Elks raise money for local charities at a car and bike show

More than 100 people gathered at the Elks Lodge on the Sierra Highway on Saturday to hang out with friends and family — and raise money for local charities — during the Elks’ Car & Bike Show.

As well as the fundraiser, Steve Graham, the president of the local lodge, said the show – held on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks – was meant to honor “our brothers and sisters who are went out and paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

Chili Cook-off judge Michael Angulo (cq) picks up samples of chili to judge at the Santa Clarita Elks Bike & Car Show event held at Santa Clarita Elks Lodge 2379 in Canyon Country on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Inside the lodge bar, a handmade red, white and blue tablecloth adorned a table with 13 glasses of beer and the names and photos of the 13 US service members who lost their lives in a suicide bombing last month while that they were protecting the Kabul airport, where the Americans and their allies were being evacuated from Afghanistan.

Lodge member and Veterans of Foreign Wars George Figueroa helped organize the memorial.

“I had been to many lodges so I noticed all the memorials they put up, he said. “So at our meeting I suggested that we should have a memorial for them as well, and that would be pretty good, you know. I think people would appreciate that.

Attendees examine a 1956 Chevrolet Handyman Wagon on display at the Santa Clarita Elks Bike & Car Show held at Santa Clarita Elks Lodge 2379 in Canyon Country on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Graham said lodge member Mike Chandler supported Figueroa with his idea of ​​honoring men and women who have given their all.

“They’re not here to take it, so we give them what we would give them if they were here,” Chandler said of the beers.

In the backyard, Greg Runyon, Dave Cacic and Mark Lindemann were selling beer as part of the fundraiser.

“The Elks Lodge is putting on this great event, and it’s amazing how many people are stepping in and helping out,” Cacic said. “There are more people helping than people assisting.”

Attendees examine vintage cars on display at the Santa Clarita Elks Bike & Car Show held at Santa Clarita Elks Lodge 2379 in Canyon Country on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Ray Broussard said the beer, among other things, made the day fun.

“In our COVID times, you know, the opportunity to come together and enjoy each other’s company,” he said of his favorite part of the day’s event.

Kris Trecartin of Acton was a fan of the show cars.

“The Camaro. The yellow Camaro,” she said. “It felt like it was coming off the showroom floor.”

“With COVID-19, we haven’t been able to do much,” said Stella Paladini, reflecting on the day’s event. “It’s a great group of people. We always have a good time. »

Lauren Graham was one of the organizers of the car and bike show.

“Today was such an amazing event for what we went through last year,” Graham said. “And people are coming together and just wanted to have some normalcy.”

Members of Canyon Hogs and Elks Lodge 2098 Motorcycle Clubs arrive Saturday at the Santa Clarita Elks Bike & Car Show held at Santa Clarita Elks Lodge 2379 in Canyon Country. Dan Watson/The Signal

Lynda Vasquez was visiting the Santa Clarita Valley and stopped at the lodge.

“You feel like home,” she said of the atmosphere at the event. “Everyone is super welcoming.”

Steve Graham said the fundraiser went “extremely well”, noting that the Elks Lodge, which has been part of the community for 54 years, raised more than $5,000 on Saturday.

The lodge donates to the SCV Senior Center, Child and Family Center, Carousel Ranch and many other local organizations.

“It’s our flagship event,” he said. “This is one of our biggest fundraisers (and) we did extremely well today.”

Maria R. Newman