Saturday evening, 200 members of the Greater Pine Island Elks Lodge #2781 celebrated their 20th anniversary with a party at the grand lodge in Cape Coral.
Exalted Ruler Bob Hooper said, "Thanks for attending this momentous occasion and helping us celebrate 20 years of "Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity" by dedicated service to our order and community."
The idea for a Greater Pine Island Elks Lodge began in 1993 with a newspaper ad in the Pine Island Eagle. Shortly afterward several Pine Islanders got together to form a lodge. The first meetings were held at "Porthole Pete's" which is now Red's Fresh Seafood House and also at the American legion. The present building was leased from the Greater Pine island Civic Association and eventually purchased.
In the years since, the Greater Pine Island Elks Lodge has been recognized as having the highest membership growth percentage several times and currently has a membership of 386.
There are more than a million Elks members across the country and these organizations bring a great deal to their communities. These lodges are places where neighbors come together, families share meals and children grow up.
In 1997 the Greater Pine Island Elks started its Drug Awareness Program and held the first annual charity golf tournament. This year will mark the 18th annual golf tournament. The proceeds from this event go towards the charity needs of children and individuals in and around Pine Island.
Over the past 20 years the Greater Pine Island Elks have raised over $320,000 for Pine Island, state and national projects.