The Elks Lodge Pan-Asian Adventure

If you are a member of the benevolent order of the Elks Lodge number 2407, you know the calendar is filled with family and adult fun! If you are not a member, you may just consider becoming one. Just over 150 years ago, in the Theater district of New York City, Comedians and Actors formed The Elks. These actors and comedians would get together on weekends to be a club and socialize together. When some of the wives of this club were left without their husband, they were also left with nothing. The Elks were given a Chapter and charities were formed to help these wives. They became a Benevolent Protective Order. This traversed not only time, but geography as well. In our very own Oakland Park, we have had The Elks Lodge #2407 for the past 40 years. Once, being in the North Fort Lauderdale area, the #2407 Elks now sits in 240 W Prospect Rd, Oakland Park, FL 33309.

A Full Calendar!

The Elks Lodge is one big happy family. Their April Calendar is full of activities like Paint Stick (It’s Bingo with a fun twist!), Boy Scouts dinners, and Sunday Breakfast. Every Tuesday there’s also Rocking the Jukebox with Ron, and they have open spots for adults to come enjoy the member’s only bar with food available as well! Pain Stick is held every 1st and 3rd Wednesday, and every 3rd and 5th Thursday. Just recently, on April 9th, they held their first Pan-Asian Dinner.

A Pan-Asian Affair

Last Friday, April 9th, on the calendar appeared a new event: the first ever Pan-Asian culinary experience! Hosted by two of their own members, Oakland Park’s own Mayor, Jane Bolin, and the Lodge’s Esquire, Arnie Cuarenta, the pair prepared flavors that flirted with the palate. On the menu that evening were the delectable Korean Short Ribs (Galbi) marinated to perfection. Korean noodles (Japchae) accompanied by a spicy Kimchi with a side of white rice and finger licking Lumpia, hand-wrapped by Esquire Arnie. As if this dinner did not make your mouth water, the dessert may. Its ingredients may be misleading, but they created a symphony of flavors on the palate. Dessert was a beautiful pairing of Purple Yam ice cream, and coconut balls. Again, the flavors complimented so well, and it would be eternally difficulty to identify purple yam as the main ingredient for the ice cream. The price for this dinner was $20.00 and worth every penny.
About 2 dozen members came out for the event. There was a lot of conversation, happy commotion among members, booming laughter, and just an all-around happy environment to be wrapped up in. The bartender, Leah, was just so full of life and knew everyone. In fact, the members all know each other and welcome strangers like family. But there were moments where a sudden quiet would blanket the room. Upon glancing around, it was evident that the silence spoke to how tasty this meal was. Not one person showed any discontent over the food. It was the opposite: everyone was very happy with the dishes!

We Are Family

The Lodge is a place where Members greet you with a warm welcome and a friendly hug. Leah, member and bartender, makes it a party! Here at the Elks Lodge, you are family.

Gloria Hamze, Elk Lodge Secretary and a 4th year member, and Michelle Pigniotti, Leading Knight, and Activities Chairperson, each make one feel welcome and part of the family. Kim Sullivan, Past Exalted Leader and a 4-year trustee also provide warmth and acceptance. Exalted Leader Doug Satran was also in attendance and welcomes people to be a part of this great big family. He encourages people to come join in as new members.

The Mayor of Oakland Park, Jane Bolin, is not only a great cook, but her grand personality shines up any room. Esquire Artie Cuarenta, also a wonderful culinary master, is as friendly and inviting as the rest. Both Mayor Bolin and Arnie Cuarenta are 3rd year members.

Consider Joining Elks Lodge of Oakland Park!

If you have considered coming out from under the restrictions of Covid and are feeling a little more comfortable coming out and joining any organization, please consider joining the Elks Lodge of Oakland Park. They have weekly and monthly events to look forward to. They are eagerly hoping to host their Annual Chili Cookoff in September as well as their 2nd Annual Drag It Out for Children’s Therapy Services event. Kim Sullivan is looking forward to their Prime Rib Dinner on May 22 which will be open to Members and their guests.

After months and months of restricted Covid rules and limits, the Elks Lodge, while still being careful, is offering more and more for people to come and join in on the fun.  They hope to welcome more members and host more fun events like the Pan-Asian dinner which are lots of fun!

Oakland Park Elks Lodge #2407: 240 W. Prospect Rd, Oakland Park, FL | Phone: 954-563-2407

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*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

About the Author

Anamaria Moreno

Anamaria Moreno

Anamaria Moreno is an Elementary school teacher. Born in Costa Rica, but mostly raised in Venezuela, Ms. Moreno came to South Florida in 1996 where she has resided ever since. She graduated from Lynn University, with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has taught in the classroom for 18 years, most recently teaching the first grade for the past seven years. Before becoming a teacher, Ms. Moreno was involved in volunteer work with the Child Life Specialists Department at Miami Children’s Hospital. She also served as member of the Board of Directors for “A Caring Pregnancy Center” in Miami. Most recently, Ms. Moreno has taught at an elementary school in Oakland Park. Ms. Moreno also teaches ESOL to Adults in Night School. When Ms. Moreno is not in the classroom, she enjoys baking custom specialty cakes, face painting, and enjoys creating Arts and Crafts.

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