BRAWLEY — It was a change of the guard at the Brawley Elks Lodge Wednesday, March 31, during the installation of the new officers for the 2021-2022 year, the first physical gathering for the lodge in a year.
The Elks Lodge is a fraternal organization that focuses on brotherhood, patriotism, youth programs, and supporting the community they are a part of. Brawley Elks Lodge 1420 is known for helping the community with charities such as their Christmas bike fundraiser, the annual barbeques during Cattle Call, and scholarships for the high school. The lodge will be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
This year’s exalted ruler is Lisa Winkler, who said she is proud to be part of an organization that is so tight with each other and active in the Brawley community.
“I’m totally excited,” said Winkler. “I’ve only been an Elk for three years and I totally felt like I could just jump in. Being with friends who volunteer doesn’t feel like work, we are just out there having a good time and helping the community.”
Officers nominated by Winkler were given their positions with all the pomp that befits their new stations in the organization. Jeweled collars were hung on each officer's neck at the four stations around the chamber.
Past exalted ruler David Briggs gave out awards for his staff from the past year, including the 2020 Officer of the Year, Lisa Winkler, and Distinguished Citizen Award, which was presented to Elizabeth Escalante.
Briggs named everyone who was part of his staff as Elk of the Year for all the work they did to keep the lodge open during the chaotic year of 2020, saying without them, things could have closed forever.
“This year was like no other, and without you all we could have easily just close our doors,” said Briggs to his staff and officers. “Each and every one of you stepped up and pulled your weight to make the impossible happen.
With new leadership the lodge has a lot of plans to make up for lost time, according to Winkler, including hosting an Easter egg hunt Saturday, April 3.