The Moab Elks Lodge No. 2021 officially closed its doors on Friday, March 30. The closure, which was foisted upon local Elks by the Grand Lodge in Chicago due to declining membership, marks the end of an era for the philanthropic organization in Grand County.
According to lodge trustee Dan Stott, the lodge surrendered its charter to the Grand Lodge in order to pursue a five-year plan to rebuild membership in the area.
“We have five years to enroll between 100 and 150 members in a new lodge,” Stott said. “Because we surrendered our charter, all the money that comes from the building being sold will remain in trust for us during those five years. We can then take that money and use it for a new location in Moab.”
Stott added that membership at the lodge had dipped to 93 members in 2017, down from historic highs of more than 200 in decades past.
Before closing the doors of the lodge one last time, Stott told The Times-Independent that the philanthropy and sense of community the Elks fostered is what he will miss most.
“Nobody did as much and gave as much back to this community as the Elks,” Stott said. “It gave us all a feeling of gratitude to do things like the Christmas basket program. I have to tell you there is no feeling in the world like walking into a house where there is no tree and no presents and being able to give that family a happy holiday. We also worked with veterans on the Warriors on Cataract program. You got to see a change in their demeanor after one of those trips and you could feel the love they had afterward. We accomplished a lot and helped the community. That is what I think we will miss the most, giving back to the community.”
For more information on assisting Stott and the remaining Elks in re-establishing the Elks Lodge in Moab, call 435-260-1413