Veterans Committee

So long as there are Veterans, the Elks will never forget them.  

The State Veterans Committee assists local lodges in running programs for Veterans and is also responsible for running the Veterans Volunteer of the Year award.

Committee Members

veterans committee

A monument in the truest sense, the Elks National Memorial was built in 1926 to honor Americans whose profound sacrifices for the nation can never be recognized by mere words. With its massive dome, heroic sculptures and intricately detailed friezes, the Memorial is a distinctively American interpretation of classical greatness.

You can read about the building’s history or take a virtual tour. When you’re ready to come and see the Memorial in person, you can plan your visit, too.

Meet the Committee

The Connecticut Elks Association Veterans Committee District Chairs are Stuart Topliff, PER, New Britain Lodge Northwest, Adam Palmero, PER, Westbrook Lodge, East and Ray Lilley, Wallingford Lodge, Central. With the passing of Denise Reynolds, PER, New Haven Lodge, we now have an opening for the Coastal District. Denise was a shining light on the committee. She will be missed.  

Stuart, Adam, and Ray have extensive military backgrounds and remain committed to Veteran’s service, and upholding the Constitution they took an oath to defend. Even after military service, we still uphold that oath.

Veterans Help Veterans

In the photo above, PER Jim Eccleston, Putnam Lodge and Bruce Hay, VP Danielson Veterans Coffee House pick up a load of food from the Midwest Foodbank in Manchester. CEA Veterans Chair Gerry Gallo, PER has been Volunteering as a driver/loader for the past year.

The Midwest Food Bank distributes to over 140 agencies across Connecticut. In the four days each month, the Midwest Foodbank distributes roughly 500,000 pounds of food and beverages.  They operate with two paid employees and nearly 500 volunteers.

Meeting with CT Veterans Affairs Commissioner Ron Welch

By CEAC Veterans Committee Chairman Gerry Gallo PER On Monday, August 8, I along with NW District Veterans District Chair Stuart Topliff,  Jamie and Peter DePaola, members of Manchester Lodge, sat down with the newly appointed Commissioner of the CT Department of...

On October 6, 2021, an employee of the PODS Moving and Storage Company found the cremains of a Veteran in an empty storage unit. A motorcycle escort transffered the cremains to the Biddeford-Saco Elks Lodge 1597, stopping at the Manchester Elks Lodge on the way.

Veterans Programs

Nationally sanctioned Veterans-oriented projects

Youth/Veteran Volunteer Program: This innovative new program allows us to fulfill our commitment to America’s youth while continuing to serve our nation’s veterans.

Adopt-a-Veteran Program: Like an army of hope, Elks everywhere are living up to their pledge to hospitalized veterans.

Featured Veteran: Two new profiles: Joseph Kowaleski and Tom Layow.

Veterans Leather Program: VA medical centers across the country rely on the Elks for tooling leather used in occupational and recreational therapy.

Veterans Remembrance: Remembering our veterans is a daily proposition for the Elks. Nevertheless, each November we redouble our efforts.

Re-Creation USA: This group of entertainers travels the nation, performing at VA medical centers, and they couldn’t do it without the Elks.

Playing Cards for Veterans: The Elks now offer playing cards for hospitalized veterans