Community DinnerDSC 1692 4

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Valatie has a program of Community Dinners which runs from January to March. Local organizations take turns to prepare and serve a meal to members of the community. The Kinderhook Elks Past Exalted Rulers Association usually takes their turn in February, sometimes feeding as many as 100 guests.

For more information, contact the PERs Association chair





DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a substance abuse prevention education program that seeks to prevent use of controlled drugs, membership in gangs, and violent behavior. Kinderhook Elks started the DARE program at Ichabod Crane many years ago. The program is now run by the County Sheriff’s department but our lodge prepares and serves the graduation picnic each year, serving burgers, hot dogs and soda to the graduating students and their families.




Deer Hides

The New York State Elks Association annually collects raw deer hides and the monies gathered from this great program are then distributed, on a monthly basis, to all the veterans hospitals in the state of New York.

Donated hides may be dropped off at any local participating Elks Lodge where they will be salted and prepared for the tannery. Rapid deterioration is a big factor so we suggest that no plastic bags be used unless air is allowed to circulate in the bag. The tannery will not accept any hide that has deteriorated so please let us all do our best to keep the hides in shape for the benefit of our hospitalized vets.

In return for your hide, a $35.00 tax deductible certificate will be issued to the individual making the hide donation. There will be a sign-in sheet at each Lodge location which requires your name, address, and license type and number.

For more information, contact Steve Race


Eagle Scouts

The Elks are known for promoting and encouraging character-building youth activities. As local Boy Scouts reach the rank of Eagle Scout, the Eagle Court of Honor is attended by the Exalted Ruler, or Leading Knight, from our lodge. The newly minted Eagle Scout receives a certificate, a check, and a flag from the Capitol Flag Program.

For more information, contact the Exalted Ruler



Easter Bunny

On Easter Sunday each year, the Kinderhook Elks accompany the Easter Bunny to the Kinderhook village square to greet and pose for photographs with local children. Ice cream and candy are given away and there are raffles for soft toys.

For more information, contact committee chair Larry Knott




Essay Contest

The Americanism Essay Contest is open to all students in grades 5 through 8 and is intended to promote patriotism among young people. Each year the topic of the essay changes, for example “What Veterans Day Means to Me,” “What I Can Do to Promote Americanism and Love of Country,” and “Why is it important to vote?”

Winners from our lodge are sent on to the district for further consideration. If they eventually become winners at the state-level, they can receive between $1000 and $12,500 per year, for all four years of college.

For more information, contact Americanism committee chair John Deane


FlagDayFlag Day

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks have been performing a Flag Day Ceremony since 1911, many years before the date on which the observance became a nation-wide practice by legal decree. This is one of the few ceremonies that are open to the general public.

During the ceremony, the history of our nation’s flags, from the Pine Flag to the current Stars and Stripes, is narrated as members of the local Boy Scout troupe present an example of each flag.

For more information, contact Americanism committee chair John Deane



DSC 0128Hoop Shoot

The Elks Hoop Shoot is a nationwide free-throw competition for girls and boys aged 8-13. The competition begins locally at each lodge in the month of December, drawing contestants from all the schools in our lodge district. 

First-place winners then advance to a district-level hoop shoot, followed by regional, state and National hoop shoot competitions. Winners at the national level get to visit the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Massachusetts, where their name is engraved on the Elks Hoop Shoot plaque for all to see.

For more information, contact committee chair Chris Akers


DSC 1199Marion Stegmann Fund

Just before Christmas each year, the Marion Stegmann Fund delivers food and gifts to hundreds of needy families across northern Columbia County. The fund is coordinated by volunteers from the Kinderhook Elks but also relies on the assistance of the Ghent VFW Post #5933, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Valatie, and the boy and girl scouts of Valatie.

The program was started in the 1950’s by Marion Stegmann, who began distributing food and clothing to her needy neighbors in the Niverville area. Over time, it grew to include other individuals, churches, businesses and civic organizations. On her passing, the Kinderhook Elks stepped in.

For more information, contact committee chair Annie Leiser


DSC 1720Special Needs

The Kinderhook Elks host a number of events during the year for special needs families in the area. The highlight is the special needs prom in May, which is open to all ages. In addition to making corsages for attendees, local Questar III students decorate the dining room from floor to ceiling.

At the beginning of the evening, a photographer shoots portraits of each guest. Dinner is prepared and served by the Elks and then party-goers enjoy dancing to disco music. Before they leave, each guest is handed their portrait photograph as a memento of the event.

For more information, contact Linda Baker


DSC 1756 2Veterans

The Elks mission states “So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.” We pledge to service to our nation's veterans and military members, with a special focus on service to those in need. To that end, the Kinderhook Elks regularly arrange outings for local veterans, sometimes a morning of fishing at a local pond, or a games morning in our lodge. Veterans are served a hearty lunch before they leave.

The Lodge collects donations and items on behalf of the Hudson Valley Blue Star Mothers. Three or four weekends each year, our members visit with veterans at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center and serve ice-cream and popcorn treats. At Christmas each year, all the veterans in Barnwell Nursing Home receive a gift of a blanket.

For more information, contact veterans committee chair Tom Miglio