As our community may or may not know by now, the Sussex Elks Lodge was vandalized this past Thursday, Jan. 28. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the damages are extensive. As a not-for-profit, we will only be able to cover so much on our own. We are reaching out to our community for any assistance they may feel inclined to give. Donations can be made through our GoFundMe (bit.ly/36B0NAz), Venmo (Venmo.com/Sussex-Elks), or direct donation to the lodge toward repairs.
Everything will need full replacement, with estimates totaling close to $15,000. While we do have insurance which should cover some of it, we will still need to meet our deductible, and any uncovered costs. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the lodge has been essentially closed with almost no income since March 2020. Since that time, we have been reaching into our limited savings funds to continue our building operations until we can fully reopen.
Among what was vandalized were two Eagle Scout Projects. This alone is devastating to our lodge. These Scouts put much time, effort, and heart into these projects, and they were destroyed by a senseless, selfish act. Our flagpole has been demolished, and as an organization which values patriotism and assisting veterans, this is a deep blow to our hearts.
The Elks have been called “Silent Angels” and “The Best Kept Secret” in our community for many years. The Sussex Elks Lodge #2288 is one of the lodges of the nationwide Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. As a not-for-profit organization, Sussex Elks lodge assists our community in a variety of ways, including through Veteran services, scholarships, drug awareness programs, special children and other youth activities, assisting with and donations to other local nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations, assistance to local first responders, and much more.
As a 100% volunteer, not-for-profit organization, the Sussex Elks Lodge #2288 has been ineligible for any financial assistance throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, and we are now reaching out to the community for help. Like many other local services, we have been forced to cancel many events and fundraisers. Due to having our doors closed since mid-March 2020, our funds have been depleted, thus severely impacting our ability to assist our community. This incident has added another financial hardship to our lodge.
Despite these challenges, our incredible members have still stepped up during this time, donating their time to continue the charitable work of the Lodge. We are reaching out to the community we help behind the scenes, asking for your aide. Your generosity and support will allow our lodge to continue to assist those in need, and will help us be able to survive this extended suspension of fundraising and events as well as repair the damages to our building and property. With your support we will be able to recover and rebuild from this act of vandalism.
We sincerely thank our entire community for all your support now, and always. We look forward to the day we can fully open our doors to everyone again, and until that time are committed to being here for our community, as we always have been.
No donation is too small, and all proceeds from this donation drive will go toward restoring the building and grounds of Sussex Elks Lodge. Any additional funds will go toward our charitable endeavors in our community.
Sussex Elks Lodge 2288