Casa Grande Valley Elks Lodge

Arizona Elks Association President Rich Bodkin, left, and Casa Grande Valley Lodge 1957 Exalted Ruler Chris Repass display their Arizona Lodge of the Year plaque.

CASA GRANDE — Casa Grande Valley Elks Lodge 1957 has won the title of “State Lodge” for 2020-21.

The local lodge won the title competing against 43 other lodges statewide.

“The Casa Grande Valley No. 1957 placed first and was recognized by Arizona Elks Association President Rich Bodkin at the state convention held in Tempe this past week,” a press release from local lodge officials said.

The lodge will move on to the American Lodge contest. Winners of the national contest will be announced at the Grand Lodge Convention in July.

There are more than 2,000 Elks lodges nationwide.

While the national Elks organization is more than 150 years old, Lodge 1957 started in 1956 with 400 members. The building on Florence Boulevard was constructed soon after.

Lodge 1957 raises money for and supports various causes and organizations including Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sun Corridor, Seeds of Hope and Against Abuse Inc.

It sponsors an annual soccer kicking competition and basketball hoop shoot for area children and also supports various veterans causes.

Each year, the group selects children from the community to take Christmas shopping. Children are usually given money from the group’s charitable fund to buy gifts for family and necessary items.

Much of the money raised by the lodge comes through games, raffles, a yard sale and various events.

Those who are interested in joining should visit www.elks.org or ask a current member for sponsorship. The lodge at 909 E. Florence Blvd may be reached by calling 836-7083.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.