The celebration was held on Saturday, Sept. 24
ATASCADERO — Atascadero Elks Lodge #2733 recently celebrated its 35th year in the North County. The anniversary party was held on Saturday, Sept. 24, with over 100 people attending, including members, charter members, and guests from other lodges in the county. Together they celebrated the building and the lodge’s achievements over the years.
“I think what is most humbling about the whole realization is this was done by volunteers,” stated Exalted Ruler Susan Marple about when the lodge was built. “A lot were retired, in their ’60s and ’70s, and it’s a strong structure. I find that the most humbling part of all. It’s a true testimony on what volunteerism is all about.”
Incorporated on Sept. 26, 1987, the Atascadero Elks Lodge #2733 started at the AARP building before moving to the Grange Hall for their lodge meetings. The current Elks property was bought in 1988 with dreams of building a permanent lodge. It took 17 years of fundraising while still supporting the community to break ground on today’s lodge, which took place in September of 2003. The lodge was completed in November 2004 and dedicated in February 2005.
“It’s allowed us a commercial kitchen. It’s allowed us to be able to make box lunches for those in need, put things together for the holidays, and people can rent the Lodge and have their private events there. So it’s been a great thing for the Elks members, but as well as for the community,” said Marple.
Marple added that at the anniversary party, the very first couple to rent out the lodge was there. Thirty-five years ago, after the couple got married, they held their reception at Elks Lodge #2733. They are both Elks themselves and are still a part of the Atascadero chapter. In fact, Elks Lodge #2733’s membership has grown from 313 members in 1987 to 546 members today.
During the 35th anniversary celebration, the lodge’s BBQ Crew cooked a fantastic barbecue chicken dinner, complete with beans, salad, and bread. And one of the charter member spouses made two delicious cakes for the special occasion. The lodge also displayed memories of how the current lodge was built.
“We had pictures from when we broke ground all the way to today: Newspaper articles that were published, photo albums, stories, forms that we used when we first started, and today’s forms that we are using now,” Marple said. “So it was a nice time capsule, a timeline of how things have progressed, which was really cool.”
At the celebrations, the Atascadero Elks Lodge received proclamations from the State of California, the State Senate, the City of Atascadero, Special Congressional Recognition, and County of San Luis Obispo, California. Councilwoman Susan Funk and Mayor Pro Tem Heather Newsom were both in attendance.
“The saying holds true; if you build it, they will come,” Marple said. “It’s more than a baseball film. I mean, they saw it, they envisioned it, made it happen, and here we are. Definitely, something to be proud of.”