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The Leechburg Moose shifts its focus

Written By: Lee Smith
Story Date: September 07th, 2004

In November of 2003 Leechburg 102, Loyal Order of Moose committed to become more active in the ideals of their fraternity by becoming more involved in the community, offering more activities to our members and their families, and supporting the endeavors of the Moose Organization such as Mooseheart (school and housing for children in need located in Illinois) and Moosehaven (center for seniors in need located in Florida). Over the past 10 months they have remained dedicated to their commitment and continue working to become an asset to the Leechburg community.

Community Support:

The lodge has begun to conduct annual events for the children of the community. The first annual event established was the Children’s Christmas Party where the children had a chance to meet Santa Clause, receive treats along with presents, have their picture taken with Santa, as well as play games and enjoy snacks provided by the lodge. The second annual event we began to offer was the Community Easter Egg Hunt. This event is like no other Easter Egg Hunt as they did not give out just a couple of special prizes in addition to the treat filled eggs. The lodge provided every one of the 120 children who attended with lunch consisting of hot dogs and juice drinks, a chance to meet the Easter Bunny, a picture with the Easter Bunny, a prize based on their age, a treat bag including a coloring book and crayons, and a chance to collect 10 treat filled eggs. Their goal when conducting these community events is that no child is left out and everyone has a good time. In addition to their annual community events for the children they offer a craft session once a month where the children have the opportunity to make a craft to take home with them, participate in games and activities such as Moose Bingo and Spin Art, and enjoy snacks and drinks provided by the lodge. Their craft sessions along with the other children’s activities are provided at no cost to the children or the parents and are funded through the generosity of their members and businesses of the community. The lodge has become more active in the community by distributing flags along with children’s activity sheets to everyone who attended Leechburg’s Memorial Day Parade and supporting the community’s Volunteer Fire Company with coffee, pop, and water when called out for any incidents of duration (i.e. fire, vehicle accident, etc.). Their community support does not just include Leechburg either. They have also collected and shipped over 30 boxes of goods to a women’s medical and support unit serving in Iraq and Kuwait. Items shipped include writing materials, candy, playing cards, personal hygienic items, etc. in order for them to continue enjoying some of the comforts of home.

Membership Activities:

The lodge has begun to offer activities for the entire family to enjoy. Some of the activities such as their Lodge Picnic in early spring and Lodge Cookout in late summer are annual events while the majority of our events are conducted on a monthly basis. Each month the lodge offers an Open Jukebox Night and a Dance/Karaoke Night so that their members along with their spouses and qualified guests can enjoy a night out at a very reasonable cost. They also offer Women’s Socials so that the women affiliated to members have a chance to enjoy a night out. Along with the Women’s Socials they offer movies and activities for the children so that they do not have to worry about a sitter just to enjoy a night out. The lodge also sponsors both Pool and Dart League teams for those interested and offers tournaments throughout the year. Beginning in October they will be offering Club Bingo every Sunday at 7:00PM to members and their qualified guests. As they progress, they will continue to add activities for both young and old, male and female, as well as the entire family together. In November they expect to have their Little Moose Corner, a new children’s activity room, completed so that they can offer activities to the children on a daily basis and move closer to becoming a Family Center.

Moose Organization’s Endeavors:

The lodge continues to conduct a variety of fundraisers to raise money for Mooseheart and Moosehaven, the two main endeavors of our fraternity. Mooseheart, also known as the Child City, is a home and school owned and maintained by Moose International for children in need. Mooseheart is a complete community in itself situated on 1,000 acres of Illinois having its own homes, schools, churches, heath center, stores, post office, and utilities. Families whose young people come to Mooseheart are generally charged nothing, but the entrance fee is nonetheless extremely high with some youngsters losing one or both parents to make them eligible for admittance. Moosehaven, also known as the City of Contentment is a 63 acre community situated in Florida for retired members of the fraternity and their spouses. The community contains housing, a heath center, post office, stores, and scenic gardens for residents to enjoy as well as tend to. The cost of these endeavors is great but the benefits of helping others are greater. Their lodge, along with others in the fraternity, raises money through fundraiser such as the 9 O’clock ceremony, Candle Sale, general donations, etc. to support Mooseheart and Moosehaven. During the 2003-2004 Term (May 1, 2003 to April 30, 2004) their lodge was one of 3 recipients of Pennsylvania’s 2003-2004 Endowment Fund Award. This award is given to a lodge based on the amount of money remitted to Moose Charities Endowment Fund, which then divides the money received between Mooseheart and Moosehaven, and acknowledges the lodge’s commitment to the fraternity’s endeavors. They are proud to be the recipient of this award and look forward to receiving it next year but more importantly they are proud that they are able to support the efforts of Mooseheart and Moosehaven.

As the Leechburg Moose proceed in to the future they no longer wish to be considered just a lodge located in Leechburg, they wish to be considered a center for the community willing to help when needed, a center who offers activities for its members and their families, a center that supports the endeavors of its fraternity, they wish to be considered a Family Center. They remain dedicated to their commitments so that Leechburg 102, Loyal Order of Moose can be a supporting block for the Leechburg community of tomorrow.

Leechburg 102, Loyal Order of Moose will be celebrating their 95th Birthday with a week long celebration starting September 11th and ending September 18th. Events are scheduled throughout the week and are open to members and their qualified guests.

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