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Elks members recruit for lodge in Navasota

August 17, 2022 - 00:00
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Examiner reporter

A Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge (BPOE) may soon be officially instituted in Navasota, thanks to the recruitment efforts of a number of local residents! Already 60 strong, they’re well on their way to meeting their goal of 75-100 members. According to Past State President Mike Callahan, Ph.D., “We have several people at the Bryan and Brenham Elks Lodges who actually live in Navasota. We have a lot of local support for it already built in.”

Navasota caught the attention of the Texas Elks organization because it fit the desired criteria - a small town which had experienced significant growth in the last 10 years but had not lost its small-town atmosphere.

Callahan said, “You guys are a growing community but you still have only the one high school. You have a main downtown area that is being revitalized. You’ve got your city leaders who are people that went off, got their education and came back to town, so they have a vested interest in it.”

Complementary, not competing

The Elks was officially formed in 1868 by a group of actors and entertainers moved to serve those in need. Callahan stressed that the Elks do not consider themselves in competition with Kiwanis, Lions Club or other local nonprofits, but rather a “complementary” organization. While those organizations raise money “within the community for the betterment of the community,” Callahan said the Elks bring in resources from the national organization through the Elks National Foundation Endowment Fund. He continued, “As soon as the lodge is instituted in Navasota, we will bring in anywhere between $12,000 and $22,000 from our national organization for community projects.”

Benefiting youth Other national program offerings include Hoop Shoot and scholarships. Hoop Shoot is considered the No. 1 youth program in the United States and is a free throw contest for elementary and junior high school students held at the local, district, state, regional and national level. The names of the winners of the national contest are engraved on a trophy which is placed in the NBA Hall of Fame. When it comes to scholarships, Callahan said that Elks are second in the nation and $25 million in scholarship awards last year supports his claim. As for the state organization, Texas Elks, Callahan said the major project is the Texas Elks Camp in Gonzalez. Camper’s fees are covered by funds raised by each local Elks Lodge’s “Sweetheart Program.”

Callahan said, “Basically, it’s a camp for special needs and foster kids. The motto is ‘Having a difference doesn’t make a difference.’ We put the kids through a full camp program.”

The Elks have already turned their attention to needs in Grimes County. Recently, they joined forces with the Lions Club to construct a 30-foot ramp for a 5-year-old who did not have use of her legs and distributed drug awareness information at the Back to School Health and Safety Fair.

How to join

The Elks meet the second and fourth Thursday of each month at the Grimes County VFW Post 4006, 1575 W. Washington in Navasota. Social time begins at 6 p.m., followed by an orientation and the general meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Still in its formative stage, Callahan said the organization is trying to determine its “personality,” or what its focus will be, youth, veterans, Sweetheart activities or even youth ag.

For more information about the Navasota Elks Lodge, call Mike Callahan at (282) 705-3974, or email, or call Larry Baughman at (979) 777-4308. To learn more about the Elks, visit or