2012 Verde Pride Awards: The Moose Lodge: Organization of the Year
The Verde Valley Moose Lodge doesn’t always get a lot of attention, but the endeavors of the Lodge make span a wide spectrum of the community. Quietly nestled at the side of Broadway in Clarkdale, the Verde Valley Moose Lodge 1449 is now 40 years old.
Gov. Allan Marx says the works of the Moose don’t benefit one single type of person. “They touch all different aspects of life, from the youngest to the oldest.”
In its 35th year, the Verde Valley Moose continue to offer a free holiday meal to all seniors living in the Verde Valley, in addition to shut-ins. The Moose members participate in the annual Family Food and Toy Drive, and Meals for Seniors of the Verde Valley. The lodge provides a quarterly donation to a local non-profit, provides for homeless outreach and for the Verde Valley Sanctuary.
The lodge also supports the annual Fire and Steel drive for the Trauma Intervention Program and the American Cancer Society,
“Tommy Moose” is the stuffed animal that Moose Lodges gives to local police and fire agencies to share with children who become involved in emergency situations to give them comfort.
The Moose has an international reach, but it has two large communities serving young and old.
Mooseheart, Ill., or City of Children, was built on a 1,000-acre farm 100 years ago to serve children to age 17 who are struggling with parents who can no longer support them. A child involved in a gang is one example, explains Marx. Mooseheart has its own high school; children live on the campus, and participate in cooking, chores, and cleaning. They will go on with a full college scholarship or military service.
The founder of the KaBoom! is a graduate of Mooseheart. KaBoom! is a non-profit organization intended to providing more “play” opportunities for children and builds playgrounds.
Marx says Mooseheart takes all kids, including those with behavioral problems. Two Yuma kids now attend.
At the other end of the spectrum, Moosehaven, near Orange Park, Fla., is a retirement community for Member of the Moose or Women of the Moose. They live in an apartment with full medical coverage.
The Verde Valley Moose Lodge has 208 members plus 197 Women of the Moose.
More information can be found at: http://www.mooseintl.org