Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
Organized November 1904

Veterans Service

Veterans Programs Suggestions

Adopt-A-Vet Program

  Detroit VA Veterans Calendar 2018

All Horse racing will be on the first Wednesday of the month.


July 11                        Horse racing

July 18                         Ice Cream Social

August 1                     Horse Racing

August 13                   Welcome Home event at the VA  4-7 PM

August 23                   Ice Cream Social

September 5                Horse racing

September 20              Ice Cream Social

September  29             Women’s Baby Shower - Detroit

October 3                    Horse racing

October 10                  Ice Cream Social

November 6                Steak Luncheon

November 7                Horse Racing

November 15              Ice Cream Social

December 1                 Women’s Baby Shower – Ann Arbor

December 5                 Horse racing

December 15               Christmas wrapping


Horse Racing leaves the Plymouth-Ann-Arbor Lodge at 9:30 AM, Starts at 10:30 AM

Ice Cream Social leaves the Plymouth-Ann-Arbor Lodge at 11:00, Starts at 12:30

Chili Dogs leaves the Plymouth-Ann-Arbor Lodge at 10:00, Starts at 11:30

Events subject to change.

Hospital address is: 4646 John R, Detroit, Mi.  48203


Stew: 734-455-4567  Cell: 734-718-2052



Veteran’s Program Suggestions
·         Many VA's have homeless programs with a Domiciliary. Be sure to include them and find out their special needs.
·         The Community Living Center (CLC), formally known as the Nursing Home Care Unit, may include short term rehab and hospice units. CLC's also have day treatment units.
·         Don't forget the local nursing home Veterans. Private nursing homes usually have a recreation director to work with.
·         As a rule, VA hospitals have their outings during weekdays to avoid paying overtime.
·         Plan your luncheons or other activities during normal work hours.
·         Do activities at VA health centers and Community Based Outpatient Clinics
Veteran’s Administration Hospital Suggestions
1.       Sponsor small concerts at the CLC or hospital open area. Arrange this through volunteer services.
2.       Bingo: Veteran's hospitals have all the materials. Procure Canteen books ahead of time to be used as prizes. Four or more volunteers needed.
3.       Hospital-Wide Events: Hot dog luncheons, sub sandwiches, and ice cream socials. Meats should be all-beef for religious reasons. Ice cream in three-gallon tubs may be ordered through the hospital. Toppings, spoons, dishes, and scoops need to be brought to the event. A band of musician could make the event more festive.
4.       Fine dining event at the CLC/nursing home. Have a special meal served by tuxedoed waiters. Cater this under hospital direction.
5.       Dance with ladies of the Elks. Bring in a band or have a DJ at the CLC. You may want to decorate with a special theme. Music should match the population of the CLC. Have as many lady volunteers as possible.
6.       Comfort Care kits for CLC or incoming patients. Use Federated Wholesale or other sources.
7.       Horse Racing: The staff usually has a track, wooden horses, and dice to move them. You'll need Canteen books to pay win, place, and show. Four or more volunteers needed.
8.       Poker Party: Use Canteen books for winners with the most chips. You'll need dealers. Patients could choose from Black Jack, Texas Hold 'Em, or Stud-type poker. Cards can be ordered through the Elks program.
9.       Coffee Cart with cookies and bottled water. Go room to room, or in a commons area.
10.   Sponsor a Super Bowl or All-Star game party, as well as sports rivalries like Army-Navy, USC-Notre Dame, Texas-Texas A&M, etc.
11.   Sponsor arts and crafts contests. Work with an art therapist, provide ribbons. Donate to the Creative Arts Festival.
12.   Theme Parties: New Year's, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Mardi Gras, Easter, baseball Opening Day, Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby, Fourth of July, Christmas in July, Sea Cruise, Stay-cation, Luau, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
13.   Sponsor a New Year's Eve party. Bring munchies, snacks, canapes, and nonalcoholic champagne.
14.   Coffee and donuts after religious services. Work with Chaplin Service.
15.   Sponsor Wii sports tournaments.
16.   Bowling and pizza parties. Work with a local ally.
17.   Bring a bean bag toss game (Cornhole) game and hold a tournament.
18.   Karaoke: Bring a karaoke machine and a good singer.
19.   Trivia Game: Sports, Military, or general knowledge. Give canteen books as prizes.
20.   Donate or volunteer with a popcorn machine in commons area for out-patients.
