This week's "My Turn" column is by Oneonta Elks Lodge 1312 Acting Exalted Ruler Christine Gyure.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Oneonta Lodge 1312 has a belief in charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity. As Elks, we believe laughter is better than tears, and a kind word more powerful than a frown.
We love our country, respect our neighbors, remember our veterans and focus on the well-being of all we come in contact with.
The Oneonta Elks Club is located in the heart of the city at 84 Chestnut St. There are many popular activities that take place at the lodge, including Monday night bingo that runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m., to our weekly Wednesday night dinners that start at 6 p.m. with a delicious meal prepared by our experienced chef.
We have a great turnout at these dinners, and people call the lodge ahead to reserve, so there is plenty of food. We also host trivia nights, an annual Super Bowl party, a sportsman dinner and our clam bake.
The Elks Lodge also hosts community meetings, classes, family gatherings, weddings, birthdays, Rotary, Friday night dinners and dances.
There are so many Elks from this lodge who so generously volunteer their time to help support all these activities to make it a grand lodge. The Oneonta Elks Lodge is very appreciative of the Ladies of the Elks who create a warm environment, always willing to help with their many special talents and ideas and are of such great value and support to this lodge.
Public service is an integral part of being an Elk, and we participate in a number of activities that help better the community we love.
The Elks are known for the yearly Elks Hoop Shoot free-throw program, which is open to all boys and girls ages 8 through 13.