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Group hosts meal to raise funds for wounded vets

Event: Elks Lodge will host annual barbecue in spring for patients of Los Angeles hospital

Posted: November 14, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: November 13, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Sunday breakfast with the local Elks proved both tasty and rewarding.

All the money raised flipping eggs and buttering toast at the Elks Canyon Country Lodge 2379 on Sunday goes to getting seriously wounded veterans out of the hospital on one particular day in spring and bringing them to the much-appreciated annual lodge barbecue.

“As long as there’s a vet in hospital, there’s an Elk there to support him,” said Exalted Ruler and lodge spokesman Tom Schmidt.

And, sadly, there’s no shortage of vets at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Los Angeles on Sepulveda Boulevard.

The hospital is the largest such hospital in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“When we bring them out, many are in wheelchairs, some on stretchers,” Schmidt said about the vets helped by the local Elks.

So, for a couple of hours Sunday morning, the smell of grilled bacon wafting through the front screen door of the Elk’s Lodge on Sierra Highway found its way to a good cause.

More than three dozen people showed up for the Elks’ breakfast of omelettes made with Gouda cheese, ham and eggs.

And it’s no accident their day set aside to raise money for disabled vets falls on Veterans Day weekend.

“If you look at some of the history, Armistice Day on 11/11 at 11 o’clock in the morning was signed by an Elk,” Schmidt said proudly, referring to Veterans Day as it was previously known. “We started the veterans administration hospital after World War I.”

As he explained what the Elks do, Schmidt had to pause every sentence or two to say “Hi” to a vet entering the lodge door.

“At least twice a year, we bring out a contingent of disabled vets, and we serve them a wonderful lunch,” Schmidt said.

The first of those two occasions is scheduled to happen the last Saturday in February.

“We’ll have our Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops that we support serve them breakfast. Any vet here is always welcome and just to have other people here to interact with them because they’re stuck in the hospital.”

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of which the Canyon Country Lodge is number 2379, is a fraternal order that was founded in 1868.


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