Vancouver Elks Lodge #823
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The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America is one of the oldest and largest fraternal organizations in the country. Since its inception in 1868, the Order of Elks has grown to include nearly 1.2 million men and women in almost 2,200 communities. The BPO Elks is committed to the ideals of charity and patriotism. To that end, Elks have now disbursed over the Order's 132 years more than $2.69 billion in cash, goods, and services to the nation's youth, its veterans, the disadvantaged and handicapped, and in support of patriotic and civic programs. In the 1998-99 fiscal year alone, the BPO Elks expended in such fashion over $160 million, and the Order ranks as one of the largest private providers of college scholarships in the nation. The Elks have created a quiet network of good deeds that has profoundly changed millions of lives for the better, yet there is little public awareness of the impact of their vital work. Why is this so? Quite simply, the Elks have rarely sought recognition, neither have they gone to the general public with fund-raising efforts nor received monies from any level of government. Indeed, the flow of money and goods moves in the opposite direction: the Elks donated to the government the first veterans hospital; contribute regularly to schools and police and fire departments; and assist the young and the needy throughout this great nation.
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The Vancouver Elks Lodge is also one of 40 Lodges statewide that forms the Washington State Elks Association with membership totaling over 38,000 members. Their charitable arm is the Washington State Elks Therapy Program. The Washington State Elks Therapy Program for children was started 48 years ago and is supported by all the 48 Lodges in the state. 86% of all funds go toward paying for free quality physical therapy for children. Therapy is performed by licensed physical and occupational therapists and patients are selected based on medical condition, age, family locale and availability of resources.
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