Dickinson Elks Lodge presents $3,500 grant to BackPack Program

The Dickinson Elks Lodge has been busy helping the local communities this holiday season. Don Bares talks about programs and fundraisers aimed at providing support to local entities this holiday season, including presentation of a check to veteran services.

From left, Dickinson Elks Lodge members Linda Candrian, Justin Sayler, Leading Knight Don Bares, Kristin Seaks and Jen Perdaems of the Dickinson BackPack Program pose for a picture Tuesday afternoon during a presentation of a $3,500 Beacon Grant to help the Dickinson BackPack Progam. (Jackie Jahfetson/The Dickinson Press)

The Dickinson Elks Lodge has been busy helping the local communities in southwest North Dakota this holiday season and on Tuesday afternoon presented a $3,500 check to the Dickinson BackPack Program.

“It’s certainly rewarding to be a part of an organization like the Elks that has the membership and the people that contribute to these types of fraternal organizations so that money goes into the national foundation and it turns around and comes right back to us. So it’s always good to do things like that,” Elks Lodge Leading Knight Don Bares said.

For last year’s Dickinson BackPack Program, 250 kids signed up and this year’s total comes to 350 children. Typically, the Dickinson Elks Lodge gets involved with the packing of the backpacks but with COVID-19, the organization was limited to in-person contact volunteering.

Throughout the year, the Dickinson Elks Lodge has been able to donate three large donations from the Dickinson BackPack Program, the Stark County Veteran Services and Best Friends Mentoring Program. Last week, the Dickinson Elks Lodge ave a $2,000 Spotlight Grant to Stark County Veteran Services and in the summer, the group presented a $2,000 Gratitude Grant to Best Friends Mentoring PRogram where those funds were used for the Badlands Sticks baseball game as well as the past July’s Family Fun Run event.

“It feels good to get involved in the community and give back and do what we can to support our community,” Bares added.


This weekend, the Dickinson Elks Lodge will be getting together for a memorial service for deceased members of the organization. The group usually hosts the Elks Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest which takes place in December but that has gotten pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. But Bares hopes that will be held for January or February 2021.

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
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