Who are the Elks?
A fraternal order with nearly a million members and a 141-year history.
A network of more than 2000 lodges in communities all over the country.
A generous charitable foundation that each year gives millions in scholarships, an inspiration to youth, a friend to veterans and more.
To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to recognize a belief in God; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; to cultivate good fellowship; to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization, and to provide for its government, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America will serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks Care and Elks Share.
The Elks organization was founded in New York City on February 16, 1868 under the name "Jolly Corks" by 15 actors, entertainers and others associated with the theater. In ensuing years, membership expanded to other professions.
This Fraternal Order was founded "To promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American Patriotism and cultivate good fellowship."
The Order is a non-political, non-sectarian and strictly American fraternity. Proposal for membership in the Order is only by invitation of a member in good standing. To be accepted as a member, one must be an American citizen, believe in God, be of good moral character and be at least 21 years old.
What We Do
The Order spends more than $80,000,000 every year for benevolent, educational and patriotic community-minded programs in such fields as benefitting physically handicapped children, sponsoring Elks National Foundation scholarships, scouting, athletic teams, veterans' works, a national "Hoop Shoot" free-throw contest involving more than 3 million children, physical and occupational therapy programs and patriotic programs.
The youth of our country have always been important to the Order. It is for this reason the Elks Drug Awareness Education Program was launched to warn primary grade students and their parents of the dangers in drug use. Additionally, every lodge observes June 14th as Flag Day, a tradition which the Elks began in 1907 and was later adopted by the Congress as an official observance.
Who does it mean to be an Elk?
For over 140 years, the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks has been dedicated to serving our fellow citizens.
Here in Florida, the 56,000 men and women of the Elks in 100 Lodges from the panhandle to the Keys are enjoying the camaraderie, compassion, community outreach, and support that are all part of being an Elk.
Although you may already be aware of the social benefits of our great fraternal organization, you may not know that each Lodge has its own unique amenities. Florida Elks enjoy indoor and outdoor sports activities, entertainment, parties, dances, dining, and much more.
More importantly, Florida Elks take great pride in giving back to our communities. Nationally, each year, the nearly one million Elks working together with the Elks National Foundation provide over $80 million for charitable programs such as the Hoop Shoot competition, scholarships, drug awareness in our schools, and assistance for veterans of all wars.
In Florida alone, Elks provide millions of dollars in assistance to the neediest among us:
The Army of Hope provides assistance to veterans and military families
The Elks Children’s Therapy Program brings mobile, in-home therapy services to children across the state
The 400-acre Elks Youth Camp in Umatilla builds character while simultaneously inspiring Florida’s youth by teaching respect and responsibility
As a member of our order, you will be supporting all of these programs while enjoying all of the benefits of being an Elk.
If you are looking for something meaningful that truly makes a difference in your local community and the lives of others, and if you and your spouse want to meet new and interesting people who share your values and commitments to our country, then you’ve found it.
We hope that you’ll take that next step and make the Florida Elks part of the next chapter in your life. Together we can do great things.