Supporting veterans is at the core of the Elks Lodge, with most of the funding coming from the annual motor rally.
The event on Saturday was the 14th annual Motor Rally for Veterans.
The motor rally hit five bars in Jamestown, Eldon, Russellville, California and Tipton before returning to the Jefferson City Lodge.
Eileen Scrivner, veterans chair person for the Elks Lodge, said this is the only fundraiser for the Elks Lodge veterans fund over the course of the year.
The funds are used to provide a weekly meal to the residents at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, Christmas gifts for residents and to meet the various needs of veterans in the community.
“We had a young man with a child that was born with a lot of disabilities, and I don’t know how he found out about us, but we ended up giving him, I think $1,000,” Scrivner said. “Not just the medical bills, but the transportation back and forth to the hospital.”
This has been a hard year, she said, because of COVID-19 the Elks haven’t been able to visit the veterans at the hospital.
“We were cut off from them for a long time, and then we got to go back, and then they since have been shut down at least twice, they’re shut down right now,” she said. “Some of these veterans just stay there. They literally live there, and others are on hospice there. Other people coming in from the community means a lot to them, and they love it when we come.”
The Elks also have an account set up with Common Ground, which helps homeless people, that goes specifically to help veterans with finding a place to live, transportation or getting a job.
“Basically, we’re open to whatever people in the community might need,” Scrivner said.
This year, around 160 people took part in the motor rally compared to around 250 last year. Scrivner said it isn’t unusual for the number to fluctuate.
Each participant pays $10, but funds also come from the silent and live auctions held after the group returns to Jefferson City.
“You never know what the auctions will bring in,” she said. “That’s going to depend upon whether people are interested in the materials.”
Scrivner said last year’s event brought in approximately $6,000 after expenses. Prior to this year’s event, she said, the fund was at around $2,500.
“That money can’t be spent without my approval,” Scrivner said. “And I can’t spend it either. I have to get up on the floor at a meeting and say what I want to do with the money. They’ll give me the money, no big deal, but it’s a formality. Personally, I don’t want them to think I’m going to Cancun or something.”
Originally Appeared Here