Elks Hold Appreciation Luncheon for Culver City Police & Fire Department
July 20, 2023
On Saturday, July 15, the Culver City Elks Lodge #1917 hosted an Afternoon of Appreciation for Culver City Police Department and Culver City Fire Department personnel. The Elks provided a barbecue lunch for more than 25 members of the Culver City Police and Fire Departments.
In attendance was Mayor Albert Vega Jr. The mayor gave a short speech thanking and praising the fine men and women of both departments for their commitment to protecting Culver City's residents and businesses.
The Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler, Edward Yeh, then gave Outstanding Service Awards to Firefighter Alberth Ravelo and Police Officer Ruben Silva, both of whom had been selected by their peers in their respective departments.
He also gave an award to Mayor Albert Vega Jr. for his support of the Culver City Elks Lodge.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a national organization dedicated to servicing their local communities, granting scholarships to deserving high school seniors and supporting our military and veterans.
The Culver City Lodge was formed in 1952, Richard Kelly concluded that Culver City was worthy of its own Elks Lodge. At the time he was a member of the Santa Monica Elks Lodge. He and a few close friends met to discuss the possibilities and eventually presented the plan to the then District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.
After more than a year of planning and overcoming objections from some of the already established lodges, permission was given to create this new Culver City Lodge. The Lodge was designated #1917, which, by pure chance, happens to be the year that Culver City itself was incorporated. The lodge was formally instituted on January 29, 1954 at a ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium and Richard Kelly was installed as our first Exalted Ruler. There were a total of 541 Charter Members – 140 from other lodges and 401 brand new members.
Their building at 11160 Washington Place, was purchased with the help of loans by the members and other financing. The building required substantial renovation to make it into an Elks Lodge, which was achieved, primarily, through volunteer labor and donated materials. In the years since then, several additions were made to the building, including the dining room and kitchen, and we purchased our current parking lots.
. In 1983 the lodge reached a current record total membership of 1,050 up from the original 541. Today, membership is slightly below 500 and growing again.
Throughout the years, Culver City members have held important positions within both the State organization (California-Hawaii Elks Association) and the Grand Lodge culminating in the election of member and Culver City resident Robert (Bob) L. Duitsman to be the Grand Exalted Ruler (President) of the national Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in the year 2019-2020.
After the national association dropped the word "male" from its constitution and statutes as a requirement for membership, the Culver City Elks initiated its first female member, Kellie Lovato, in March, 2002. Today, their female members are an important, vibrant and essential part of Culver City's membership.
Over the years, Culver City has been very active in achieving the goals of Elks lodges throughout the country. We support our veterans, our youth and our community through donations and active participation. In fact, the Culver City Elks has donated well over $1,000,000 to the Culver City community since our beginning.
At this time, we are looking forward to continuing our recent growth and we welcome any inquiries for membership in our great organization. We also look forward to continuing our important work to help improve our community, aid those in need and serve our veterans.