Charities and Committees


ENF – Elks National Foundation | Major Project


Americanism Committee | Youth Activities | Veterans Committee

ENF – Elks National Foundation

What is the Elks National Foundation or the ENF?
ENF is the Elks National Foundation. With a grant of $100,000, the Elks National
Foundation was established in 1928 as the charitable arm of the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America.
Today we boast more than 183,000 active donors and an endowment fund valuing
$430 million. The ENF has contributed $253.5 million toward Elks’ charitable
projects nationwide. The Foundation is a public, non-profit, tax-exempt corporation as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Tax Reform Act of 1959. Donations to the Elks National Foundation are deductible
for federal income and estate tax purposes.

What is the mission of the Elks National Foundation?
The mission of the Elks National Foundation is to help Elks build stronger
communities. We fulfill this pledge by investing in communities where Elks
live and work. We provide tomorrows leaders, our youth, with a healthy beginning;
honor the Elks pledge to never forget our veterans; help the state Elks associations accomplish their charitable objectives and fund projects that improve the quality of life in local Elks communities.

How is the Foundation administered?
The Elks National Foundation is administered by a board of trustees
composed of seven past national presidents of the BPO Elks of the USA, each serving a seven-year term. A director, who reports to the board, oversees day-to-day operations of the administrative offices in Chicago.

Who contributes to the Elks National Foundation?
Since inception, the Foundation has received more than $165 million in contributions and bequests from Elks, Lodges, state associations and other supporters of our philanthropic efforts. With a team of volunteers at the local, district and state levels, the Foundation raises more than $6 million each year.

How does the Endowment Fund work?
All unrestricted donations go into a permanent endowment fund,
where each gift earns interest for lifetimes. Your gift will never be touched. Only the income earned by this fund can be used to support charitable programs.

As the fund grows, the influence of your gift will grow with it, forever.
Each year, the ENF Board of Trustees approves distributions from the fund for charitable projects. The current value of the fund is $430,710,973.

Who pays the Foundation’s operating expenses?
The Foundation has an operating budget of $1,686,110.
These expenses are borne by the Foundation. Our administrative expenses account for only 11.2 percent of our total distributions.

How will this money be used?
State Elk Association Grants: The Foundation will distribute $3.17
million in State Charities Grants. These grants help fund each states major charitable project, as well as state Hoop Shoot, Soccer Shoot and Drug Awareness Programs. In addition, the states will receive more than $2.35 million in special charitable project grants that help fund scholarship programs or other projects that best extend a states philanthropic outreach. A $1 million bonus grant will also be distributed to the states.

Community Investments Program:

The Community Investments Program allows the ENF to invest directly in Lodge communities by funding projects that have a
significant and lasting impact on areas where Elks live and work. The Foundation budgeted $525,000 for the program’s Gratitude Grants and Promise Grants.
Scholarships: The Foundation reserved a total of $3.066 million for its
three scholarship programs: The Most Valuable Student contest ($2.216 million);
Emergency Educational Grants for children of deceased or totally incapacitated
Elks ($350,000); ENF Legacy Awards ($500,000).
Drug Prevention: The Foundation granted $598,000 for the Elks Drug Awareness Program.

Youth Athletics: The Foundation granted $683,810 to fund the Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest. In addition, we granted $50,000 to the Youth Activities Committee to promote the Elks Soccer Shoot program at the grassroots level.

Veterans Service: The ENF granted $787,550 to the Elks National Veterans Service Commission.

Elks Veterans Memorial Maintenance: The Foundation allocated $464,306 for building maintenance. In addition, a grant of $250,000 was approved for the Foundation’s Elks Veterans Memorial  Maintenance Reserve Fund.

What are the Foundation’s primary giving methods?
Annual Gift: You can make a donation to the ENF via check, Discover Card, Visa or MasterCard.

Pledge: You can also contribute to the Foundation through a pledge.

You choose to receive a pledge reminder annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly.

Online Gift: Support the ENF at any time of day from the convenience of your own home.

To make your gift, go to

Recurring Gift: Sign up for a recurring gift and allow us to debit your bank account or bill your credit card each month for a set donation amount.