21.   Every VA has a program for former POW's. It is usually administered by a social worker. These are from the surrounding communities and meet once a month. Possible POW Programs: 1. Music/entertainment during meeting time. One man band, magic, or comedy. 2. Visit Lodge for a dinner or luncheon (private or with CLC). 3. Catered luncheon at VA (pizza, subs, chicken). 4. Sponsor fruit/cookies at meeting. 5. Bowling and pizza.
22.   Pass out small desk flags with stands to Vets in hospitals or nursing homes, especially on Flag Day.
23.   Give flowers or candy to nursing stations as a thank you for their patriotic work.
24.   Tea for women Veterans. Check hospital for food policy.
25.   Get involved with female Veterans program at the VA. Some have baby showers or donate gifts or baby items.
26.   Work with hospital Chairperson in putting on the monthly Elk program.
27.   Amateur, Veteran, Variety show put on by volunteers, staff, and patients.
28.   Volunteer at a community based VA clinic by offering coffee, food, and being a morale booster.
29.   Sponsor or help with horticulture projects such as serenity gardens and raised-bed gardening. Get the Master Gardeners Association, garden clubs, or county extension service to help.
30.   Pizza parties for various hospital units. Think beyond CLC (nursing home) and offer to psychiatric, substance abuse, and day treatment units.
31.   Collect new toys and books for the women's clinic.
32.   Do something special for patriotic days: Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, July 4th, Marine's Birthday, Patriot Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Armed Forces Day, POW/MIA Day.
Veteran’s Administration Hospital OR Elks Lodge Suggestions
1.       Car Show: Hold a car show at the VA or your Lodge. Ideally this would be done with other events and Lodge visitations.
2.       Start and Adopt-A-Vet program for individuals in nursing homes, VA, State hospitals, or in the community that don't have many relatives, visitors, or are shut-in. Give them certificates of adoption available through the Grand Lodge. You can also make up your own computer generated certificates. See the Grand Lodge program for more info.
3.       Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) events or welcome home events. VA has an OEF/OIF coordinator. Operation New Dawn (OND- the current war in Afghanistan) returnees or send-offs from local guard or reserve units can be held at the Lodge. Have a picnic or party for their families while they are gone.
4.       Have Veterans come as an off station visit to Lodge meals. Steaks, picnics, pig roasts, BBQ's, holidays, or any reason. Beware of religious restrictions and hospital policy. Don't forget nursing homes and senior residences.
5.       Christmas Gifts: Gifts can be donate or use a "giving tree" for specific Vets. Empty stockings can be filled by Elk families. General gift program with donated money can procure cases of items ordered through Federated Wholesale. Generally there is no alcohol, glass, or sharp items permitted. Stores like Wal-Mart or Target may give you good prices or make donations.
6.       Have the Easter Bunny visit the CLC or nursing home and give sugar-free candy.
7.       Special events for Elks November remembrance month, and National Salute to Veteran's Hospital Week (Valentine's) in February. This could include off station visits to the Lodge for dinners. Do a hospital-wide event.
8.       High Schools could assign Oral Histories and have students find out what the Veteran did, where they were stationed, and other stories. This could also be an Antlers project. This would be especially good for nursing homes.
9.       Christmas dinner or party: Carter food or have them at the Lodge.
10.   Sponsor events for POW meetings, which are held at the VA. Sponsor lunch, snack, or provide entertainment such as a band, comedian, or musician.
11.   Monthly birthday parties with balloons, cake, and ice cream. Special entertainment or musicians can add to the festivity.
12.   Promote schools/youth to make cards and/or decorations for Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, and other holidays. This could be an Antlers project. Work with members who teach to make it a part of their lessons. Offer to deliver the cards and decorations to the VA or nursing home..
13.   Sponsor the moving wall. Have it at the VA or Lodge for community access.
14.   Sponsor a Veteran Job Fair by working with community or private employment services.
15.   Have a collection of gently used clothing for Veteran homeless shelters in metropolitan areas, or new items for the VA, State homes, and nursing homes.
16.   Form a choral group, or recruit on from schools or churches to serenade Veterans with patriotic songs and classical standards from the past. Do Christmas carols, St. Patrick's Day Irish songs, etc.
