Visitors to the Port Townsend Elks Lodge 317 April 8 were treated to filling meals in exchange for helping support veterans’ programs, thanks to Chimacum High School seniors Matthew Bainbridge and …
Visitors to the Port Townsend Elks Lodge 317 April 8 were treated to filling meals in exchange for helping support veterans’ programs, thanks to Chimacum High School seniors Matthew Bainbridge and Peyton Hundley.
The duo aspires to raise funds for veterans in need for their senior project, and the Port Townsend Elks Lodge conducts a number of programs on behalf of veterans, including its annual “Stand Down” in July, open to all homeless veterans, veterans in need and veterans’ families.
Bainbridge and Hundley took advantage of the Elks Lodge, not only as a hosting facility and a recipient for their fundraising efforts, but also as an avenue to get the word out, appearing at the Elks Lodge regularly during the course of the two months it took them to plan the event.
“We weren’t part of any networks we knew of that could let people know otherwise,” Bainbridge said. “We showed up to the lodge every week and put people on e-blasts.”
As for the food, Bainbridge enlisted the aid of his stepfather, Thysen Scott, co-owner of God Bless Food Catering with his wife, Debi, who are coming up on their fifth year of business in the community.
While the Scotts served piping-hot beef stew, sweet-and-spicy marinaded chicken kabobs, and a variety of cheeses and desserts, Carol Miller came from Port Orchard to pitch the wares of event cosponsor Pampered Chef.
Even with Pampered Chef’s cut accounted for, Bainbridge expected the event’s estimated attendance of 60 diners and shoppers could yield thousands of dollars for the Elks’ veterans programs.
“We’ve catered fundraisers for the North Olympic Salmon Coalition and Chimacum High School,” Thysen said. “We go to people’s homes and teach clinics on how to make pizza dough or lasagna. I’ve done events at cost, and then given away auction prizes like free dinners to boot.”
Even with their busy schedules, the Scotts try to help where they can.
“We don’t have as much time as we’d like to volunteer for organizations,” Debi said, “So, this is our way of giving back.”
Mel Mefford, one of the Port Townsend Elks who maintains the local lodge’s history, estimated the Port Townsend Elks Lodge raises at least $18,000 for veterans (Elks and nonmembers alike), as well as $24,000 for scholarships and more than $11,000 for children’s medical therapy.
The Port Townsend Elks Lodge is located at 555 Otto St., and has seating for 250 in its main room, with an additional 50 seats in its card room. Call 360-385-0317 for more information.