ANDERSON -- After first joining the Elks 30 years ago, the only way Dick Dunn can describe his new position within the organization is that it’s an honor.
After three decades of membership and a two-year process, the Anderson resident will be installed as the 2014-15 Indiana state Elks president Saturday.
“It’s just an honor,” Dunn said. “Basically what I do is spread the word of the Elks.”
He’s been doing more than that, though. Much of Dunn’s time over the years has been devoted to helping the community through the fraternal order.
Dunn said he can’t remember all the work he did with the local Elks lodge, but it included getting a grant two years in a row to give dictionaries to third-graders in Anderson Community Schools, helping with the Elks’ annual Hoop Shoot and working with drug awareness programs.
One of the most memorable, he said, was through a now defunct program that helped troubled kids. Dunn said he remembers taking about 15 kids to Colts Camp to watch practice, and giving them footballs to get autographed. Afterward, they took the kids to get pizza.
“The Elks just does an awful lot of good for the community,” he said before pausing. “It did.”
The Anderson lodge even had the community in mind when it decided to close its doors in February.
Instead of becoming a burden on the city, the lodge decided to close its doors. Dunn was instrumental in the liquidation sale, which ensured that the Elks didn’t leave with debt.
Money left over from the sale is in the bank and will be used to reopen the lodge if the fraternal order decides to bring it back within five years. If they don’t, the money will go toward the state Elks major project, which is cancer research.