Welcome to Connecticut the "Constitution State"
|State President Jonathan W. Arthur|
On behalf of the over 20,000 Elks of Connecticut, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our state association website. Here you will find information regarding our state association, our 33 local Lodges and how we are promoting our local, Connecticut Elks Association and Grand Lodge programs. I encourage you to visit here often.
Although Connecticut is small geographically, we are very big in our involvement within the communities we serve through local charities, statewide through programs run by the CEA and in our involvement with all Grand Lodge programs. It gives us such pride to hear Connecticut mentioned at a Grand Lodge convention. Connecticut has won many state association awards and Grand Lodge awards over the years and we are striving every day to continue down that path.
I am a proud member of Waterbury Lodge No. 265, located at the crossroads of two major highways that dissect the state, Rte. 8 and I-84. Waterbury Lodge is a member of Connecticut’s Northwest district, or as we like to call ourselves, “The Great Northwest.” It is also noteworthy that Connecticut is home to eighteen Lodges that are over 100 years old including our “Mother Lodge,” Hartford No. 19, the first building constructed in Connecticut solely for use as an Elks Lodge in 1903.
Connecticut has played a pivotal role in Elkdom over the years. In 1927 at Meriden Lodge No. 35, the endorsed candidate for GER John F. Malley first proposed the creation of the Elks National Foundation, our philanthropic fund. This charitable trust will give away over $25 million dollars in scholarships this year, and helps our support the many community programs of our local Lodges.
The Elks of Connecticut developed and implemented our national soccer shoot program, the brainchild of Grand Trustee Robert W. Hansen and Past Grand Loyal Knight Francis A. Joyce, both members of New Britain No. 957. This program teaches youths of all skill levels the values of good sportsmanship, allowing them to compete, connect and succeed.
The Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and their “Safe Kids Program” is our state major project. For over 60 years we have enjoyed our relationship with the CCMC, assisting them with keeping children safer through education and the use of bicycle helmets, child car seats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Our annual donation of $100,000 funds these efforts to reduce the number of children hospitalized each year. Over the term the Elks of Connecticut have made nearly five million dollars in of donations to CCMC!
Our association is also proud of our affiliation with Connecticut Special Olympics and the Holiday Classic during the month of November. During the volleyball, powerlifting, bowling and basketball competitions, we serve as the title sponsor and over 100 Elks volunteer their time to help these special athletes. Every year, we continue to grow with the Special Olympics program and have begun participating in the Annual Skills Competition in the town of Hamden over the past few years.
Although I became an Elk in 1999, it became my passion very quickly. I am very proud of my membership and I have made many great friends and worked with a multitude of talented members with varying backgrounds and a myriad of different skill sets. I truly believe that getting involved as a member is key to getting to know what it means to be an Elk.
That being said, my motto is a reflection of that testimony and it simply states: “Take Ownership of Your Membership.” I believe that anyone that takes ownership of anything will make the most of what they own. And, by doing so, will get involved and make a difference. Our First Lady of Connecticut Elkdom, my wife Cindy, is also a proud member of our Order. Without her constant support, none of this would be possible. I am forever in her debt for affording me the luxury of all that I have done in assisting our Association continue to grow.
I encourage everyone that stops by our wonderful website and reads this to “Take Ownership of Your Membership!” And always keep in mind that one person can make a difference. Endeavor to be that person.
Jonathan W. Arthur, PDD