New members seated L to R: Mary Lenhard, Janis Lynch, Keren Franke, Gloria Platts, Veronica Ragland, Exalted Ruler (Lodge President) Jamie Camunas, Dorothy Mowry, Elizabeth Geissler, Barbara Lambert, Victoria Jurado and Vickie Winters. Standing L to R: Michael Daoussis, Stewart Smith, David Borelli, Robert Nimtz, Nicholas Locke, Christopher Hall, Kevin Biniasz, Ross Calvert, Roger Gunderson, Demmis Hanna, Jonathan Clark, John Ebeling, Brandon O’Neal, Sean McKechie, Will Keller, John McFadden, Robert Winters, and Rick Jurado.

By Andy Costello
Mission Viejo, Saddleback Valley Elks initiated twenty-eight new members in May, making it the largest single class of initiates of the year. New Elks from the city of Mission Viejo are: Kevin Biniasz, David Borelli, Ross Calvert, Elizabeth Geissler, Dennis Hanna, Rick & Victoria Jurado, Will Keller, Barbara Lambert, Mary Lenhard, John McFadden, Dorothy Mowry, Robert Nimtz, and Brandon O’Neal. Rancho Santa Margarita residents are: Michael Daoussis, Christopher Hall, and Janis Lynch. New Elks from other cities are: Jonathan Clark, and Roger Gunderson of Laguna Niguel, John Ebeling and Sean McKechie of Foothill Ranch, Karen Franke of Trabuco Canyon, Gloria Platts of Lake Forest, Nicholas Locke of Ladera Ranch, Veronica Ragland of Laguna Woods, Stewart Smith of Irvine, and Vickie & Robert Winters of Laguna Beach.
Elks Lodge officers recently returned from the California, Hawaii Association convention held in Fresno CA. The highlight of the meetings was the introduction of the Association’s 2019 Theme Child Liam. Three year old Liam was diagnosed with a rare neurodevelopmental disorder due to a genetic mutation on the RHOBTB2 gene, a mutation which had just recently been discovered and published in The American journal of Human Genetics in January 2018. He is one of the 347 children in California and Hawaii who are receiving personalized treatments by the thirty-four therapists employed by the Elks Association’s Major Project. The program provides the in-home service for children at no cost to the family. It is totally funded by Elks members and is affectionately known as the “Purple Pig” Fund. Elks Lodge events such as chili cook-offs, raffles, fund raising dinners & dances, along with contributions from Elks Bingo programs throughout the year are some of the many ways that funds are raised. Yearly donations by the Elks 168 Lodge Exalted Rulers of California and Hawaii are announced to the trustees of the Major Project on the final meeting day of the convention. This year, a roar of approval was heard as the total donations reached a record breaking $3,935,085.35. The Mission Viejo, Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge was proud to lead the Association’s Lodges with a donation of $50,000 to that worthy charity.