Contact us at (773)755-4728 or for more information.

Corporate Gift: You can double the impact of your gift through
matching gifts, or sign up for payroll deductions through your employer.

Many employers will match gifts given to charitable organizations by employees and their spouses, even if they are retired.

Tribute: You can contribute to the Foundation in memory of or in honor of friends and loved ones, online or through the mail.

Planned Gift: Show your ultimate commitment through a planned gift, such as a bequest, gift of appreciated stock or life insurance.

More information about planned giving is available online at


Americanism Committee
The Americanism committee currently has two major projects it is undertaking. We are renovating our patriotic corner, which contains significant American documents and we’re also working to get American flags placed on the exterior of the building.

Flag retiring
Have a flag you need to retire? Do it properly! The San Francisco Elks Lodge will ensure that your flag is respectfully retired according to United States Code found in Title 36, Chapter 10 pertaining to patriotic customs and observances:

Veterans Committee
Flag Day Barbeque
– In 1907, the BPO Elks Grand Lodge designated by resolution June 14 as Flag Day. The Grand Lodge of the Order adopted mandatory observance of the occasion by every Lodge in 1911, and that requirement continues. The Elks prompted President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the Order’s observance of Flag Day for its patriotic expression. But it was not until 1949 when President Harry Truman, himself a member of the Elks, made the proclamation that thereafter June 14 would be a day of national observance for
the symbol of our country.

Come join wth your local Lodge in honoring our Veterans!

Throughout November and December the San Francisco Elks Lodge will be holding their Veteran’s Coat Drive! Come in with your new or gently worn coat to donate to a service man or service woman who may be without a coat to keep them warm. Our Vets were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for you, please donate to them. Please bring your coat to the Lodge lounge area where we will provide barrels in which to place them.

Veteran’s Day Barbeque

Youth Activities
Big Brothers/Big Sisters Christmas Party
Big Brothers/Big Sisters is the largest mentoring program in the United States. Pairing children and teenagers from one-parent households with volunteers from the community (men and women often in their mid twenties) to serve as role models. Big Brothers/Big Sisters has a proven program of positively influencing thousands of at-risk youths, while providing the big brothers and big sisters with the unique opportunity of sharing a part of themselves at a formative time in the lives of these children and adolescents.

The Lodge has sponsored the Big Brothers/Big Sisters annual Christmas party for the past twenty-two years. The party features lunch, games, and gifts for the children. Entertainment for the last few years included multi-cultural dance troops and craft activities. Approximately 300 children and adults attended last year’s party.

Boy Scout Troop 343
The purpose and goals of scouting are to teach the scouts to be prepared in time of need, to show them meaningful ways to help their family, community, nation and world, to show them that small acts of kindness performed every day will improve the lives of others, in an emergency, to be ready to do whatever the situation requires. These things are accomplished through outdoor adventures, service projects, and leadership in their patrol and troop. Scouting gives them the experiences and responsibilities that will help them mature and grow into a strong, confident adult. They are taught to live by the Scout Oath and the Scout Law – to use them every day of their lives. As is well known in the Lodge, this troop has distinguished itself by providing volunteers to help in numerous Elk events, including the Halloween Party, Crab Feed, Hoop Shoot, Flag Day ceremonies at V.A. Hospital, and Veterans Day at V.A. Hospital.

We help support the troop’s dues and fundraisers which, among other things, includes cost of: charter, Camporee fees, awards, Eagle Court of Honor, regular Court of Honor, camping equipment, and Summer backpack trip. The troop develops a very detailed and well-planned budget, which reflects a high degree of professionalism.

Cub Scout Pack 345
Cub Scout Pack 345 was founded in 1985 by the West of Twin Peaks Lions Club and was sponsored by that Lion’s Club until 1993 when the club was disbanded. Elks Lodge #3 began sponsoring Pack 345 and has enjoyed this partnership for 12 years. Leadership is committed to providing boys ages 7 to 11, with educational experiences and instilling values of good citizenship, moral character and physical fitness and environmental awareness. The pack is a “quality” unit with 41 boys and 18 “trained” leaders.

