Coshocton Elks distribute grant money to local organizations

| June 18, 2015
Chip Udischas, center, received $500 from Coshocton Elks Lodge 376 to use for the local Sea Scouts organization. He is pictured here with Mike Wilson, exalted ruler, left, and Marlene Griffith, local chairperson of the Elks National Foundation, right.

Chip Udischas, center, received $500 from Coshocton Elks Lodge 376 to use for the local Sea Scouts organization. He is pictured here with Mike Wilson, exalted ruler, left, and Marlene Griffith, local chairperson of the Elks National Foundation, right.

Rocky Roahrig, center, received $500 from Coshocton Elks Lodge 376 to use for the Coshocton County REACT program. He is pictured here with Mike Wilson, exalted ruler, left, and Marlene Griffith, local chairperson of the Elks National Foundation, right.

Rocky Roahrig, center, received $500 from Coshocton Elks Lodge 376 to use for the Coshocton County REACT program. He is pictured here with Mike Wilson, exalted ruler, left, and Marlene Griffith, local chairperson of the Elks National Foundation, right.

Karen Caley and Cathy Wegener received $500 from Coshocton Elks Lodge 376 to use for the Canal Quilters. Pictured left to right are Mike Wilson, exalted ruler, Caley, Wegener, and Marlene Griffith, local chairperson of the Elks National Foundation, right.

Karen Caley and Cathy Wegener received $500 from Coshocton Elks Lodge 376 to use for the Canal Quilters. Pictured left to right are Mike Wilson, exalted ruler, Caley, Wegener, and Marlene Griffith, local chairperson of the Elks National Foundation, right.

Tammy Lanham, center, received $500 from Coshocton Elks Lodge 376 to use for the local Girl Scouts organization. She is pictured here with Mike Wilson, exalted ruler, left, and Marlene Griffith, local chairperson of the Elks National Foundation, right.

Tammy Lanham, center, received $500 from Coshocton Elks Lodge 376 to use for the local Girl Scouts organization. She is pictured here with Mike Wilson, exalted ruler, left, and Marlene Griffith, local chairperson of the Elks National Foundation, right.

COSHOCTON – Thanks to generous donations from members of the Coshocton Elks Lodge 376, four community-minded organizations received $500 each to better their program.

The Elks National Foundation awarded the local lodge $2,000 to distribute however they wished throughout the community. The Elks chose the Sea Scouts, Girl Scouts, Canal Quilters, and REACT as their four grant recipients this year. The Elks will also receive another $2,000 from the foundation in October for purchasing smoke detectors which will be given out during the fair. Each member gives $10 annually to donate to the foundation to be used for grants such as these.

Marlene Griffith, local chairperson of the Elks National Foundation, and Mike Wilson, Exulted Ruler, presented the checks to Chip Udischas of The Sea Scouts, Tammy Lanham of the Girl Scouts, Karen Caley and Cathy Wegener of Canal Quilters, and Rocky Roahrig of REACT.

“We are a benevolent organization,” said Griffith. “People think of us as just a bar, but we’re not. We are also here to help the community.”

The Sea Scouts began in 1912 and started in Coshocton two years ago. The program is based on a naval theme where members learn how to handle a boat and learn the rules of the waterway. Locally, the group mainly focuses on scuba diving. The Coshocton group is the only Sea Scout organization in the Muskingum Valley Council. They are sponsored by the Warsaw Masonic Lodge. The organization is co-ed and members must be between the ages of 14 and 21.

The organization sends youth and adults for further training where adults can earn their Sea Badge and youth attend the National Youth Leadership Training.

“The National Youth Leadership Training helps to develop their leadership and decision-making skills,” said Udischas. “It’s a great program for helping kids get to college.”

The organization meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge.

Lanham of the Girl Scouts will be using the money to purchase starter kits for new Girl Scout troops to form in the area.

“Most people think to volunteer, you have to give 20 hours a week, and you don’t,” said Lanham. “You can volunteer as little or as much as you want.”

Lanham will also be using the money to help finance the Cases for Kids program where new or gently-used suitcases are donated to Coshocton County Job and Family Services to be given to children who may be placed in foster care.

The Canal Quilters will be using their portion of the grant to buy quilting supplies.

“For the last nine years, we have received money from the Elks to buy supplies to make quilts for veterans,” said Caley.

Each year, the Canal Quilters gives homemade quilts to veterans in Coshocton County. So far, they have given out a total of 190 quilts. This December, the group will give out 25 quilts to local veterans.

“You cannot believe the gratitude of the veterans,” said Caley. “The appreciation they show, the hugs we collect, the kisses and the handshakes, it’s awesome. It’s a blessing to do that.”

The Canal Quilters Quilt Show will be Aug. 7, 8, and 9 at the Presbyterian Church where they will honor the Veterans Honor Guard Friday night.

REACT is an all-volunteer based program where members work closely with the sheriff’s department and fire department and go out with them on emergency calls such as accidents or fires to direct the flow of traffic away from the site. They also work with directing traffic around parades and help with parking at major events in the county.

“Our main goal is to maintain safety for people,” said Roahrig. “We’re there to help them out to make sure they’re safe.”

REACT will use the money to buy radios to better communicate with each other and with the sheriff’s department.

“We really appreciate something like this,” said Roahrig. “It helps us out so we can continue our work. Little things like this help people to volunteer. There’s no pay, just the satisfaction that you’re helping somebody.”

The Elks National Foundation grants are used to help fund programs for veterans and drug and alcohol abuse, the Elks Hoop Shoot and Soccer Shoot, among other community reinvestment programs. In the past, the money has been given to the sheriff’s department, the Walhonding Valley Fire Department, and other organizations.

For more information about Sea Scouts, contact Udischas at 740-502-3830 or [email protected]. For more information on the REACT program, attend one of their meetings at the Coshocton Fire Station the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. For more information on Canal Quilters, attend one of their meetings at Roscoe United Methodist Church the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.

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Category: Clubs & Organizations

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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