Well more than 100 people gathered at the Elks Lodge on Sierra Highway Saturday to enjoy time with friends and family — and raise funds for local charities — during the Elks’ Car & Bike Show.
In addition to fundraising, Steve Graham, the president of the local lodge, said the show – held on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks – was meant to honor “our brothers and sisters that have gone out and paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Inside the lodge bar, a red, white and blue handmade tablecloth adorned a table with 13 glasses of beer and the names and pictures of the 13 U.S. service members who lost their lives in a suicide bombing last month while they were protecting the Kabul airport, where Americans and their allies were being evacuated from Afghanistan.
George Figueroa, a member of the lodge and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, helped to organize the memorial.
“I had been to a lot of lodges and so I have noticed all the memorials they were setting up,” he said. “So, in our meeting I suggested that we should set up a memorial also for them, and it would be pretty nice, you know. I think people would appreciate that.”
Graham said Mike Chandler, a member of the lodge, supported Figueroa with his idea to honor the men and women who gave 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 puts on this great event, and it’s amazing how many people jump in and help,” said Cacic. “There’s more people helping than attending.”
Ray Broussard said that the beer among other things made the day fun.
“In our COVID era, you know, the opportunity to get together and enjoy one another’s company,” he said of his favorite part of the day’s event.
Kris Trecartin, of Acton, was a fan of the cars at the show.
“The Camaro. The yellow Camaro,” she said. “It was like it came 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’ve been through the last year,” said Graham. “And people come together and wanted to just have some normalcy.”
Lynda Vasquez was visiting the Santa Clarita Valley and stopped in at the lodge.
“You just feel like you’re at home,” she said of the event’s atmosphere. “Everyone is super welcoming.”
Steve Graham said fundraising went “extremely well,” noting that the Elks Lodge, which has been a part of the community for 54 years, raised well over $5,000 Saturday.
The lodge donates to the SCV Senior Center, the Child and Family Center, Carousel Ranch and many other local organizations.
“This is our flagship event,” he said. “It’s one of our biggest fundraisers (and) we’ve done extremely well today.”