Saturday, December 6, 2014

• Christmas Tree Lane Wildomar Elks Style

I already told you about "The Original Christmas Tree Lane" that is being held at the Lake Elsinore outlet center. Tomorrow, Sunday December 7, the big drawing at 4:00pm... where you don't have to be present to win.

*<|:^) }      ←  gotta love Santa Claus emoticons →      *<|:-{)}

Today was another Christmas Tree Lane... this time at the Wildomar Elks Lodge. They had 9 trees valued at $1000 or more, with many being well over that amount. The idea is that you buy tickets, and then put them in the receptacle in front of the tree you most desire. For this fundraiser, the winners had to be present. So it added to the experience knowing you were going to see the winner's face.

There was "The Man Tree" that had tools and such. There was one tree with outdoor patio furniture. Another with barbecue things. More than one tree had more toys than an entire nursery school could use. Then there was the favorite, and last to be drawn, the money tree with $1000 cash tied to it.

As the numbers were being called.

There were so many people that overflow parking had to be used with people carted in (brought over in a golf cart). I ended up parking the Rap-Mobile, a 1970 powder blue VW Bug, on the dirt and braved the muddy no man's land to get to the event. Once inside I was greeted with a full house. Wall to wall people enjoying the afternoon and the anticipation of the coming drawing.

It was nice to see many familiar faces inside, and there was a nice menu of things for those that wanted some lunch there too. I went around the room, taking pictures of the various trees, and I learned one thing above all others. I need a better camera for indoor shots.

This is a charity event and I wanted to learn some details so I went up to the past Exalted Ruler of the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Elks Lodge, Larry Hannon, the man that conducted the drawing today, and asked him if he wouldn't mind telling me some of the specifics of the fund raiser/event.

—What the fund raiser is about—

We're very proud of our Elks Scholarship program which starts at the local level. We've just done Christmas Tree Lane for the tenth consecutive year, in our lodge, and past years we've donated money to graduating high school seniors. We have money available for apprentice programs for people that aren't going for a four year degree.

In addition to the money they win here, six of our young applicants, three male and three female, will be submitted to the district where they will be judged. There are twelve lodges in this district, the district competition will then forward a certain number to the state competition. At the state competition, they can win more scholarship money.

The next step is in Chicago, where the applications are forwarded to, and Elks National Foundation Scholarship  individuals Review and then have a judging for those winners. The top young man and young woman, of that competition, will each win $15,000 per year for four years —a total of $60,000 for their education.

In a addition to that, there is money awarded for second, third, fourth and fifth place. There is more than a million dollars given away by Elks Lodges in the United States every year, to help our youth achieve the best capabilities that they can, for the rest of their adult life.

It's our honor and privilege, to be able to do that type of program for our community.

— Larry Hannon,  past Exalted Ruler of the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Elks Lodge

Also in attendance was one of the best Mr. & Mrs. Claus I've seen in a long time. I have a feeling that if I had a better camera, Mrs. Claus wouldn't look like she'd been making frequent trips to the punch bowl.
If I ever end up living in the arctic circle, I hope to be as happy as this couple.
Part of today's festivities were the Boy Scout Troup 332. They were there to help the winners get their prizes into their autos. One of the winners were so pleased with their help that they peeled off a $20 tip to the troop. The scouts also helped stack chairs and clean up the hall after it was over.

The preliminary figures for todays fundraising event is $11,700 raised for the scholarships. Way to go Wildomar!

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If you missed today's Christmas Tree Lane, there is still another chance to get out and participate. Tomorrow head down to the one at the outlet mall. Here's the link to the info for that fundraising event. Click this link.

Also, you can always mark your calendar for next year's Elks Lodge event. They'll be doing it again next year too.

Oh, please tell me that you've marked your calendar for next Saturday morning. It's Wildomar's annual Breakfast with Santa at the fire station. Take a look at last years blog to get a peek at what to expect. Here's the link.

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“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!” 
Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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