Andy Caporossi, PDD - State Membership Chairman

As a result of the great efforts of members and Lodges, we are proud to report our state has achieved member growth for the third consecutive year!

Connecticut Elks have ended the 2016-17 Lodge year with a net 210 member gain! For the record, 1,467 new members were Initiated and 167 re-instated to give us a year end total of 20, 809 members.

Now the work begins again! In putting membership at the forefront of our endeavors, we can make our goal of continued growth a reality. Recruitment, Re-instatement and Retention is a proven formula for  success.

Continue efforts in recruiting individuals of good character in your community to join us in conducting our patriotic and charitable programs. Check out "50 Recruitment Ideas" by accessing the membership toolkit on

Approach members who have lapsed- invite them back and re-aquaint  them with the programs and social activities your Lodge has to offer.

Make sure existing members are kept aware of what's going on in your Lodge and the presence you have in your community through your newsletter, web site and social media. Pride in membership keeps members on the rolls!

Let's keep the momentum going and work to give President Donna a 4th straight year of growing Elkdom in Connecticut!

Thanks in advance for your efforts!



2017-18 CIP Grant Applications will be available on July 1, 2017. As your Lodge prepares for the new grant year, here are a few tips for planning a successful project.

 Pinpoint a community problem and identify a solution the Lodge can provide. Next, create a budget and strategy for the Lodge’s project. Then identify Lodge members who can help put this project in action. After project completion, find ways to publicize the charitable impact of your Lodge’s project on Social Media publicize in local media, like the community newspaper. Need some project ideas? Check out the ElksInAction Instagram page for inspiration For help planning a successful project reference the CIP toolkit here:

This year, the ENF is offering a one-time grant opportunity through the Anniversary Grant. The Elks National Foundation wants to help every Lodge celebrate by doing even more do more for their communities.

Learn More Here: Visit to find more information about CIP and the Anniversary Grant.

The Elks National Foundation allocated $12.53 million this year to fund the Community Investments Program. Lodges meet local needs through Beacon, Gratitude, Promise and Impact Grants. These grants offer Lodges opportunities to serve the community in ways that will raise the Lodge’s profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things. To learn more about the Community Investments Program, please visit  


The Connecticut State Elks Association has created a new Contest in the honor of Peter T. Affatato PGER who was our State Sponsor for 28 years.  The All-Connecticut Lodge Contest will be awarded yearly in Peter’s Honor.

Exalted Ruler's it is easy to enter using the Contest form below. Circle the points earned as listed in the point value column.

Where no points are shown in the point value column on the form, please list the points that the lodge earned in that area.

Be sure to list all the different activities for which these points are being requested on a separate sheet by category.

If not properly documented, points will not be allowed. Please be careful that activities having a point value stated on the form are not included again for additional points on the backup material.

Sign and mail form to your District Vice President my April 15, 2018

This will be a most prestigious State Association Award. You must, however, enter in order to have a chance to win.

All-Connecticut Lodge Contest Entry Form


By Phil Stender, PDD - CEA State Secretary

On June 2nd -June 4th the Connecticut Elks Association held their 88th Annual Convention at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel in Rocky Hill, CT. In addition to over 250 Elks and their guests, in attendance were: State Sponsor PGER David R. Carr and his wife Penny, Grand Lodge Trustee Robert Hansen, PSDGER, PGLCC, PGIG and his wife Patricia, Grand Lodge Auditing and Accounting Committeeman William Chinn, PSP, accompanied by Suzanne Novaco, and Special Deputy GER Richard Palanzo PDD, PSP, PGLCC and his wife Karyn.  Also in attendance were District Deputies Joseph Mingoia, Kathleen Ackerman, John Simko and James Coley to round out our Grand Lodge Family.

On Friday evening the Convention began with opening ceremonies with the colors being posted by the Boy Scouts from Troops 11, 41, and 121. Memorial Service to our “Absent Members” followed with a general eulogy given by Past State President Jan Wankowicz, Sr., PSP Steve Ferraro gave a eulogy for PSP Gaetano ‘Buddy’ Patrizzi and Grand Trustee, the Hon. Robert Hansen gave a eulogy for Past Grand Exalted Ruler Peter T. Affatato who was our State Sponsor for 28 years.

After the Memorial Service, awards for the various State and Grand Lodge Programs were presented, including the presentation of $100,000.00 check to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and a $30,000.00 check to the Connecticut Special Olympics Association.

Awards were given out to District Chairmen individuals who were deemed to be the best by the Vice Presidents, they were: East District- Major Projects-Lysa Molnar from Putnam Lodge #574, Coastal District-Hoop Shoot – Dave Nagy from Derby Lodge #571, Central District-Bowling- Jamie Parr from Wethersfield/Rocky Hill Lodge #2308, and Northwest District-Public Relations- Don Wozcyna from New Britain Lodge #957. The State Chairperson of the Year Award went to Hoop Shoot Chairman Michael Stewart from Putnam Lodge #574. The awards ceremony culminated in the presentation of the State Elk of the Year Award to winner Joann Donnel from Groton Lodge #2163.

On Saturday morning, the Convention was reconvened by President Jonathan Arthur with the main business meeting. Reports were given by the Officers of the Association followed by the various committee chairmen.

Bipasha Phadnis received the Robert T. Curran Girl Scout Gold Scholarship Award and she addressed those assembled.

The keynote address at the Convention was given by Grand Trustee, the Hon. Robert Hansen.

On Saturday evening a gala dinner was held for the Installation of Officers by the past State Presidents. The following individuals were installed as officers for 2017-2018: President Donna Wallace, PDD from Willimantic Lodge No. 1311, VP Coastal David Acanfora, PDD from Bridgeport Lodge No. 36, VP Central Michael Bonini, PDD from Wallingford Lodge No. 1365, VP Northwest James Sabio, PDD from Naugatuck Lodge No. 967, VP East Michael Stewart, PDD from Putnam Lodge No. 574, Secretary Phillip Stender, PDD from Manchester Lodge No. 1893, Treasurer James Money, PDD from Bridgeport Lodge No. 36, Trustee Northwest James Coley, DDGER from Bristol Lodge No. 1010, Chaplain Darren Lawlor, PER from Branford Lodge 1939, Tiler Andrea Ruimerman, PER from Meriden Lodge No. 35, Sergeant at Arms Peter Nelson, PDD from Manchester Lodge 1893, Inner Guard Kathleen Ackerman, DDGER from Middletown Lodge No. 771Organist Joseph Trovarelli, PDD from Bridgeport Lodge No. 36

After the Installation, the Hon. Robert Hansen addressed the outgoing and incoming Presidents.

The next meeting of the Association will be the mid-year conference in January 2018.

The next Annual Convention will be held in Sturbridge, MA June 1st -June 3rd, 2018.



Frank "Cheech" DeFazio,PDD - CEA Veterans Leather Program

On April 18, 2017 the trucking company, appointed by the Grand Lodge, picked up the deer hides we collected for the CEA Veterans Leather Program. They were shipped to the Coey Tanning Co. in Wartrace, TN. The hides will be turned into leather for our Veterans to use for their projects.

Last year was the first year that we started this program for our Veterans. We collected 25 hides from Stamford Lodge.  This year we doubled the count with 59 hides as other Lodges in the state started participating, collecting and salting them.  Special thanks to Middletown Lodge for being the central hub for collecting the hides to be picked up and shipped to the tannery.

Hunters and outdoor members remember this fall that we are collecting HIDES FOR VETS!  We would like to double the number of hides again and we can do it with your help. This is our goal for our Veterans.