D-F : Elks Lodge ProposedOctober 27, 2007 - TRCMeeting scheduled for Nov. 1 on Elks Lodge proposalDOVER-FOXCROFT - The possibility of establishing a lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in the Dover-Foxcroft area will be explored at a meeting to be held Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Penquis Higher Education Center gymnasium starting at 7 p.m.The meeting, which is open to the public, has been organized by John F. Ring Sr. of Pittsfield, a past exalted ruler or president of the Sebasticook Valley Lodge, and Michael D. Lange of St. Albans, secretary of the Skowhegan-Madison Lodge.The Maine Elks Association has identified several areas in the state which could support a new lodge, including the Piscataquis County area, according to Ring, who is also a past district deputy for the fraternal organization. "The Dover-Foxcroft area has all the ingredients to make an Elks Lodge viable. The combined population of Dover-Foxcroft, Milo, Sangerville, Guilford, Monson and Greenville is well over 10,000. Residents of these communities are very active and involved with their town governments and schools," said Ring.Invitations have been mailed to more than 40 Elks members living in Piscataquis County as well as 20 community leaders.There are 22 lodges in Maine with a combined membership of just over 12,000. Nationally, there are 2,100 Elks lodges with a total membership of over one million.The Maine Elks Association adopted the Maine Children's Cancer Program (MCCP) as a major project in 1985, and since that time, the association has donated over $1 million dollars to the program. Other charities supported by the Elks are youth scholarships and athletic activities, Togus Veterans' Hospital, senior citizens programs, Red Cross blood drives and food baskets for needy families."While the state association encourages support of its major project, each individual lodge can tailor it's own fund-raising efforts as it sees fit," explained Lange, an Elks Lodge member since 1975. "For example, the Sebasticook Valley Lodge collected hundreds of pairs of shoes for orphans in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Skowhegan, we raise thousands of dollars each year for the youth athletic teams through spaghetti dinners."If there is enough interest in forming an Elks Lodge in the Dover-Foxcroft area, an organizational committee will be formed to circulate petitions in order to apply for a charter. The minimum number needed is 100 signers, although more are encouraged.The Sebasticook Valley Lodge will be the sponsoring organization, although other assistance will be available from the state association.Ring can be contacted at 341-1087 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lange can be reached at 938-3974, 474-3111 or email@example.com.For more information about the Elks, log onto www.elks.org and www.maineelks.org. Submitted by : Mike Lange (firstname.lastname@example.org)NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.