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Elks Helping Vets

Santa Barbara Lodge Starting New Program


Santa Barbara Elks Lodge #613 received a grant of $10,000 to jumpstart its new SCARF program for the Veterans Hospital in Goleta. The SCARF program (Soles, Clothing, Assistance, Respect, and Fuel for Better Living) will enlarge a program of weekly visits to the Veterans Clinic that the Elks began in November 2009.

The Elks National Foundation awarded 49 Elk branches throughout the United States, including the Santa Barbara branch, Impact Grants of between $2,500 and $10,000 to be used within their communities. Carolyn Shupe, the Director of the SCARF program and the Chairman of the National Foundation Committee for SB Elks #613, expressed her happiness at getting the grant.

“Receiving the grant is like winning the golden ticket,” Shupe said. “This money is going to help a lot of people.” She works with the Veterans Clinic to assess how the money will be spent each month. The SCARF program not only donates supplies for the clinic but hosts events for veterans at the Lodge. SB Elks #613 has been involved with the Veterans Clinic for many years, and in November gave a 32-inch television to the clinic, for their waiting room.

SCARF represents warmth,” Shupe said, describing how she chose to name the new community service program. “The Elks is a social organization, but its real purpose is to help the community.” SB Elks #613 has been reaching out to the community since its beginnings in Santa Barbara in 1900, she said.

The SB Elks have also been awarded the Promise Grant from their National Foundation. The Promise G rant of $500 went to a scholarship for a local Dos Pueblos High School student. The SB Elks Chapter received a Gratitude Grant from the Grand Exalted Ruler (or President) of the Elks National Foundation for meeting his goals as a branch for 2009. The money received from this grant will go to fund a Mardi Gras party at a local Seniors Community Center.

SB Elks #613 is an all-volunteer club with 1,185 current members. Each new member must be sponsored by a current Elk, and will most likely have seen the Lodge at least three times before the initiation ceremony. Lodge meetings are held every Tuesday night, and every Friday the lodge hosts a social dinner. The RV Park on the Lodge’s lot allows and encourages members of other branches to travel and vacation at the Lodge in Santa Barbara.

Shupe, a schoolteacher retired from the Goleta Valley School District, said that she feels at home with the other Elks. “I have devoted my whole life to helping people,” Shupe said. “I’m glad to be a part of an organization that helps others.”

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