Our Lodge helps to cover annual projects each year: Pinewood Derby, camp outs, USS Hornet trip and the Blue and Gold dinner. Other projects include many crafts: building tool boxes, bird feeders, knot boards, peewee golf holes for Scout-o-Rama, making Christmas tree ornaments.

Edgewood Center for Children and Families
Founded in 1851, Edgewood is the oldest children’s charity in the western United States. Originally a refuge for orphans of the Gold Rush Era, Edgewood now provides a continuum of school-based, community-based, and residential services for children and families. A licensed psychiatric facility, Edgewood provides the specialized care necessary for the most vulnerable sector of society. If it were not for Edgewood, these children, most often the victims of broken families and abusive home environments, would have no opportunity to have the kind of life that most of us take for granted.

Edgewood is an independent, non-profit and non-sectarian agency. Its mission is to offer troubled children support and healing through an array of residential and community outreach programs, thus providing them with the opportunity to grow into self-reliant individuals.

Last year, the Elks gave Edgewood a grant to partially fund the Edgewood Summer Camp.

Elks Halloween Party
This is the Lodge’s annual Halloween party for the children and grandchildren of Elk members as well as for the children of our community and of organizations sponsored by the Youth Activities Committee. This party continues to provide a safe and fun environment for children that live in at-risk situations as well as those with stable home life. The party is aimed at children between the ages of five and eleven; accompanied by parents/guardians/supervising adults. This event, with the exception of our magician, is fully staffed by volunteers. The event begins with face painting, followed by a home-cooked spaghetti buffet and dessert, a magic show, and a special Halloween treat bag with candies and toys for every in-attendance child. Attendance fluctuates from year to year but seems to hold steady at a little below 100 guests.

Elks High School Art Contest
This will be the 20th Annual Art Contest sponsored by our Elks Lodge #3, which is open to public, parochial and private high school students in San Francisco. The purpose is to encourage local high school students in the pursuit of art, thereby maintaining a vital part of the high school education and enriching our community. Given cutbacks in school curriculum, many of our city’s schools rely on this event to supplement their meager art program funding. This program has won favor with the schools and participation is extremely good. The artwork submitted is quite outstanding and is a positive reflection on the talents of both students and teachers.

Schools are notified each year and each school is limited to three entries. The paintings or drawings may be done in mixed media. Only two-dimensional art may be submitted in the following categories: Abstract/Fantasy; Figurative/Realism; Pen and Pencil. A panel of volunteer judges selects up to five winners in each of the three categories. Cash awards are given to winning students and participating schools at an awards dinner held at the Lodge.

Elks “Most Valuable Student” Scholarship Awards Contest
The Elks National Foundation sponsors the “Most Valuable Student” contest for high school seniors who are American citizens. Students’ brochures are evaluated for scholarship, leadership and financial need. Our Lodge judging committee selects top six boys and six girls to receive cash awards from our Lodge. From this group, the brochures of the top three boys and three girls go on to compete at the District level. Those who survive this level proceed to the State level and then, possibly the National level. The success rate of students sponsored by our Lodge has been outstanding. This year five of the six students from our Lodge whose brochures were sent to the District, made it to the State. Three of the students will receive State allocated awards of $800. The remaining two made it to the National and are thus assured of, at least, one of the 494 fourth place awards worth $4,000 each. Of these two, one of the students had placed first (for boys) at the District and would receive $700. He also placed first (for boys) at the State and would receive $3,500.

Applications are distributed to San Francisco high schools in October. Deadline for submission of completed applications is mid January, at which time they are judged as described above. In early March an Awards dinner is held for these students, their families, teachers, counselors, other school officials, members of our Scholarship Judging Committee and Elk officials

Girl Scouts of San Francisco Bay Area “Write On!”
“Write On!” provides girls; ages 9-11, with a creative outlet intended to strengthen literacy skills. Sessions are eight-weeks and target low-income and culturally diverse girls living in underserved areas. During 2007-2008, “Write On!” will serve approximately 30 girls.

Girls attending the targeted schools are subjected to higher student-teacher ratios in the classroom, making it difficult to receive focused or specialized attention. Core teaching focuses on reading, bilingual education, and preparation for standardized testing. Budgetary consideration has removed many opportunities for school funded art activities or experiences.

