The Elks Aid Animals event Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. will serve bratwurst, hamburgers and hot dogs for a suggested $10 donation. Kids eat free and get an ice cream cone treat, according to organizer Rick Keller, who ranks as a Loyal Knight with the Marietta Elks Lodge.
A large red bounce tent with an inflated Dalmatian on top will entertain the kids, while a horseshoe toss will be available for adults. Keller said there also will be a DJ playing music and Elroy the Elk will make an appearance.
The fundraiser will raffle tickets for a $1 each, with the winner taking home half the money and the rest will be donated to the Cobb County Animal Control Organization to install new dog runs at the shelter.
Fran Jackson, a volunteer event organizer for the Cobb animal shelter, said the money raised Saturday will go toward efforts to build eight new dog runs connected to the back of the building.
By installing more runs, dogs at the shelter will have a greater chance to get exercise in the 10-foot-wide by 20-foot-long enclosures, Jackson said.
Keller used $2,000 from the Elks National Foundation Community Improvement Program Grant to play host to the event, and hopes to raise $1,000 for the shelter from the lunch donations. The success of the raffle will depend on Saturday’s turnout, he said.
Jackson said this is the first time in three years of working with the shelter that an event has been organized by an outside group.
“We are very appreciative that the Elks Lodge is doing this for the animals of Cobb County,” Jackson said.
Keller said he joined an Elks club in 1971 after watching his grandfather’s, father’s and uncles’ involvement with the organization in Florida.
The Marietta Elks Lodge 1657 operates out of the McAdoo House at 1706 Powder Springs Road, which is the birthplace of William McAdoo, who was President Woodrow Wilson’s treasury secretary.
The Civil War-era farmhouse offers a unique setting for the chapter’s 68 members, Keller said.
Although membership comes with $120 in yearly dues, Keller wants people to know “it is not a secret organization.”
The national Elks club started to accept female members in 1995, and women account for half of Marietta’s enrollment, Keller said.
Nationwide, the Elks organization invests $8.5 million in communities through Lodge grants “that help Elks meet local needs,” according to the organization’s website www.elks.org.
Keller said Lodge 1657 will continue working with disabled youth, with a focus this year on autistic children, as well as honoring veterans by hosting a dinner this fall to thank service men and women.