SANDRA M STANWAY
The Bassano Elks are starting to hold fundraisers to replace the 1912 gravelled and tar flat roof on their building as well as an interior cement wall.
“The roof leaks. Right now it’s leaked inside and I have to replace 26 ceiling panels,” said Bassano Elks member Sonny Helmle.
“For about $70,000 to $100,000 we can fix it up to where it’s going to last as long as the Elks Club is going to last.
“All these smaller clubs, no matter what you look at, they’re all dying. The younger generation doesn’t want to tie themselves down to anything. They’ll come and work for you and give you a hand but they won’t join,” he said.
There are 28 Bassano Elks Club members with an average age of 72.
The facility itself is important to keep open, he said, because it is used for older townsfolk to go to and visit with others.
“That’s more or less what we’re for. We’re a non-profit organization. We’re not here to make money, we just want to pay the bills.”
The club stays open by raising funds at casinos, events and some hall rentals while the Elks donate the hall for other programs such as 4-H.
To help the club with fundraising the Bassano Historical Society has stepped in to help.
They started a rafflebox.ca page to sell 50/50 tickets for a draw on Sept. 1, 2022.
On June 27 there will be a family movie night at the Elks Hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
“They truly are and have been pillars of our community for almost 60 years,” noted Bassano Historical Society member Wanda Wallace.
“They need our help and our support as memberships decline and repair, maintenance and utility costs rise.
“It not only threatens their ability to remain in their building but to continue to provide the necessary services we have become so accustomed to in our community,” said Wallace.