Elks Exulted Ruler.jpg

Cindy Willard is the new exalted ruler at the Elks Lodge. She is pictured here with former exulted ruler, Leo Potter, who passed the torch to Mrs. Willard March 20.

The Elks Lodge recently honored its members who have contributed to the lodge’s efforts over the past decades.

The lodge’s officials awarded an Elk of the Year award as well as two Grand Exalted Ruler Awards.

Duffer Michael, who first joined the lodge in 1969, was awarded the Elk of the Year award. Former exalted ruler, Leo Potter, said that he was given the award for his almost life-long service to the lodge and its activities.

“The award symbolizes someone who is a behind-the-scenes person and a lot of things that get done wouldn’t without them,” Mr. Potter said. “Duffer is always at the lodge helping out, he’s always at the things we do outside of the lodge as well.”

“He’s a great supporter and he’s there when you need him,” Exalted Ruler, Cindy Willard, added.

Mr. Michael said that he was flattered to receive the award.

“It’s all been good – I didn’t know they were going to give it to me. Yeah I got a nice deal there with my name on it and everything,” Mr. Michael said.

The Grand Exalted Ruler Awards were awarded to both Dan Felton and Bruce Sherman. Mr. Potter said that they were awarded for the amount of time the two have dedicated to the lodge. Mr. Felton has spent countless hours volunteering and supporting various fundraisers for the lodge.

“If it wasn’t for Dan, a lot of these special events and fundraisers wouldn’t be as successful as they are,” Mr. Potter said. “He’s what I call the heavy lifter for all the activities of the lodge.”

Mr. Felton not only helps to set up and run various events and activities, but he also has a knack for finding items for auctions and raffles, according to Mr. Potter. Mr. Felton also funds and runs the annual Elks Pork Chop Feed which usually generates a fair amount of funds for community support.

Mr. Felton said he was honored to receive the award.

“It was an award for a good thing and I was thrilled to get it,” Mr. Felton said. “This is something I like to do and we always get a good crowd at the lodge. We make things happen and we are able to support the community in a variety of ways.”

Mr. Felton said that he joined the lodge in 1977 and that he had always thought of joining because of his grandfather.

His grandfather, Owen Felton, was one of the original members in the first charter at the Elks Lodge.

Mr. Felton said that he was given his grandfather’s elk tooth that had a ruby chip in it when he was 12 years old.

Mr. Potter said that the other award recipient, Mr. Sherman, has not been a lodge member for long but has dedicated a lot of his time to helping the lodge.

Mr. Sherman recently took it upon himself to re-landscape the side of the Elks Lodge on Seventh Street by laying new bark and planting new plants in the area. Mr. Potter said that Mr. Sherman also does metal work and created some pieces to place in the area.

“It’s really cool, that area is a place that gets neglected and he took it on for himself to do something about it,” Mr. Potter said.

“He’s another one of those behind-the-scenes kind of guy,” Mrs. Willard said. “I saw that transformation take place and he did a lot of work out there.”

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