Ping pong tourney raises funds for Elks’ projects
POCATELLO — While the turnout may have been low, it didn’t stop members of the Pocatello Elks from a spirited afternoon of table tennis Saturday.
At least that's what Tim McMinn, a four-year member of the Benevolent and ProtectiveOrder of Elks, Pocatello Lodge No. 674, believes. After a successful ping-pong tournament in April attracted 16 participants, his latest effort brought in just four people.
"I would have liked more people involved, of course, but four or 40, we're going to do good things with the proceeds," McMinn said.
McMinn plans to make the tourney a monthly affair, culminating with a champions affair next April. That way, more funds will aid the community service club's pet projects, most of them dealing with assisting homeless veterans and local youth.
"I wanted to help vets who may have fallen through the cracks, like people I have known," McMinn added. "That's what attracted me to this organization. I also appreciate the friendship and comraderie, but the charitable part of the lodge is very special to me."
The Elks had modest beginnings in 1868 as a social club (then called the "Jolly Corks") that was established as a private club to elude New York City’s laws governing the opening hours of public taverns. After the death of a member left his wife and children without income, the club took up additional service roles, rituals and a new name.
The Pocatello Elks lodge has been in continuous operation since 1903 and boasts more than 230 members. Located at 410 South Main, some of its causes include the Freedom LZ initiative which aids homeless veterans, the veteran's Christmas dinner the Adopt-A-Vet program and memorial services. Programs to aid local young people include Easter egg hunts, scholarships, the Hoop and Soccer shootouts and drug awareness courses.
"I liked the way this lodge took care of kids in Pocatello," said club secretary Debbie Fitzsimmons. "There's a lot of different activities they do for this community and I have always appreciated that."
For more information on the BPOE, Pocatello Lodge, call (208) 232-2400; for details on the ping-pong tournament, contact McMinn at (208) 241-3520.