Hawthorne to host over 200 members beginning Thursday

The Nevada State Elks Convention will be held in Hawthorne beginning Thursday at Lodge 1704, home of the Hawthorne Elks.

The 91st convention was last held in Hawthorne in 2003 and is open to any Elk in good standing within the state.

Nevada Elks number around 4,500 and our town will host over 200 Elks and their spouses as three days of camaraderie and activities begin.

Topics of discussion will include, Project Safe Haven, an Elks sponsored emergency shelter care facility for abused and neglected children in the state, which gives children 48 hours of safe shelter and care before being transferred into foster or temporary housing situations. Nevada Elks have a budget of nearly $100,000 to help this program, with none of their money being used for salaries or administrative costs.

Besides Nevada members, dignitaries from Area 7, will also be at the lodge, from the states of California, Hawaii, Arizona and Utah. Nevada currently has 16 lodges within the state, the newest being Great Basin Lodge out of Elko and the oldest is Reno, which is the mother lodge for the whole state.

Outgoing State President Lee Butts will hold his final dinner on Friday night where incoming State President Ken Catlin, of the Fallon Lodge, will hold his installation on Saturday night.

Elks not only attend meetings throughout the day, but also have competitions, such as the Ritual Competition, where the winning lodge goes onto Grand Lodge completion, nationally. The Reno Elks have notoriously won this coveted position year and year.

Hawthorne Lodge 1704’s newly inisiated Exalted Ruler Steve McBride has been nominated for a position on the state board of trustees along side Don Coleman and Terry Wendt.

Hawthorne’s own Barb Owens has too been nominated for State Citizen of the Year in her efforts to organize a Boys and Girls Club in Mineral County.

“This is a huge undertaking for such a small lodge to host the state convention,” McBride said. “We have great pride in hosting this event and I could not have done it without Gene Presnell, State Convention Chairman, SOC, the community and the lodge.”

Though the events are private, and will be held at various locations in Hawthorne, the tourism brings a much needed economic boost to the area.