SUMMIT, NJ - Amongst the many shops and restaurants in downtown Summit, is the Elks Lodge, which has close to 900 members and continues to grow.  The organization prides itself on helping youths, veterans, mentally challenged people and raising drug awareness.

“We are not a charity. We are not a 501(c)3, but we are charitable,” said Elks secretary John DeSocio.

DeSocio spoke to The Alternative Press about the recent renovations to the building. They installed an elevator to assist the handicapped, renovated the lodge room a few weeks ago and remodeled the staircase leading up to the second floor. The lodge room, which is used for parties and can hold up to 175 people had the floor renovated and new lighting installed.

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The club room, which has a bar, tables, three big screen televisions and a pool table features two new renovated men’s bathrooms, one of which is handicap accessible. They also added a new beer cooler at the bar.  Ultimately, the goal was to make everything user friendly and now with the additions of the elevator and handicap bathroom, things are a lot easier, DeSocio said.  

“Our local lodge is a vibrant organization serving Summit and the surrounding community,” he said. “We support several charitable endevours especially those of children with special needs, veterans and our local youth.”

DeSocio said fellow members like the renovations and they hope more people join in the future.