Elks wear & share the green

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Clocks weren’t the only thing people turned ahead Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

Although St. Patrick’s Day isn’t until Saturday, upwards of 150 people were wearin’ and sharin’ the green Saturday evening during the Tri-City Elks annual corned beef and cabbage dinner that was highlighted by a dazzling performance of the famed Damhsa Irish Step Dancers of Warwick.

Even people who have attended Lodge 14’s annual St. Patrick’s Dinner in recent years were impressed with the food, prepared and cooked by Leading Knight Bob Hartington and chef Steve Laggese. It was served buffet style by Tri-City members Donna Warner, Chuck Nelson, Krissty St. Pierre, Debbie Mangina and Steve Carmody.

“Steve has been doing this for years,” Hartington noted. “He’s a master at corned beef and cabbage dinners.”

Few people, if any, would dispute that theory especially since the annual St. Patrick’s Dinner drew rave reviews about 160-pounds plus of corned beef that Hartington and Lagesse cooked as well as potatoes, cabbage, onions and carrots the pair prepared over a two-day stretch.

Add to that ice cream with a special green topping, extraordinary entertainment by the Damhsa Dance troupe and list of 30 raffle prizes that ranged from tickets for the Blackstone Valley Explorer, Dave’s Marketplace, Cardi’s Furniture, Newport Playhouse and New Bedford Whaling Museum, and it equaled another success story for the Tri-City Elks.

There were, though, two several other sides to the fun-filled St. Patrick’s Dinner during which the Elks credo of “Elks Share, Elks Care” surfaced.

“We want to thank everyone who is her tonight,” Lori Eaton, Lodge 14’s popular and hard-working Exalted Ruler, told an attentive audience. “Thank you to everyone who purchased raffle tickets and a special thank you to Barbara Fontaine who helped get the raffle items and Ann Licciardi for the lovely fleece blanket.”

Eaton then announced that “proceeds from tonight’s raffle will go towards our veterans” and that met with applause that echoed through Tri-City’s downstairs dining room.

Hartington, still wearing his cook’s apron, issued a huge “Thank You” to the Damhsa Dancers who he noted “come here every year and don’t charge any type of fee.”

He also explained that the Damhsa Irish Step Dance Studio of Colleen Kenyon and Grainee Conley have a foundation that “we’d like to support. In that regard, we are going to take a collection and we thank you in advance to any donation you’d like to make.”

At the evening’s end, more applause filled the jam-packed room when Hartington announced “the collection took in $308.”

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