Who Are the Elks?
Since 1868, millions and millions of Americans have joined the Elks. Find out why!
Elks Care, Elks Share. Are YOU an Elk?
Elks Lodges bring so much more to their communities than just a building, golf course or pool. They are places where neighbors come together, families share meals, and children grow up.
Elks invest in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, by undertaking projects that address unmet need, and by honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans.
- A fraternal order with nearly a million members and a 141-year history.
- A network of more than 2000 lodges in communities all over the country.
- A generous charitable foundation that each year gives millions in scholarships, an inspiration to youth, a friend to veterans and more.
To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to recognize a belief in God; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; to cultivate good fellowship; to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization, and to provide for its government, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America will serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks Care and Elks Share.
The Elks organization was founded in New York City on February 16, 1868 under the name “Jolly Corks” by 15 actors, entertainers and others associated with the theater. In ensuing years, membership expanded to other professions.
This Fraternal Order was founded “To promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American Patriotism and cultivate good fellowship.”
The Order is a non-political, non-sectarian and strictly American fraternity. Proposal for membership in the Order is only by invitation of a member in good standing. To be accepted as a member, one must be an American citizen, believe in God, be of good moral character and be at least 21 years old.
What We Do
The Order spends more than $80,000,000 every year for benevolent, educational and patriotic community-minded programs in such fields as benefitting physically handicapped children, sponsoring Elks National Foundation scholarships, scouting, athletic teams, veterans’ works, a national “Hoop Shoot” free-throw contest involving more than 3 million children, physical and occupational therapy programs and patriotic programs.
The youth of our country have always been important to the Order. It is for this reason the Elks Drug Awareness Education Program was launched to warn primary grade students and their parents of the dangers in drug use. Additionally, every lodge observes June 14th as Flag Day, a tradition which the Elks began in 1907 and was later adopted by the Congress as an official observance.
To be eligible for membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, you must be a citizen of the United States over the age of 21 who believes in God.
You must be sponsored by a member of the Elks Lodge and reside in the jurisdiction of the Lodge you wish to join. You also need two other Elks who will be your co-sponsors. The Elk who proposes you for membership must obtain a Membership Application from the Lodge Secretary.
After your proposer fills in the required portion, you will be given the Application for Membership. Fill it in, following the instructions and answering all questions. Return the completed application to the Lodge Secretary.
Your application will be read at a regular Lodge meeting. It will then be forwarded to the Investigating Committee, who will call you and set up a time for you and your sponsor to meet with the committee so that they can interview you.
After the interview is concluded, the committee will report to the Lodge concerning your membership. The members will be given a notice not less than 10 days nor more than two months before the vote will be taken.
When the vote is concluded, you will be notified and asked to present yourself and your spouse for indoctrination. During indoctrination, you will learn more about the Order’s programs and charities. You will also be told during the program the date you will be initiated.
After initiation as an Elk, you can take part in all meetings and social functions of the Lodge.
If for any reason your application is rejected, you can submit a new application for membership after six months from the date of rejection.
Local Lodge information
Sheridan WY Elks Lodge 520
Local members enjoy the comradery and friendship at the Lodge.
Projects and activities include such things as:
Hides for Vets
Bike Giveaway Program
Food Program donations
Sheridan Elks Cemetary
…plus many more
Come visit the Lodge and see what we are all about.