17.   Help recruit for pet therapy programs where members can visit hospitals and nursing homes with their pets.
18.   Do the Elks Flag Day service at the VA, nursing homes, or senior residences.
19.   Donations: Electronic Readers (e-Readers), satellite radio, USO, Wounded Warrior, hand-held and Wii electronic games, honor flights, Stand Downs, phone cards, coats and sweaters, toiletries, Wreaths Across America, Fisher House (family housing for patients), Chaplin service. At National Cemeteries donate money for entrance flags.
20.   Hospital Activities: Golden Age Games, adaptive sports, Wheel Chair Games, Paralympics, Valentine's for Veterans concert (possible matching funds from Grand Lodge), Donate a pool table, barber chair, etc. Donate ramps for disabled Veterans, as well as other changes to accommodate Vets with disabilities. National Cemeteries wreath program, or for flags.
21.   National VA cemeteries offer free burial to any Veteran and their spouse. They are administered by an Advisory Counsel and government administrators. Activities for National Cemeteries: 1. Color Guard (Veterans organizations only). 2. Tour guides for presentations (training available). 3. Guides to help people locate a grave. 4. Office help in answering phones and doing clerical work. 5. Help on special days such as Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. 6. Supervise youth volunteers in grave stone cleaning (scouting project). 7. Flowerbed weekly cleaning. 8. Old flower pick up from grave sites. 9. Flag maintenance. 10. Donation of flags presented to widows or families to replace entrance flags. Certificates of appreciation will be given. 11. Wreaths Across America is a national organization to put wreaths on Veteran graves. To keep it local, call the cemetery.
Elks Lodge or Off-site Suggestions
1.       Have clothing drives for the hospital clothing store, or homeless Veteran's program..
2.       Sponsor fishing on piers, small lakes, commercial chartered fishing, or member's boats.
3.       Sponsor boat rides and scenic cruises. Use a commercial tour boat, or members with boats or boat club membership would work.
4.       Support and help USO or Veteran lounges at the airport.
5.       Sponsor therapeutic horseback riding. Arrange with a local stable.
6.       Baseball, football, or other sports game outings. Include college or semi-pro leagues in your area. Also zoos and other local attractions.
7.       Segway tours of cities or parks.
8.       Work with National Cemeteries by volunteering, donating flags, and Wreaths Across America. Do your own wreath-laying ceremony.
9.       Decorate Veteran graves in local cemeteries with flags or grave markers/medallions.
10.   Work with Patriot Riders for funeral processions of fallen soldiers. Feed them and have lodge motorcyclists join them. Present an engraved medallion (from Grand Lodge) to the family.
11.   Donate cookies or cases of fruit to Veterans homeless shelters or transitional housing of the VA.
12.   Support Stand Downs for homeless Veterans. Offer to donate the Lodge, money, articles of clothing, toiletries, and playing cards from the Elks card program. Volunteer to host or escort. There events can be from 1 to 3 days and offer medical, clothing, and legal aid.
13.   Participate in the Army of Hope by adopting the family of an overseas soldier and provide assistance in mowing, shoveling snow, and general repairs. Invite them to the Lodge for a meal.
14.   Participate in the Army of Hope by adopting an overseas unit of member's son, daughter, or grandchild. Send snacks, toiletries, or other comfort items.
15.   Sponsoring hunting or fishing trips. Work with sportsman's clubs for skeet or target shooting. Contact them through the internet.
16.   Collect and salt down deer hides for the leather program. Videos are available through the State Chairman.
17.   Create a worn and old flag burning ceremony, or do one with the American Legion, or scouts.
18.   Google "Homeless Veterans" plus city's name to see if there are non-government facilities to support.
19.   Promote regular volunteering of the members at VA and State facilities.
20.   Recognize outstanding volunteer work with Veterans with an American Patriot plaque that your awards provider may be able to make up.
21.   Do fund raising for large items: Casino night, poker run, patriot quilt raffle, spaghetti dinner, golf outing, bike rides, 5k Walk/Run, silent auction, yard sale of donated items and rent tables for others, bake sale at Lodge events and dinners, breakfasts, chili cook-offs, polar plunge, wild game dinner, ENF grants, "support the troops" party/dinner.

© 2014  Michigan Elks Association
All Rights Reserved.  Do not reproduce without permission.
Michigan Elks Association
PO Box 793
Sturgis, MI 49091

Karen Cary State Secretary

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