Hickory Elks Lodge Donates $28,000 to Backpack Program!

Hickory Elks Lodge #1654 is pleased to announce that this year's 6th Annual Food and Funds Drive surpassed their goal once again donating more than $28,000 and a truck load of food to the Catawba County Backpack Program! Donations start pouring in each year in September from lodge members, the community, charitable grants and businesses. The fundraiser ended with a BBQ chicken dinner and music with The Cameron Matthews Band and dance on November 4th.

"It's not about how much we give but about helping those that need help in our community," said Carole Anderson, Committee Chair. "The Backpack program became a major project for our lodge six years ago when we realized there was a waiting list for the Backpack program; that children were left off the program because there was just not enough food. The program is funded 100% by donations and we quickly knew this was something we had to do. Our members care about others and have a sincere desire to help. We feel that childhood hunger is a problem in our community that can be solved and that we can make a difference. With support from the Elks National Foundation, The Lady Elks of Hickory, The Past Exalted Rulers, the Ballenger Estate, the Munoz family, the Dagenhardt family, the Herndon family, King Hickory Furniture, Broyhill Furniture, Huntington House Furniture, Taylor King Furniture and many members of our lodge and community donations, over 200 children will go home with food every weekend over the school year," said Anderson. As we have embraced this campaign to feed the children of our community, let us continue as we go forth in this Christmas season celebrating the true spirit of Christmas by helping those that are less fortunate.

Backpack Program Coordinator, Amanda Freeland, accepted the $28,000 check at the Hickory Elks Lodge on Saturday morning, November 18th at the Lodge's famous ham breakfast. As Amanda so eloquently does each year, she spoke about the program how it has impacted her life as well as the children's lives. "The Elks continue to be our largest donor to the program by surpassing each year the previous year's donations. I look forward each year to being a part of this great organization with their commitment to our community and truly making a difference." said Freeland.

This very important community program serves our children from elementary school to high school by providing a backpack full of healthy food each weekend throughout the school year. The Backpack Program relies on donations from local individuals, churches, businesses and service organizations. Their sole mission is to remove hunger as a barrier to good education and reduce the impact of poverty on children and families. Catawba County is thrilled to partner with service organizations like the Elks to make the backpack program happen.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that "Elks Care and Elks Share". To find out more information about The Hickory Elks Lodge or The Catawba County Backpack Program please contact Committee Chair, Carole Anderson at caroleanderson@charter.net or contact Amanda Freeland, Backpack Program Coordinator at afreeland@catawbacountync.gov.

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