More than 100 people gathered at Elks Lodge on Sierra Highway on Saturday to spend time with friends and family during the Elks Car & Bike Show and raise money for local charities.
In addition to fundraising, local lodge president Steve Graham said the show – held on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks – was “to honor our brothers and sisters who went out and paid the ultimate sacrifice”. “
Inside the lodge bar, a red, white and blue handmade tablecloth was a table with 13 glasses of beer and the names and photographs of the 13 American service members who died in a suicide bombing guarding Kabul airport last month. Life was lost. Where Americans and their allies were being evacuated from Afghanistan.
Jorge Figueroa, a member of the lodge and veteran of foreign wars, helped organize the memorial.
“I went to a lot of lodges and so I’ve seen all the monuments they were setting up,” he said. “So, in our meeting I suggested that we should also set up a memorial for him, and that would be great, you know. I think people will appreciate that.”
Graham said Mike Chandler, a member of the lodge, supported Figueroa and his idea of honoring the men and women who gave everything.
“They’re not here to take it, so we give them what we give them,” Chandler said of the beer.
In the backyard, Greg Runyon, Dave Cassick and Mark Lindemann were selling beer as part of a fundraiser.
“The Elks Lodge puts on this great event, and it is amazing how many people jump in and help out,” said Cacic. “More people are helping than participating.”
Ray Broussard said that beer, among other things, made the day fun.
“In our COVID era, you know, the opportunity to get together and enjoy each other’s company,” he said of his favorite part of organizing the day.
Chris Trecartin of Acton was a fan of the cars on the show.
“Camaro. Yellow Camaro,” he said. “It was like it just landed off the showroom floor.”
“With COVID-19 we haven’t been able to do much,” said Stella Paladini, reflecting on the day’s event. “It’s a great group of people. We always have a good time.”
Lauren Graham was one of the organizers of the car and bike show.
“Today was such an amazing event for what we’ve seen last year,” Graham said. “And people come together and just want some normalcy.”
Linda Vasquez was visiting the Santa Clarita Valley and stopped at the lodge.
“You feel like you are at home,” she said of the atmosphere of the incident. “Everyone is super welcoming.”
Steve Graham said the fundraising went “very well,” noting that Elks Lodge, which has been part of the community for 54 years, raised more than $5,000 on Saturday.
The lodge donates to the SCV Senior Center, Child and Family Center, Carousel Ranch and many other local organizations.
“This is our flagship program,” he said. “It’s one of our biggest fundraisers[and]we did very well today.”