Chairperson (AKA Exalted Ruler) of the Muenster Elks Lodge Marvin Renneberg will be the first to say that providing needed services and funds during the restrictions of the pandemic presented unique challenges. Now, in a year that’s offered a return to activities, the Muenster Elks have been busier than ever.

Renneberg talks about one of the cherished traditions that members are looking forward to seeing again.

“One of the things we’re getting going in December is our Christmas supper meeting which brings out a lot of our members. Our fundraising has been slowed a bit over the last couple of years, but now we’re back in full swing. We’ve even added a new fundraiser with the help of a couple of great guys, Cliff Ehr and Garret Korte, resurrecting a fundraiser on July 1 in conjunction with the Sports Club.”

That fundraiser teamed a wonderful rib supper with a day of Premier League Baseball at James Korte Field. While the day ended in a rainout, those gathered enjoyed their meal under the dry roof of the concession facilities. 

The other positive Renneberg reports is that membership remained strong even through the curtailed activities. In fact, there may be a post-hiatus surge of new members willing to hop on board. 

“One of the big pluses for our club is the youth. A lot of young guys are seeing the value of helping out our community. This year we may have up to nine new members which is really terrific.”

Sitting at nearly 70 members, that makes the Muenster Elks Lodge one of the largest and most active in Canada. The Club has a place for volunteers of all ages and interests, whether it’s setting up the anticipated Playoff Hockey Draft or tending to the patrons of the sold out Steak Supper in April. 

As for the benefits, the Muenster Elks have a long list of beneficiaries. This year, that includes the Muenster School HeadStrong Committee, which hosted its mental health and wellness conference. That conference saw students from around the area talk and hear about mental wellness strategies. 

“We helped a needy family in the area,” said lodge treasurer Glenn Sylvestre. “We also donated to the daycare facility that is going to be built in Muenster. The Muenster Curling Club received a donation for its renovations.”

The Elks also supports local students through its scholarship program. Over the years, the organization has donated thousands to regional interests such as the St. Mary’s Villa Foundation and the Humboldt and District Hospital Foundation. 

“We have a good time in supporting our community,” Renneberg sums up. It’s the kind of fellowship that continues to make the organization strong and appealing to newcomers.