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The Elks Lodge in Ottumwa survives the pandemic

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 11:47 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Elks Lodge here in Ottumwa was founded on the beliefs of charity, justice, brotherly love, and fidelity.

The nationwide organization has focused on helping local veterans and children through scholarships and the selling of deer hide.

Chad Willis, who is the Exalted Ruler of Lodge 0347, says anything they receive they give back to the community.

“Really we’re community-based and all the money that we raise we try to turn around and put right back into the community one way or another.”

The money they receive comes from fundraisers held like pizza and steak nights, bowling, and golf tournaments.

Willis says the hit of the pandemic was tough because they weren’t able to fundraise and didn’t qualify for government assistance either.

“We’re a 501 C8 organization so we weren’t eligible for help from the government as a lot of other ones were so it was just hoping to get by and when we’re able to get back on our feet so our organization can give like we have in the past.”

Now that things are opening back up the organization is getting back to operating like before starting with their 5-day annual event that includes bingo night, bands, carnival, free kids day, and hot air balloon races.

If you are interested in supporting Ottumwa’s Elks Lodge, the charity event will be held at the Greater Ottumwa Park starting Wednesday, June 23rd through Sunday, June 27th.

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