Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the U.S.A.
A Fraternal Organization
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.
Who We Are
- A fraternal order with hundreds of thousands of members and a 150+ year history.
- A network of nearly 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.
HISTORY OF THE CULVER CITY ELKS LODGE #1917
In 1952, Richard Kelly concluded that Culver City was worthy of its own Elks Lodge. At the time he was a member of the Santa Monica Elks Lodge. He and a few close friends met to discuss the possibilities and eventually present the plan to the then District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.
After more than a year of planning and overcoming objections from some of the already established lodges, permission was given by the Grand Exalted Ruler to create this new Culver City Lodge. The Lodge was designated #1917, which, by pure chance, happens to be the year that Culver City itself was incorporated. The lodge was formally instituted on January 29, 1954 at a ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium and Richard Kelly was installed as our first Exalted Ruler. There were a total of 541 Charter Members – 140 from other lodges and 401 brand new members.
Our building at 11160 Washington Place, which was originally occupied by The Los Angeles Plumbing Company, was able to be purchased with the help of loans by the members and other financing. The building required substantial renovation to make it into an Elks Lodge, which was achieved, primarily, through volunteer labor and donated materials. In the years since then, several additions were made to the building, including the dining room and kitchen, and we purchased our current parking lots.
In June, 1976 we paid off our mortgage and held a mortgage burning event at a lodge meeting. In 1983 we reached a current record total membership of 1,050 up from the original 541. Today, membership is slightly below 500 and growing again.
Throughout the years, Culver City members have held important positions within both the State organization (California-Hawaii Elks Association) and the Grand Lodge culminating in the election of member Robert (Bob) L. Duitsman to be the Grand Exalted Ruler (President) of the national Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in the year 2019-2020.
After the national association dropped the word “male” from its constitution and statutes as a requirement for membership, the Culver City Elks initiated its first female member, Kellie Lovato, in March, 2002. Today, our female members are an important, vibrant and essential part of Culver City’s membership.
Over the years, Culver City has been very active in achieving the goals of Elks lodges throughout the country. We support our veterans, our youth and our community through donations and active participation. In fact, the Culver City Elks has donated well over $1,000,000 to the Culver City community since our beginning.
At this time, we are looking forward to continuing our recent growth and we welcome any inquiries for membership in our great organization. We also look forward to continuing our important work to help improve our community, aid those in need and serve our veterans.