The Times photo by Betsy Reason

Noblesville Elks Lodge No. 576 members -- Krissi Davis (from left), Joyce Scott, Pete Smith, Kathy Davis, Randy King, Terri Sigman-Kennedy, Steve Vallier, Tina McGee, Geoff Robinson and Dana Cheeman -- who are on a planning committee for this year’s golf outing for cancer research, invite not only members to use their club but also invite the public to visit their club for the new silent auction public event on Aug. 9.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason Noblesville Elks Lodge No. 576 members -- Krissi Davis (from left), Joyce Scott, Pete Smith, Kathy Davis, Randy King, Terri Sigman-Kennedy, Steve Vallier, Tina McGee, Geoff Robinson and Dana Cheeman -- who are on a planning committee for this year’s golf outing for cancer research, invite not only members to use their club but also invite the public to visit their club for the new silent auction public event on Aug. 9.
The Noblesville Elks Lodge wants everyone to know -- including Elks members -- that while Ninth Street is blocked off -- from Conner to Maple streets during construction of The Levinson -- the Elks Lodge is open.

“Come on in,” members said of their Lodge No. 576, located at 35 S. Ninth St., just one-half block south of the historic Hamilton County Courthouse Square.

While the Elks Lodge was closed for the July Fourth holiday and a thorough cleaning on Friday and Saturday, thanks to Elks Lodge members, the Lodge is now back open for its members to enjoy.

I recently attended a committee meeting of Lodge members who are working to put on the Lodge’s 34th annual Steve Renner Charity Golf Outing for Cancer Research, this year set for 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Fox Prairie Golf Course in Noblesville.

“There’s still time to become a member and join the golf outing” said Noblesville Elks member Randy King, who was among those in attendance at the committee meeting.

What’s even more exciting is a new Silent Auction event the night before the golf outing.

The Silent Auction will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, at the Lodge.

The auction is not just open to participating golfers but also all members and the community.

“We’re going to open it to the public, so it’s not just the Elks members,” said the fundraiser’s committee chairman Krissi Davis.

“We’re going to have some high-end auction items,” she said.

The auction is going to be done the old-fashioned way, she said, by writing your name and bid on a bidding sheet, not bidding electronically or on your cell phone.

“All of this is for the cancer research (Elks’ state project). We’re just trying to do something new and try to get more people involved,” Davis said. “We’ve found in the past (people say), well, I don’t play golf, so why do I want to get involved in a golf outing. Well, now you can, because we’ve got something different than just golf.”

Davis said, “This is your chance to support the Elks’ success toward cancer research.”

She said, “My thought and my goal on the silent auction is to try to get more people, the public, aware of what the Elks does ... Come in and see what we do. Come in and see the comradery and the friendship you can have here.

Davis said, “Hopefully, we can draw some of the public.”

Elks invite the community out the night before the golf outing for food, drinks and a silent auction with Indianapolis Colts tickets, unique autographed items and more. It’s one of a select number of days per year that the public is welcome to come inside the Elks Club.

Auction items will be available for bids, starting on Aug. 6, with auctions to close for bids at 8 p.m. on Aug. 9.

All proceeds from the auction will go to benefit the Elks Cancer Fund. The Indiana Elks Charities, formed in the 1940s, has contributed more than $10 million to cancer research for two major cancer research facilities at Purdue University and Indiana University.

For the golf outing, the field is limited to the first 32 paid teams, which must have at least one Elks member in good standing (dues paid). Cost is $100 per person or $400 per team. (New this year is the team fee can be paid by credit card.) Signup forms are available at the Elks Lodge. The entry fee includes seven skills contests, drink tickets and swag bag. An awards luncheon, served by Noblesville Jim Dandy, and raffle will immediately follow the golf outing at the Lodge.

This year, the Elks added some incentives for sponsors. “We’ve never had a beer cart sponsor, so we got one this year … We’ve never had a Silver $2,500 (sponsor), which we got. We’re trying to get a $5,000 (sponsor); we haven’t gotten that yet, but we may get it in the future,” Davis said.”

She said the biggest incentive for golfers as well as sponsors is that the money raised from the event goes to cancer research.

The Noblesville Elks Lodge (which has 464 members), at state convention is “one of the top Elks lodges that gives the most money … Other lodges say they want to beat the Noblesville Elks,” Davis said.

The Elks is the second largest organization in the United States to give money to cancer research. That’s the Elks’ biggest mission, as well as youth activities, Noblesville Elks Exalted Ruler Pete Smith said.

He said the Noblesville Elks is hoping to gain new member from The Levinson being next door; there’s a door opening into the alley beside them.

Also, the golf outing is an “easy sell,” Smith said, to prospective donors.

Elks State project chose cancer research because everyone is touched by cancer, one way or another, sooner or later, be it your family, be it your friends, be it the people you work with,” said Elks member Randy King. “Everybody knows somebody who has had a brush with this disease.”

King said, “There’s still time to become a member and join the golf outing.”

Geoff Robinson, Elks Lodge secretary, said a lot of members “see what we do, and they donate even though they don’t come here very often. What we’re trying to do is make our current members realize what we’re doing and so they continue to pay their membership dues. That’s how we support all of our charities. Even though you’re not here in the bar, we need you as well.”

Robinson said, “That’s what our message is. We want more members. We want our current members to stay members. And we want them to come in and utilize the club and understand what we do here.”

With the closure of the parking lot beside their building, where The Levinson is currently under construction, parking for the Elks is available in the City Hall parking lot at 10th and Maple, after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends.

In June, the Elks Lodge played host to a public reception following The Levinson’s ground-breaking ceremony. (The Levinson, which is under construction, will offer about 80 apartments, 5,000 square feet of commercial space and a four-level, 300-space parking garage, and is expected to be completed by fall 2020.)

Being that the Elks Lodge is right next door to the construction, King said, “We’re willing to work with the city in this time of change.”

Want to check out the Elks? Maybe join the Elks? The Lodge opens at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturday; and at 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Meetings are currently at 7:30 p.m. the third Monday of the month.

To donate to the outing (Renner, who has been an Elk for more than 20 years and his company annually supports the Elks' golf outing, became the namesake of the golf outing in 2016.), to become a sponsor, sign up a team or get more information, contact Elks Lodge member Krissi Davis at 317-796-7529.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.