LIMA — The Lima Elks Lodge was rocking Saturday for Elk Fest.
The event gave people a chance to hear three area bands and to socialize with other members and the public.
“A couple years ago we held it in the parking lot in the summer. It was a big ol’ festival,” said Matt Stetzer, general manager of the Lima Elks Lodge. “It was a two-day event. It brought in a lot of people a lot of good musical acts. We decided this year we wanted to kind of mix things up a little bit, do it a different time of the year, give people something to do in January when there was nothing else really to do. So we figured the 18th of January would be a perfect weekend to do it and kind of condense it in one day.”
The idea of Elk Fest is to show people that the Elks Lodge is growing and doing well, something that wasn’t happening just a couple of years ago.
“We went through some struggles and restructuring and we closed and we reopened and ever since then we’ve been growing and doing really, really well and we kind of want to show people the Elks is alive and it’s a great organization to be a part of,” said Stetzer.
Jean Zink, past president, has seen the club’s ups and downs.
“I think we’ve got a good direction going. We’ve got a good group of members. We look at ourselves as family, not just people who belong to an organization — that makes it very comforting in order when we come in, to participate in the activities,” said Zink.
It was a problem facing many service clubs that the Elks had to deal with.
“A lot of folks were getting older. Right now we have over 1,020 members and a lot of those members, about a third of them, are lifetime members so they have 25 years or more of membership here. So we have a lot of longevity here at the club, which has allowed us to be as successful as we have been in giving back to our community and being a good force of change. We really are trying to find ways to get younger members involved and get people from the community and seek out things they like. A lot of folks like entertainment, a lot of folks like volunteer activities and getting involved with the youth,” said Stetzer.
Elk Fest was free to members and cost $5 for members of the general public.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.