Local Elks Lodges throughout the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal will celebrate Flag Day Tuesday, June 14.
The Benevolent and Protective Order
of Elks, including the Sun City lodge, 10760 W. Union Hills Drive, Peoria, is the only fraternal organization to require a formal observance of Flag Day. The Elks Grand Lodge in July 1908 provided for the annual nationwide observance of Flag Day on the 14th of June each year, making it mandatory for each subordinate Lodge in the Order to do so.
June 14 was officially established as Flag Day by a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Flag Day was not a national observance until 1949. President Harry Truman, himself an Elks member, was inspired through his Lodge in Independence, Missouri to sign an act of Congress that dedicated June 14 to honor the symbol of the country.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has made more than $12 billion in donations since it first started 154 years ago. Last year alone, the Elks donated approximately $400 million in cash, gifts and time to make communities better places to live. The Elks are one of the premier patriotic and charitable organizations in the United States of America.
Annually, the Elks award college scholarships across the nation totaling $4.7 million dollars. The Elks Community Investment Program will award $15.7 million towards enriching communities. The Elks National Foundation also granted $10.4 million to the state Elks associations through state charities grants, special project grants and bonus grants, which help fund each state’s charitable activities.
There are 1,876 Elks lodges across the country with a total membership nearing 760,000. Elks members must be American citizens who are at least 21 years of age and must believe in God.
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