Due to steadily rising numbers of COVID cases being reported in Muskegon County and the State, your board of directors has voted to suspend club room operations like several other clubs until further notice. The safety of our members is our top priority. We will be reevaluating on a weekly basis, and will keep membership as up to date as possible through the weekly blast and the December bulletin.
The COVID crisis in the state continues to rise and spike. There are many new guidelines to be followed for everyone. We have had some members afflicted with this serious illness, so please keep them any anyone infected in your prayers. A vast majority of our members fall into the high risk groups which could seriously impact their health if infected. You can be infected and not even know it. I know none of us would want to expose your fellow elks to this. We have had several incidents already with infected individuals, being in contact with our room and other members. Once exposed, health department regulations say you should self isolate for 14 days to avoid passing this on. The board has had many discussions on the issue and despite our best efforts and following all the guidelines in our club room, we had a big scare where someone was in the room for an event, and the next day tested positive for COVID. This exposed a room full of people, all of whom were notified, and while we are not aware of anyone becoming infected, we felt the risk doesn’t outweigh the gain, and have decided to close the club room and suspend any Muskegon Elk Functions until further notice. We will evaluate the situation and numbers on a weekly basis and will re-open when we feel it is safe to do so. Several other local clubs have done the same. Lodge and board meetings will be conducted by Zoom, and links to participate will be provided upon request. All of the lodge officers, and people assisting with events are volunteers, and many just don’t feel safe. We are hoping our suspension of events will help do our part to avoid spread of the disease. We are working hard to find options to continue our charitable works with the veterans, special needs kids and our community in general. It’s important in this hard time to remember the purpose of the ELKS which is to promote Brotherly Love, Justice, Charity and Fidelity. While we make good friends, the brotherhood of ELKs exists for the betterment of our communities and those less fortunate, which we as a lodge will continue to do. We are working on ways to keep all of our charitable work going. Instead of a Pumpkin patch party this year with the kids from Wesley School we delivered 100 bags of goodies which were distributed to the children through the school. They thanked us so much for remembering their Special Needs Children and trying to make their lives brighter. We have several other programs we run this time of year for the community and we are being forced to “look outside the box” to make them all continue. We hope that all of our members and their families stay safe and healthy and we are trying to do our part to make certain that happens. We will open again as soon as we feel it safe for all of our members. ELKS do care, but COVID is not something we want to share.
Chairman Board of Directors