Welcome to Connecticut the "Constitution State"

 State President Donna L. Wallace  
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 31 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.  We are extremely proud of the fact that Connecticut has won an award for the past (3) years for a gain in membership.
 
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. 
 
Willimantic Lodge Number 1311 is my home lodge was also built as an Elks Lodge and in 2014 we celebrated our 100-year Anniversary.  My lodge is located in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut in the Town of Windham which embraces the historic mill city of Willimantic. The city was well known for the production of thread.  Windham is also home to the Thread City Crossing suspension bridge aka The Frog Bridge which boosts 11-foot bronze frogs at the bridge's northern and southern ends and the large thread spools lining the bridge.
 
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!  This year, the Connecticut Elks hosted a booth at the 2017 National Convention in Reno, Nevada showcasing our major project.
 
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.
 
In 2016, a 501(c) 3, the Connecticut Elks Association Charities Inc. was established to assist in the fundraising needed to promote the Association's charitable works.
 
I became an Elk in 2000, and became an officer in 2001. I am very proud of my membership and by getting involved, I have made many great friends throughout Connecticut as well as throughout the United States. 
 
My motto this year is a quote from Helen Keller: "Alone we can do so little, together we do so much."   All of us know that one person cannot do everything on their own and be completely successful. This is especially true in regard to a volunteer organization such as ours with many moving parts. With the help of  the Connecticut Elks Association Officers, State and District Chairman, I am confident that promotion the charitable works of Elkdom will continue to grow and thrive, thus living up to the motto, Elks Care, Elks Share.
 
Fraternally,
Donna L. Wallace, PDD