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About the Elks


Mission Statement

To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity;

to recognize a belief in God;

to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members;

to quicken the spirit of American patriotism;

to cultivate good fellowship;

to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization,

and to provide for its government,

the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America will serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating

that Elks Care and Elks Share.


We Are...

A fraternal order with 305 members locally with 800,000 members nationwide, and a nearly 153-year history.

A network of more than 2000 lodges in communities all over the country.

A generous charitable foundation that each year gives millions in scholarships, an inspiration to youth, a friend to veterans and more.

We are the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, the BPOE.

Elks Creed

Believe in the goodness in thyself as well as others

Protect childhood with tenderness, old age with  respect, cherish with reverence the memory of those who have passed


Observe faithfully the golden rule

Enjoy the good things of Earth. Keep within thee the glorious sunshine of youth and remain always of good cheer



The Order spends more than $80,000,000 every year for benevolent, educational and patriotic community-minded programs in such fields as benefiting physically challenged children, sponsoring Elks National Foundation scholarships, scouting, athletic teams, veterans' works, a national "Hoop Shoot" free-throw contest involving more than 3 million children, physical and occupational therapy programs and patriotic programs.

The youth of our country have always been important to the Order. It is for this reason the Elks Drug Awareness Education Program was launched to warn primary grade students and their parents of the dangers in drug use.


Additionally, every lodge observes June 14th as Flag Day, a tradition which the Elks began in 1907 and was later adopted by the Congress as an official observance.



The Elks organization was founded in New York City on February 16, 1868 under the name "Jolly Corks" by 15 actors, entertainers and others associated with the theater. In ensuing years, membership expanded to other professions. After the death of a member left his wife and children without income, the club took up additional service roles, rituals and a new name. Desiring to adopt "a readily identifiable creature of stature, indigenous to America," fifteen members voted 8–7 in favor of the elk above the buffalo. It has since evolved into a major American fraternal, charitable, and service order with more than a million members, both men and women, throughout the United States and the former territories of the Philippines and the Panama Canal. Flemington Lodge# 1928 was founded in 1954.


Hour of Recollection

At any gathering of Elks, it is the custom that at 11 p.m. everything ceases for a moment of remembrance.  This is done in a solemn but brief ceremony called, “The 11 O’clock Toast”.  Members are asked to stand, remove their hats, and there is a tolling of 11 strokes. 

At the conclusion of the 11th stroke, a member will say, “It is the hour of recollection.” 

The member performing the ceremony, usually the ER, continues........ 


You have heard the tolling of eleven strokes. This is to impress upon you that with us the hour of eleven has a tender significance. Wherever Elks may roam, whatever their lot in life may be, when this hour falls upon the dial of night, the great heart of Elkdom swells and throbs.


It is the golden hour of recollection, the homecoming of those who wander, the mystic roll call of those who will come no more. Living or dead, Elks are never forgotten, never forsaken. Morning and noon may pass them by, the light of day sink heedlessly in the West, but ere the shadows of midnight shall fall, the chimes of memory will be pealing forth the friendly message:

To Our Absent Members.

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