That’s how members of the 115-year-old Honolulu Lodge 616 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks describe charitable work. Lodge members helped the community from the beginning, raising funds for charities through minstrel shows, baseball games, carnivals, circuses, dances, rodeos and boxing matches. From 1946, Ladies of the Elks, and after 1962, the Emblem Club, raised money with fashion shows, bingo and rummage sales.
From the 1930s, Elks funded lunchtime milk for schools. In the 1950s, Elks funding came from managing the Hula Bowl; “Termite Palace” football games featured milking competitions and Milk Queen contests. In 1951, Honolulu Rapid Transit and Art Rutledge’s striking Teamsters provided Hula Bowl busing. Members have also distributed Thanksgiving food baskets, children’s Christmas gifts, and hosted Kalihi Orphanage outings at Hanauma Bay and Christmas parties at children’s hospitals. They entertained students and teachers from Waimano and Diamond Head schools. A successful 1949 community toy-and-book drive filled donation barrels with Christmas gifts for children in hospitals and orphanages.
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