A group of youngsters from the West Virginia Children’s Home spent Saturday afternoon bowling, shooting pool and eating pizza, thanks to the Elks Club of Elkins.
Stanley Teets, a spokesperson for the Elks, said the club organizes various events to provide recreational opportunities for the children. This year, 25 children participated in activities at the Elkins Bowling Recreation Center.
“One of our major goals is to give back to the youth,” Teets said. “It was a great opportunity for them to get out and do something that they wouldn’t be able to do any other way.”
Throughout the year, the Elks host various fundraisers to pay for the club’s charitable work including a golf tournament, dinners and personal donations. In turn, the Elks contribute funding to youth football, the Elkins Elks Babe Ruth baseball league and the Elkins YMCA, among other projects.
“I liked seeing all their smiling faces,” Teets said.
“They all had a great time. I enjoyed their laughter. They were all very appreciative. They all came up to us and thanked us afterward. The bowling alley was also very accommodating, they gave us a discount and planned it out very well.”
Janice Brady, assistant director for the West Virginia Childrens Home, said the group is very “thankful and appreciative” for the Elks involvement with the kids.
“For many of the kids, it was the first time they had ever been bowling,” Brady said. “Socialization plays a big part in development, so they can learn how to give back to the community and learn how to conduct themselves in a positive manner.”
Brady said the interaction between the Elks members and the children was a positive experience. She said everyone participated in the activities including the kids, staff and Elks members.
“The kids were happy,” Brady said. “The things these kids have been through, to see them laugh and smile and be a kid for a few hours, it was really great. I really appreciate the Elks doing this for us.
“They have been very kind and supportive. I’m glad they see the need for these kids to participate in community activities.”
The Elks Club No. 1135 meets the second and fourth Monday of each month at 8:15 p.m. at the Elks Lodge on Country Club Road in Elkins. For more information about the organization call 304-637-4106.