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Elks show appreciation to first responders

September 12, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

They say the best way to a person's heart is through their stomach. The Elks Lodge 2742 is trying to show its appreciation to those who serve to keep North Fort Myers safe.

Every first Monday of the month, from 5 to 8 p.m., the lodge holds a dinner for any first responder who wants to attend, which serves as a way to thank the firefighters, deputies, EMTs and others who put their lives on the line.

Robert Kamish, an officer at the Elks, said Richard Wood started the program at the start of the year.

"The Elks are a benevolent organization and we like to do things for people. We thought this would be a good project to recognize those in the protective services," Kamish said. "Once they're invited they all come."

The program was an immediate hit, with the guests of honor bringing their spouses for a chicken dinner. At one time, they were doing two dinners a month, but as the summer came and the people left to go back up north, they reduced it to once a month, Kamish said.

"At the dinner, we take a picture with them and make a big deal out of it," Kamish said. adding they will regularly invite one special guest, for whom the Elks will read their awards and accreditations. "People really applaud when they hear it."

Kamish said he gets in touch with that person's supervisor, who recommends them for the honor. But, of course, all who can come are invited.

Kamish said there was no dinner because of Labor Day, but he expects the Elks to ramp things up again in October as people start steaming back down south.

"We think it's a good project and we're really excited about it. It's great to have these people come in uniform and we all get a kick out of it. I glad we're doing that," Kamish said.

The Elks Lodge is at 2163 Twin Brooks Road in North Fort Myers. For more information, call 731-2867.



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