The Vestal Elks Lodge #2508 recently hosted a “Pay It Forward” event in which lodge members donated chicken dinners to seven local police agencies. The staff at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open (DSGO) contacted the lodge with concerns about how the lodge and other charities they support would handle the loss of revenue that was usually generated from the Open. After much discussion, DSGO decided to hold a chicken barbecue to benefit those charitable organizations that would normally receive funding as a result of the Open.
As a tip of the hat to the lodge’s long time partner’s generosity and community service, the Vestal Elks Lodge decided to pay this generosity forward to local law enforcement officers. For every chicken dinner that a lodge member purchased, the lodge would buy and donate a meal to local law enforcement on patrol that day. Brooks House of BBQ provided meals.
Thanks to the lodge members’ generosity, law enforcement officers from the Broome County Sheriff’s office, the Tioga County Sheriff’s office, Vestal Police Department, Endicott Police Department, SUNY Binghamton’s Police Department, the Endwell State Police, and the Special Investigations Unit were given a free chicken dinner. As the officers arrived to the lodge, they were greeted by lodge members clapping, cheering, honking horns, and members holding up “we support local law enforcement” signs.
Senator Fred Akshar also helped lodge members greet, thank, and hand out the dinners.
When asked why this event was so important to the lodge, Exalted Ruler John Pooler stated, “We want to show support and thank the men and women in blue that are out there protecting us in these unprecedented times. This is what Elks do – Elks care, Elks share.”