Elks Lodge honors vets with fishing rods

JACKSON, Wyo. – Jackson Elks Lodge No. 1713 had the unique opportunity to partner with the local nonprofit Honoring Our Veterans to provide a real Wyoming welcome to four well-deserving combat wounded veterans. Veterans Jessica Lee Ball, Joy Lamb, Melanie Keene Gibson, and Cindy Foster were outfitted with full fly-rod set-ups that were presented at the Lodge along with dinner, courtesy of Jackson Elks Lodge No. 1713’s Veteran’s Committee.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was founded in 1868 to promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love, and Fidelity.

“Honoring Our Veterans told us about these four wounded veterans that they were bringing out to Jackson Hole for a fishing trip on the Snake,” said Jackson Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler Pete Kendzior. “As soon as I heard that, I asked if the Jackson Elks could buy them some fly rods and have a dinner for them at the Lodge to show our appreciation for their sacrifices.”

Fly rods provided by Jackson Elks Lodge No. 1713 presented to visiting veterans. Pictured from left to right: veteran Joy Lamb veteran Melanie Keene Gibson, Jackson Elks Veterans Committee Chair Donnie Rodgers, veteran Jessica Lee Ball, Jackson Elks Exalted Ruler Pete Kendzior, and veteran Cindy Foster. Photo: Cathy Aronson

The fly rods were presented to the four veterans at a dinner held in their honor at the Jackson Elks Lodge on August 17. Then on August 20, along with members of Jackson Elks Lodge, Honoring Our Veterans took these well-deserving veterans on a guided fishing trip on the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park to use their new fly rods. These veterans had another chance to try out their new fly rods on a second float trip sponsored by Honoring Our Veterans on August 23 as well.

“Everyone had a great time, and huge smiles on their faces,” said Donnie Rodgers, Chairman of the Veterans Committee for the Jackson Elks Lodge. “Having the opportunity to support true heroes like this is what the Elks are all about.”

Jackson Elks Lodge hopes to once again work with Honoring Our Veterans to purchase another set of fly rods for another group of wounded combat veterans coming to Jackson Hole later in September 2019.

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