walk. All afternoon they could be found crisscrossing the village, with maps and question sheets as they filled in the answers.
Mild fall weather made it a great afternoon walkabout.
At 5:30 a happy hour was held at the Elks Hall as the scrutineers went over the answer sheets. It was also a time to bid on the many silent auction items, many donated by local businesses.
At 6 p.m. a hot supper was served buffet style, provided by Kliever Katering, but not before grace said by Elks member, Chance Toder.
After the meal various Elk leaders brought greetings, including past national leader Ron Potter, from Moosomin, followed by a first for the branch - a Toast to the King.
The main quest speaker for this event was Leonard Shain, Grand Exalted Ruler/and National leader of the Elks Club of Canada.
In his short talk he said what an honour to be at this event and that the Elkhorn Elks Club, is well-known, across the country.
“Your club is well known for its activities and support of children in need. Thank you for all that your club does to support the community and people, old and young.
Now it was time for the results of the town-wide discovery walk. The winners of the walkabout and the poker derby were recognized, plus a hard luck award was presented.
There was an official cutting of the cake by national leader Leonard Shain and local Elks
Leader Wanda Rhodes followed by years of service pins presented to local Elks for their years of service, with long service pins. These ranged from one year to 25 years. The Grand Leader Shain, called the room to order and the Elk's Eleven O'clock Service was held, an affirmation of the purposes and aims of the Elks Club of Canada.
In an interview, Shain told of his experiences with the Elks Movement. "I am from Sherwood Park, Alberta and my job in the Elks is to work for the improvement and growth of this organization. My work as national leader is to help spread ideas and events that will help our communities and the children in our communities who need the special area of health we are concerned about.
“We want to be there to help when no one else can do it. We have provincial programs right across the country helping children up to the age of 19 with speech and hearing conditions.
“As I travel across the country, I as an Elks member, have discovered that I have a national family of brothers and sisters that are there to help me and each other in times of need. This position has allowed me to meet so many great Canadians who are working quietly in the background to help the Elks make a better country for all.”
During clean-up, national leader Leonard Shain lent a hand gathering dishes.
Tawna McLean, an active member of the local Club plus a number of volunteers had decorated the hall for the evening and set up for dinner. Now she was in the thick of it again rearranging the room for the gaming part of the evening.
McLean got several teams together to play a rotating series of games to get a final team winner. The games were crib, crokinole, corn hole, cup shacking and Indoor curling. The teams were encouraged to come in team costumes and there were some great ones: firefighters, gangbusters and flappers, senior home grannies, sleepy time bears, the farmers team, a golf club team, the Elkhorn Leisure Center Rockers and an Elks team.
However, there was a catch in that while all the teams were playing, one member of their group had to be constantly rocking as the others played and took part in liquid libation. This gave rise to some funny situations and by 2 a.m. the games were over and all were safely driven to their homes, billets and hotels.
The next morning there was a pancake breakfast at the hall with all present and accounted for.
Said long-time Elks member Kevin Tutthill: “We know how lucky we are to be in a community that supports us in all that we do. Our National Fund for Children was the beneficiary of this weekend’s fundraising and all our numbers are not in yet, but we know it was a super weekend."