Deana Pinciotta, Vice President Elks Riders Lodge 2379 stacks toys donated for the Toy Run for Veterans Children held at the Elks Lodge in Canyon Country on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

Elks Lodge collects toys for veterans’ children

While veterans were the focus on Monday, they’re not the only people in a military family who make sacrifices.

With that in mind, members of the Elks Lodge No. 2379 held its third annual motorcycle toy run Saturday, in order to ensure that veterans’ kids all have presents under the tree come Christmas morning.

The event invited club members, as well as members of the community, to donate toys and enjoy music, food and drinks.

“We’re collecting toys and financial contributions that we will give to veteran associations for them to disburse to their needy children and whatever other good things that a financial situation can do for them,” said Alan Ferdman, president of Elks Riders Lodge No. 2379. “This is the third year that we’ve done this and the Elks Lodge and the riders is very big about contributing to needy organizations and contributing to those who helped defend our country and support law and order.”

The toys, Ferdman said, would not be distributed by the riders themselves, but would be given out during the holiday season. According to Ferdman, he said that while the event is only in its third year, he has big plans for it in the future, hoping to get the help of other local organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Mint Canyon Moose Lodge and the American Legion.

“I think that not only are we interested in helping with the community, but I know there are a lot of other good organizations that are interested in helping the community as well,” said Ferdman. “We want to try to bring ourselves all together not to necessarily change what those organizations do, but just to help each other.”

The event was also supported by other Elks Lodges, including one from Nevada.

“The thing with Elks is that people actually formed the first veteran hospital in the United States,” said Elks Lodge member Michael “Cowboy” Couch, who rode from Las Vegas to bring toys and support to the toy run in Canyon Country. “As long as there’s a vet, we’ll never forget.”

Stephanie Young, a local Elks Lodge member, said she had seen veteran-minded fundraisers at all the other lodges she had been to, but has been helping at this event for the past three years.

“We love our veterans and everything they do, and we want to make sure their kids are taken care of,” said Young.

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