The ethnic distribution of the “Write On!” group is anticipated to be: 45% Asian, 40% Hispanic, 10% African American, and 5% Other. Girls will be recruited through the after school programs and the distribution of special flyers. During the September to May school year, consultants, such as Writers Corp and/or Woman’s Will, will be contracted for 8 ninety minute sessions conducting “Write On!” activities.

The project’s success will be tracked through verbal confirmation by site-leaders requesting direct feedback from participating girls and pre- and post-evaluation of girls.

“Science is Super”
The San Francisco Elks support of “Science is Super” will assist in the enhancement of the “Girls Go Tech” initiative. “Girls Go Tech” inspires hand-on projects that give girls a chance to learn new technical skills and develop confidence. Girls are involved in projects that complement science and technology in the classroom and help generate enthusiasms that is likely to stimulate an interest in science, technology and engineering careers. The U.S. needs many more skilled workers in scientific and technical fields if it is to maintain its leadership in the global economy. Females and minorities are particularly underrepresented in these fields. Only 11% of engineers are women, and underrepresented minorities – African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans comprise only 5% of engineers. In fact by 2012 there is a projected 70 percent increase in scientific and engineering careers, which translates into 25 million additional jobs. The Support of the Elks will increase girls’ technical and scientific awareness, encourage interest in science, self-confidence and opportunities for growth in leadership.

Mission Children, Adolescent and Family Services Center
The Mission Children Family Center is an intensive therapeutic treatment program for emotionally disturbed children. It handles roughly 250 cases annually. The children are three through eighteen years old, and from many ethnic backgrounds, whose families have limited financial and emotional resources. All of the children have suffered severe trauma in their lives including physical and sexual abuse, neglect, loss, separation, and exposure to war. Consequently, they are often depressed, withdrawn, filled with rage, aggressive, destructive to self and others. Their self-esteem is greatly impaired.

These children, many of whom are unable to attend school on a full-time basis, attend the center at some point during the day. The program attempts to reach these children through individual, group, drama, recreational, and family therapy. Each child stays in the program an average of 1.5 years. The goals are to help the children work through their pain and gain the strength necessary to succeed in school, at home and with friends. Lodge sponsorship for this program goes back to, at least, 1984.

The proposed figure is to fund transportation costs to and from the center, therapeutic activities (including field trips, outings, camping trips, group work projects, childcare during parenting skills classes and Mosaicing class), and Holiday parties.

North Queens Drill Team
Lynnwood Lodge No. 2171 in Washington State has been a sponsor of the North Queens Drill Team, which is comprised

of about 40 teen and pre-teen girls. For more than 30 years, the Drill Team has come to San Francisco to march in the annual Columbus Day parade. We have hosted the team on their visits here – feeding them and allowing them to use our

Lodge room for overnight accommodations. These excursions allow the girls to learn the discipline of training and teamwork. Pride in their efforts is reflected by the numerous awards won by the teams in past years. The trip also allows these young persons to experience the excitement of travel to other areas outside their own immediate environment

The drill team travels to San Francisco in their own buses with their own drivers and arrive at our Lodge late Friday afternoon. We serve them a buffet meal Friday night. The Lodge room is utilized for sleeping quarters Friday and Saturday nights. They have planned outings for Saturday, which is their free day. Sunday morning we provide them breakfast prior to their departure for the parade formation area resplendent in their sharp blue and white uniforms and marching boots. The team departs for home shortly after the conclusion of the parade.

Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
This is a non-profit organization, which helps the blind and visually impaired to achieve independence and to integrate back into the general community. The Rose Resnick Center and the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired merged in 1993. The goal of the merged organization was to provide a broader spectrum of services to the blind and visually impaired community and to serve as a networking source in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Activities to be funded are: the Summer Picnic (at an outdoor venue) for about 50 guests and several Center workers. Our volunteers serve barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings plus dessert and beverages. Bingo and raffle prizes are included as part of the outing. Our guests also receive a small bag of treats as they depart to return to the Center.

