“We have just finished a great year,” Mark Eaton said after being re-installed as Exalted Ruler of Tri-City Elks Lodge No. 14 on West Shore Road in Warwick. “We did so many positive things, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Eaton, who heads a board of 15, continued, “A huge heart-felt thank you to all the people who helped during many successful projects that have improved our Lodge upstairs and downstairs.”
But the Tri-City Elks, Eaton said, “aren’t about to rest on our recent successes; we’re moving outside to do more landscaping and to continue to upgrade the Lodge.”
Among the projects on Team Tri-City’s “To-Do List” are installing old-fashioned tractor seats on top of stools that will be placed around the outdoor Con-Tiki Bar, revamping the steak pit, adding more picnic tables, painting the back of the building, erecting an awning over the back door and continuing to landscape the entire perimeter of Lodge 14.
To some people that might sound like being overly ambitious, but not Team Tri-City, which has – Eaton emphasized – “come a long way from being financially unstable three years ago to consistently growing in membership, making much needed indoor improvements and, perhaps more important, the business of hall rentals.”
Eaton, who has been an integral part of each improvement project at Lodge 14, such as building a granite top bar in the downstairs lounge and installing a second fry-o-lator, added, “When you make a lot of little improvements, some people don’t see them. But when it’s major, that opens all kinds of doors.”
One of which, it is Tri-City Lodge No. 14’s hope, is to make the facility as attractive as possible; and one, Eaton explained, “where people can have weddings, anniversary parties and even sports banquets.”
The always-active Eaton, who Lodge 14 members will tell you is a skilled craftsman, said, “I’m really thankful for all the help we’ve received the past two years. We now have a backyard patio and even a pump that operates a fountain on our own Golden Pond.”
And that pump, Eaton explained, is just one way our people have banned together to improve the Lodge.
The pump was donated to by Ron Garcia, a new member, who along with Jeff Hackinson donated many hours to set up the pump and get it working.
Eaton also thanked member Cookie DeLory, Tri-City’s everyday workhorse, Nick Rossi and Dick Warner for assisting in that project.
“It’s that old saying,” Eaton continued, “if you build it, they will come. We’re like a fraternal organization; a private members-only club that has meetings and socials, but we enjoy opening our home for people to have a wedding or special fundraiser like the one we recently hosted for Sailing Heals.”
While this is Eaton’s second year as Exalted Ruler, he’ll probably be stepping aside next March and join other past Exalted Rulers who have, in years past, stayed on to help guide the newer officers in their respective offices.
“Any [non-profit] organization should have movement every two years or so,” said Eaton. “If you don’t change people, organizations get stale. You always need new ideas so that groups can continue to grow and prosper.”
Tri-City Elks Lodge No. 14 prides itself in helping veterans and children, and Eaton said, as has been done in the past two years, “it will continue to do so for years to come.”
Any organization that would like a hall rental for Lodge 14 or to learn about its many facility offerings should call 340-5250.
Lodge No. 14’s new slate of officers includes: Mark Eaton, Exalted Ruler; Charles Greaves, Leading Knight; John Collins, Loyal Knight; Robert Hartington, Lecturing Knight; Carol DeLory, Secretary; Lori Eaton, Treasurer; Nick Rossi, Tony Cicione, Cheryl Devlin, Donna Warner and Gerald Lapierre, Trustees; Richard Warner, Tiler; David Knight, Esquire; Ann Marie Greaves, Chaplin; and Timothy Beaudry, Inner Guard.