Alberta Newspaper Group
The Bow Island Elks Club will celebrate a milestone with its upcoming 30th annual dinner and auction fundraising event.
With tickets already sold out, the Jan. 25 dinner at the lodge will bring together roughly 200 members of the community for an evening of fun, food and auctions in order to support a thriving service club that injects piles of money back into the community.
“It’s our main fundraiser for the year,” says Elks Club member Cody Thierman. “One hundred per cent of the money raised goes back into the community. The club has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years — it’s quite a bit every year and it’s funded entirely by the community.”
At a time when many service clubs are struggling to find new, younger members, Bow Island Elks boast more than 80 members, with several in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Thierman says interest and dedication is strong in Bow Island because the local region is full of individuals and businesses with an understanding that supporting your neighbours enhances the entire community.
“It’s an extremely active Elks Club.”
The Bow Island Elks Club donated more than $70,000 back into the community last year alone, supporting everything from Meals on Wheels, 4H Clubs and the food bank, to HALO, the hospital and local sports teams.
“Anything in the community looking for some extra money, they can come to us and present us an idea, and we do our best to provide a donation of some sort,” Thierman says.
As for the dinner, local individuals and businesses donating all items for bid make the evening’s inclusion of silent and live auctions possible. He says that no matter the economic situation at the time, it seems this community always fins a way to show its support.
“It’s huge. It’s amazing that with drought for farmers, and with oil crashing and such, we still seem to get the same support every year, regardless of industry,” Thierman says. “So people see value in it, and we definitely appreciate everyone who comes out in support.
“All the money goes back into the community, but we couldn’t do it without that community, so it’s kind of a full circle.”
For those lucky enough to have their tickets to the event, the dinner starts at 6 p.m., with auctions to follow.