The second activity, which is held at the Lodge, is the Christmas Party – a sit down lunch for about 100 guests. Many of these same guests provide musical entertainment for the group before and after lunch. We also provide some funding for raffle prizes to supplement any donated items, which may be received. Our own volunteers help with most of the set-up work, food serving, and general clean up.

San Francisco Girls Chorus
The San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) is an education and performing arts organization for girls ages 8 through 17. SFGC has a total enrollment of 325, consisting of girls from all ethnic and economic groups, from 155 Bay Area schools. SFGC provides singers for performances and recordings with the S.F. Opera, S.F. Symphony, and other music ensembles. Choristers present outreach concerts in public schools, hospitals, and low-income senior care centers, and perform at free public events.

The SFGC has a scholarship program to enable talented, underprivileged girls to participate in SFGC’s music education program, the Chorus School. The School utilizes a six-level training program designed to take the young singer from her first introduction to the art of choral singing through a full course of choral study.

This is one of the great success stories of the Lodge. We believe the program is extremely worthwhile, but, in addition, the SFGC has become the highlight of the Lodge’s Italian Night dinners these past nine years with a group of approximately 50 young ladies performing at the start of dinner.

San Francisco Youth Employment Coalition
The Youth Employment Coalition (YEC) is an association of community-based organizations in San Francisco dedicated to providing a variety of employment services to the youth of our city. Originally formed over a decade ago as an arm of the Delinquency Prevention Commission under the auspices of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, YEC has become independent, both financially and politically, from the San Francisco government. With the exception of its part-time student coordinator position, YEC is staffed and supported by volunteers – primarily community leaders who share the value of exchanging their unique resources with other community organizations for the common good of the youth of San Francisco. During its existence, YEC’s emphasis has changed with the needs of its constituent community organizations, but its focus has remained, and will remain, on training and obtaining employment and careers for our City’s young people. YEC in San Francisco is affiliated with a national YEC, whose members include similar youth employment organizations in other major U.S. cities, and serves as an innovative model for job fairs and employment seminars for the rest of the country.

YEC is one of the Lodge’s success stories. Many years ago, the Lodge hosted YEC’s job fairs. YEC has grown too big for the Lodge and now hold its job fairs at the Marriot hotel in downtown S.F. However, YEC continues to rely on our Lodge as its primary financial support for the student youth coordinator position and as a venue for smaller events, such as the networking seminars attended by the providers of youth services.

The Youth Activities Committee proposes to continue partial funding of the student coordinator position at $5,000 per year, and to provide Lodge facilities for five YEC networking events and training seminars.

Tom Schomburg Scholarship Fund for Future Citizens
In memory of a dedicated member of the Youth Activities Committee, this program was established in 1992, and thus far has aided many students in pursuit of a college education. The goal of this project is to provide academic financial assistance, recognition, and encouragement to future citizens who have excelled in high school, but have not yet had the

opportunity to become American Citizens and are in need of financial aid to attend college. Patterned after the National most Valuable Student Scholarship Program, the applications of deserving non-citizen students are judged in the categories of academic achievement, leadership and financial need. The four highest scoring candidates receive cash awards which are presented at our annual Scholarship Awards dinner held at the Lodge in conjunction with the awards presentation for winner in the ENF “Most Valuable Student” competition.

Seishen Judokai Judo Program
Founded in 1950’s by Vernon D. Johnson – former boxing competitor at San Jose State University and University of California, retired colonel, U.S. Army and retired chief probation officer, San Mateo County. 35+ volunteer instructors, scorers and other personnel conduct the program. Program uses judo instruction as a way of promoting student’s self-esteem and self-discipline. Program involves, primarily, youth who cannot afford more expensive martial arts instruction or would not otherwise be interested in learning a martial art or participating in a group activity. Judo instruction is given at 9 locations, including the Tenderloin in San Francisco. Currently there are more than 300 students participating in the program.

The Committee recommends a grant to help fund replacement of judo mats, provide camera equipment, purchase of award ribbons and trophies.

