Cape Gazette
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Cape Henlopen Elks elect first woman Exalted Ruler

May 19, 2014
Source: Submitted Eileen Loftus

Cape Henlopen Elks Lodge 2540 is proud to announce the election of its first woman as Exalted Ruler. This is the highest position any member of a lodge may achieve.

Cape Henlopen Lodge 2540 received its charter from the Grand Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Nov. 1, 1975. There have been 34 consecutive male Exalted Rulers. Eileen Loftus, the 35th Exalted Ruler, is the first female elected to this position.  The Exalted Ruler, president, serves as the chief executive officer of the lodge.

Eileen M. Loftus of Clarksville, a mother of four and grandmother of seven, has been an Elk for seven years and has served in a wide variety of positions. In addition to moving through various positions in lodge leadership, she has worked on drug awareness, working to educate youth about the dangers of drug abuse, on the annual Hoop Shoot and Soccer Shoot for area youth, and many other positions in the lodge, culminating in her election to the office of Exalted Ruler.

Her signature programs will be Home of the Brave for Women Veterans and programs impacting youth.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is an American fraternal order and social club founded in 1868. It is one of the leading fraternal orders in the U.S., claiming nearly one million members. The Elks have traditionally been an all-male fraternal order. Women were permitted to join in the mid-1990s.

Elks Lodges bring a great deal to their communities, such as building a handicap ramp for a a person in need, providing gifts for disadvantaged children at Christmas, and supporting many community nonprofits. They are places where neighbors come together, families share meals, and children grow up. The lodge members become extended families, and promote and support many activities such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Hoop Shoot, Soccer Shoots, local libraries, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs,  youth baseball teams, and much more.

The Order of Elks is second only to the federal government in the level of support for scholarships for secondary education.

Elks invest in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, by undertaking projects that address unmet needs, and by honoring the service and sacrifice of U.S. veterans.

Elks are community. No matter where one goes in the country, an Elks Lodge is right around the corner. With more than 850,000 members and 2,000 lodges nationwide, Elks are providing charitable services that help build stronger communities

Information about the Elks can be found on www.elks.org or by contacting your local Elks Lodge. To contact Elks Lodge 2540, call 302-645-7016 or email capehenlopenelks@aol.com.

Eileen M. Loftus of Elks Lodge 2540, left, is shown presenting Lodge Chaplain Joanne Fry  with a certificate as an Honorary Founder of the Elks National Foundation, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States. Fry’s donation of $1,000 to the foundation to further its mission and ideals earned her the Honorary Founder designation.Members of Lodge 2540 meet at 7 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Call 302-645-7016 for more information.
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