SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. — The Elks Organization celebrated their 150th Anniversary on February 16th.  To honor the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Mayor Matthew Anesh extended best wishes and much gratitude to South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 in a recent proclamation from the Borough of South Plainfield.

The South Plainfield Elks have been an integral part of the South Plainfield community since March 1, 1964, when Elks Lodge #2298 was first instituted during a ceremony held at the South Plainfield High School Gym.

“It is a wonderful feeling to see the Elks family come together to make the lives of our neighbors more enriched,” said Elks Lodge #2298 Exalted Ruler Janice Campos.  “We have many committees in our lodge and all of them are dedicated to make our communities better places to live.”

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Nationwide, there are 850,000 members of the Elks and 2,000 Lodges located across the country.  Over 300 members belong to the South Plainfield Elks and their focus is to enrich and support the community.  The organization helps youth develop lifelong skills, sends students to college, meets the needs of today’s veterans, supports the charitable work of the state Elks associations and funds projects that improve the quality of like in local Elks communities. 

The Elks Organization is extremely supportive of veterans.  Their mission of loyalty to veterans states: “So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.”

Their Junior Elks program, called “Antlers,”  is designed to teach children and young adults invaluable lessons of service to others and their community. It encourages patriotism, respect for parents, instills the fundamentals of good citizenship and provides a solid foundation of character that prepares them for the challenges of adulthood.

The Elks are also dedicated to giving Special Needs Children opportunities to learn, grow and enjoy life.  Elks Camp Moore is a camp located in North Jersey that is specially designed to offer a safe, fun-filled vacation away from home for children with special needs.  The Elks wholeheartedly believe that children with special needs are no different then other children in that they flourish when provided with new experiences, new friends and activities that stimulate learning and help broaden their perspective on life. 

“From holiday food baskets and Christmas Giving Trees, to adaptive swings and the Southside Dog Park, to Breakfast and Pasta Dinner fundraisers, we want South Plainfield residents to know we are here for them,”  added Campos.  “Elks are community.  No matter where you go in the country, an Elks Lodge is right around the corner.”