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Elks to pay tribute to veterans

BY: Jennifer Lysiak, Lancaster Editor | November 07, 2012

LANCASTER- As a way to recognize veterans for their military service, members of the Lancaster Elks Lodge #1478 will be sponsoring its fourth annual free Veteran’s Day Spaghetti Dinner from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at the lodge, located at 33 Legion Parkway.

For the last few weeks, members of the Elks Lodge Bob Sharp and Fred Warnick co-chairs of the dinner, along with Bob Wilde, who serves as the chair, have been preparing and planning to hold an unforgettable day for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and dedicated themselves to serve our country.

Although the Elks Lodge is located in Lancaster, all veterans are welcome to attend the dinner, along with a guest.

“We do a lot of charitable work and we’re veteran oriented and an extremely patriotic group,” remarked Sharp, who noted they hold various events throughout the year to benefit veterans, as well as collect clothing for homeless veterans.

But the charity of the Elks Lodge doesn’t stop there; they also donate to different organizations and various charities, as well as offer a scholarship during the year.

The meal will be catered by the lodge’s cater who volunteers himself and his staff for the day. With a 100 pounds pasta, three cases of sauce, three gallons of salad dressing, 40 loaves of bread, a case of butter, and nine boxes of 80 meatballs, the crew definitely has their work cut out for them, but in the end it is worth it.

The dinner will include spaghetti, meatballs, a chef salad, bread with butter, and desserts, which are being donated by students from Lancaster High School. Students from Depew and Lancaster will also be helping out for the day, along with other members of the lodge, and their significant others.

“There is a lot of community involvement,” remarked Warnick.

The Lancaster Elks will also provide free coffee, tea, soft drinks, and other beverages for the enjoyment of the attending veterans and guest. Everything is pretty much donated for the dinner other than a few items the Elks purchase themselves.

At 3 p.m., Wilde said a flag folding ceremony will be held by the Niagara ARB Honor Guard.

He added about 330 people attended the dinner last year, which includes veterans and a guest. Being that the dinner is held on Sunday, he expects the same amount of people to attend, plus maybe even more.

Flags of every branch service will be hung from the ceiling, patriotic music will be played, and 34 red, white, and blue flower centerpieces will represent the colors of our country, which are being donated by Elaine’s Flower Shoppe, in Depew.

“I think is going to be nice,” said Sharp.

Any food items that are leftover will be donated to the Trinity Food Pantry in Lancaster.

“I think one of the gratifying things is over the last couple of years we have been very fortunate to get the high schools in the area, Depew and Lancaster, both involved and they did some really great things,” commented Warnick. “They provided music, they helped with the seating, and they sit down and talk to the veterans. I think it was quite enlightening for them to talk to some of the veterans from WWII. I know the veterans really appreciate having the young kids sit and talk with them.”

For more information about the dinner call 685-1478.

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