The Elks Lodge recently named its newest exalted ruler.

Lodge member, Cindy Willard, was named as the new exalted ruler March 20. She takes over for former exalted ruler Leo Potter.

She said that she looks forward to carrying on the lodge’s traditions as well as continuing to oversee the programs the lodge conducts that benefit the community.

“What I look forward to is obviously to maintain the excellent program that has already been established by the lodge,” Mrs. Willard said. “The way this lodge has conducted itself over the years I’ve been a member, and especially during this last year with the pandemic and COVID restrictions, has been outstanding.”

She said that she also looks to continue to maintain a level of seriousness when conducting meetings and other functions at the lodge. She said that plays a large role in successfully supporting the community.

“We also are very much a fraternal lodge with some serious procedures and rules and solemn duties we have at our meetings,” Mrs. Willard said. “Keeping that integrity helps impress on our members the seriousness on how we take ourselves.”

“In our community the Elks is a major player when it comes to helping the community out and being there for individuals that need help,” she added.

She said that moving forward she would like to work to implement more programs targeted towards youth in the area. She said that she was previously involved in drug free youth programs when she taught in the St. Maries School District and hopes to continue supporting local children by providing activities.

Mr. Potter, the former exalted ruler, said that he thinks that Mrs. Willard fits the bill on someone who is a great fit for leading the lodge.

“You have to go through a lot of things to get to that, Cindy went through the chairs and exhibited some good qualities we look for to lead the lodge,” Mr. Potter said. “She is going to do a great job, she has a lot of great ideas.”

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