Recreation Center for the Handicapped – The Janet Pomeroy Center “Brainstormers”
Recreation programming began at RCH, Inc. (Recreation Center for the Handicapped) in 1952 under Janet Pomeroy, Founder and Director. The Center is a non-profit organization that serves 3,000 individuals weekly: those with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, brain injuries, and general community members. They are located on 5 acres at 207 Skyline Boulevard in San Francisco, next door to the San Francisco Zoo. The facilities include program rooms, a therapeutic swimming pool, gymnasium, computer lab, kitchen, and multi-purpose room with a stage, playground, day camp, and a community garden with a greenhouse.

The mission of The Center is to provide recreation and vocational opportunities for people with disabilities through programs and services that encourage self-expression, promote personal achievement, and lead to greater independence.

The Youth Activities Committee plans to sponsor a picnic in June. Funding is for food, beverages, supplies and gift bag for each guest.

San Francisco Merionettes

The San Francisco Merionettes, a group of young ladies ranging in age from 7 to 18 years old, was established by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, through the support of Helen Sender, who wanted to provide training in synchronized swimming to the youth of San Francisco. In 1956, with the support of Park and Rec. and the leadership of founder and Head Coach, Marion Olsen Kane, the Merionettes had their beginning in Synchronized Swimming. Their first National Championship was the 1960 Outdoor Junior National Team title. They went on from there and won numerous other titles.

Our Lodge has allowed this group to use our Lodge Room facilities since 1998 for their annual awards program, which recognizes the girls for their many accomplishments throughout the year.

As a result of the strong relationship, which has developed, many of the girls have volunteered their services at our Children’s Halloween party as well as our Big and Little Brothers/Sisters Christmas party. This has provided an opportunity to have another organization become aware of what Elks are about and has also given these young ladies a chance to learn about community work. In addition, some parents have participated in our blood drives.

Sea Scouts
Sea Scouting is a worldwide coed outdoor program for youth ages 12 – 20, which offers participants advancement, leadership and service opportunities on land and water. The San Francisco program is run out of San Francisco’s Aquatic Park and incorporates weekend trips, sails and regattas, weekly advancement training, community building activities and fellowship events.

The Ship’s Dinner is a yearly tradition, which offers the scouts an opportunity to celebrate the ship’s accomplishments and share memories of the year with parents and friends. This past year, the crew arrived in their formal dress blues attire and enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by Chef Mike Willoughby. A narrated slide show featuring beautiful images of the year’s sail races, regattas and many outreach and training events was shown during the meal.

Mac-Can-Do is a program to help at-risk children reach their full potential through track and field opportunities. 6 children participated in individual and team events in May 2005. There are 30 participants registered this year.

Elks funding will help provide transportation to events and to allow coverage of membership, registration, and entry fees for scheduled events.

LEAP Sandcastle Summer Camp Program
The “Leap Sandcastle Event” was started by the Architectural Community in San Francisco for the purpose of raising money for much needed Art Supplies for the San Francisco public grammar schools due to limited funding for such supplies. Originally the event was at San Francisco’s Aquatic Park, but soon out grew this site and was moved to Ocean beach where the event is held every October. The Architectural Community partners with manufacturers such as Atlas Carpet Mills to raise the money. Each sponsored Grammar School builds a “Sand Castle”. Every year there are different teams and every team wins a prize.

Mercy Housing Youth Summer Camp
Mercy Housing’s mission is “to create and strengthen healthy communities through the provision of quality, affordable, service-enriched housing for individuals and families who are economically poor”. There are many Mercy Housing developments throughout the Bay Area serving thousands of people who would not otherwise be able to afford the high cost of living. Each housing development has a Resident Service Coordinator who helps foster community within the sites as well as develops, coordinate and run programs for the individuals, families and youth.

Seven Mercy Housing properties (1 from Daly City, 4 from San Francisco and 2 from San Leandro) are organizing their third annual summer camping trip for their youth. This year with the efforts of dedicated Resident Service Coordinators, wonderful volunteers, and generous donors, they have planned a three-day camping trip where youth will learn to build relationships with their peers, to strengthen themselves, to rely on teamwork, and to appreciate the simplicity of nature. Living in a world of violent chaos, the youth will be given a chance to leave their norm and freely express themselves amongst their peers and adults they trust.