Elks continue Christmas tradition

By Jenna Lookner | Dec 22, 2012
Photo by: Jenna Lookner Rockland Elks Lodge 1008 officers, from left, Dwayne Guy, Bill Bachofner and Tom Wenckus hold a sample box containing a partial selection of the grocery items for making a family Christmas dinner. The boxes will be delivered by the Elks to about 90 local families as is an annual community service tradition practiced by the organization.

Rockland — It was just before 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, but Rockland Elks Lodge 1008 was already buzzing with activity as Elks, family members and volunteers gathered to assist with the holiday tradition of providing needy families with the makings for a traditional Christmas dinner.

Through an ongoing partnership with The Salvation Army — they share a list of families in need with the Elks — the Elks assemble and deliver boxes filled with fresh and packaged food staples including apples, potatoes, celery, squash, onions, stuffing and pie. Turkeys are also provided with every box and are kept frozen until delivery to ensure freshness.

The Elks purchase the grocery items from a variety of local stores, said Rockland Elks Lodge 1008 Secretary and Maine Elks Association President Elect Dwayne Guy.

This year the Elks planned to deliver food to about 90 families, Guy said.

Guy, and other Elks Lodge 1008 officers Bill Bachofner, Chipper Widdecombe and Tom Wenckus said the annual charitable effort has become a tradition that attracts families and even some grown children of Elks members who grew up participating in the volunteer effort.

"This is our biggest event where we get volunteers to come out of the wood work," said Wenckus, who is president of Elks Lodge 1008.

The men said they planned to spend several hours packing each box with the requisite items before delivering them to recipient families later in the day. By 8:30 a.m. a steady stream of people had entered the lodge and a group of about 30 men, women and children were conversing over coffee and donuts prior to getting started packing the boxes. Massive bags of produce and cases of canned and dry goods occupied a portion of the lodge, and tables were set up to accommodate the assembly process.

"We never suffer from a lack of help today," Guy said. "Everybody does a part."

Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at jlookner@courierpublicationsllc.com



Assorted canned and dry goods and a variety of fresh produce are included in each box, along with a turkey and a pie. (Photo by: Jenna Lookner)
A small sampling of some of the grocery items included in each box. (Photo by: Jenna Lookner)
Bulk quantities of food were on hand at Rockland Elks Lodge 1008 on Dec. 22 as volunteers gathered to divvy the ingredients into boxes. About 90 families will receive Christmas dinner staples boxed and delivered by the Elks. (Photo by: Jenna Lookner)
Holiday decorations and a feeling of goodwill lent a festive spirit to Rockland Elks Lodge 1008 as volunteers gathered to help ensure needy families can enjoy a Christmas feast. (Photo by: Jenna Lookner)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Claire Florence Seekins | Dec 24, 2012 09:40

We are so greatfull to you for all you do for so many people, it's a wonderful lodge and their are so many great people always helping others. Thank you all so much.


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