Friday, November 17, 2017

Oakmont Elks Host Veteran's Luncheon

Oakmont Elks hosts a group of local veterans for a luncheon once a month.  Each month Lodge No. 1668 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks hosts veterans from the Pennsylvania Southwest Center or the H.J. Heinz Campus of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.  This project is funded by an Elks National Foundation Grant which the Lodge applies for each year.  The only stipulation for the grant is that it be an ongoing community project that is staffed or performed by the membership of the Lodge.

One month the veterans ate stuffed shells with garlic bread, salads and cheesecake topped with strawberries.  The menu can be as simple as this or as elaborate as today with a Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, stuffing and all the sides.  The veterans who attend are always most grateful for the meal and often ask for and are served second portions.

In November of 2013 the Lodge expanded the guest list to include 21 children from St Irenaeus School who performed their Veteran's Day Program for the veterans.  At the conclusion of the performance which lasted about 25 minutes and included the singing of patriotic songs by the children, each child presented an American Flag to a veteran and thanked them personally for their service.

Each month a different type of entertainment is included for the veterans enjoyment.  The veterans arrive just before noon and usually stay for about 2-3 hours.

Plans are always in the works to host both Southwest and Aspinwall groups for the December luncheon which is a Christmas party for these deserving men and women.  The veterans all receive a small tin of homemade cookies and a token of our appreciation for their service to our country.