Who Can Join?
To be eligible for membership in the Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks, you must be a citizen of the United States over the age of 21 who believes in God.
At the local level in Tucson
Elks Lodge #385, our members are all friends who enjoy the camaraderie and fun times. We have a great time helping the local
communities, charities, veteran services and the youth of our country through this fellowship. In general it’s a fun
atmosphere having good times enjoying weekend dinners, steak nights, pancake breakfasts, golf outings, picnics, sporting events
and helping others.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of
America is one of the oldest and largest fraternal organizations in the country. Since its inception in
1868, the Order of Elks has grown to include more than 1 million men
and women in more than 2,100 communities.
The BPO Elks is committed to the ideals of charity and patriotism. To
that end, Elks have now disbursed, over the course of the Order's history, more than $3.6 billion in cash, goods, and services
to the nation's youth, its veterans, the disadvantaged and handicapped, and to individuals and groups in support of patriotic
and civic programs. Annually the BPO Elks give more than $200 Million in this fashion, and the Order ranks as one of the largest
private providers of college scholarships in the nation.
The Elks have created a quiet network of good deeds that has profoundly changed millions
of lives for the better, yet there is little public awareness of the impact of their vital work. Why is this so? Quite simply,
the Elks have rarely sought recognition; nor have they gone to the general public with fund-raising efforts nor received monies
from any level of government. Indeed, the flow of money and goods moves in the opposite direction: the Elks donated to the
government the first veterans hospital; they contribute regularly
to schools and police and fire departments; and they assist the young and the needy throughout this great nation.
Although the original Elks were actors
and entertainers, members of other professions soon joined the organization. Today's Elks represent just about the full spectrum
of occupations in America.
Throughout the course of the Order's history,
many celebrities from the entertainment field, business and public service have been Elks. Presidents Warren Harding, Franklin
Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy were all Elks. Former President Gerald Ford belongs to Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lodge,
where his father served two terms as Exalted Ruler (Lodge president).
Of course, many members of Congress have
been Elks, too. Former Speakers of the House Tip O'Neill, Carl Albert, John McCormick and Sam Rayburn all belonged to the
fraternity. Former Speaker Tom Foley belongs to Spokane, Washington, Lodge. And the late Hale Boggs of Louisiana was also
Entertainers Lawrence Welk, Will Rogers,
Jack Benny and Andy Devine belonged, too. Devine was even Exalted Ruler of San Fernando, California, Lodge. And Clint Eastwood
is a member of Monterey, California, Lodge.
From the sports world, the Order has counted
among its members the likes of Vince Lombardi, Casey Stengel, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Jim Finks.