Neighbors

Sun City Elks back in service mode

Donation programs get another start

Posted 11/26/21

At long last, Sun City Elks Lodge No. 2559 restarted its donations programs

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Neighbors

Sun City Elks back in service mode

Donation programs get another start

Posted

At long last, Sun City Elks Lodge No. 2559 restarted its donations programs

It has been too long and too heart wrenching, but the Sun City Elks Lodge is again seeking to regain their prominence in the area of veteran and community donations. The Sun City Elks, like most other charitable organizations, halted their programs due to the COVID virus, but this virus hit the Sun City Elks Lodge especially hard as it not only took the life of the lodge’s veterans chairman, but also the Arizona Elks state veterans chairman and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks National veterans chairman, the preeminent Gary Bruce Drumheller.

Regardless the hardship, the Elks will carry on in their pursuit of helping local Veterans and the community at large.

Heading up the Elks new program is John Hjerpe, a Vietnam veteran and new member of the Sun City Elks Lodge.

Hierpe is very familiar of the needs of vets when they return from active duty, as he suffered the same sense of not belonging, of dispare and hopelessness. Like many other returning veterans, Hierpe could not find a job, he lived on the street, slept under bridges and begged for food. Fortunately, he received help, got a good job working for the VA and is now a valuable member of the Sun City Elks Lodge and a man with the passion to help other vets and the community as a whole.

In October, Hierpe, with his assistant, Mary Ann Michaels, and on behalf of the Sun City Elks, donated about $350 to the St. Vincent De Paul Charitable Organization.

Hierpe and Michaels learned of the Community Bridges Inc., a charitable facility located at 707 Joans Ave., Phoenix, which had just completed construction of a 600-unit facility at that address and needed help outfitting the rooms for habitation.

Hierpe made an appeal to the Sun City Elks Lodge members, and Michaels did the same in her community in Sun City West. That, plus the donations Michaels, a realtor, received from her clients, the two accumulated more than $5,200 in bedding, sheets, blankets, towels and washcloths, enough to stock at least 40 rooms in the new facility. It took about 40-50 black plastic trash bags to contain all of the items.

Editor’s Note: Val Bianchinni is Sun City Elks veterans public relations chairman.

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