Craig Elks raise money for local charities |

Craig Elks raise money for local charities

Kristine Dunckley, left, and her daughter, Kassie Davis, look over a selection of women's shoes during a rummage sale Saturday at the Elks Lodge. The Elks Lodge plans to turn the sale into an annual event and is planning a similar sale in October.Shawn McHugh

Sitting near the entrance Saturday of the Craig Elks Lodge No. 1577 at 43 W. Victory Way, Sherri Finneman hoped to see a lot of traffic during the organization's indoor yard sale.

The weekend event, which took place Saturday and Sunday, offered a chance for residents to clean out their garages and attics and get rid of various odds and ends.

With a selection of items ranging from holiday decorations to old computer games, Finneman said she had been meaning to have her own sale at home, but felt the Elks' building would be a good place to move merchandise.

The turnout for the sale, however, was less than she had anticipated.

"I thought I'd see more people selling in a bigger place like this," she said.

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Frank Sadvar, Elks Lodge Secretary, equated the low turnout to competition from individual home yard sales.

"This is the first time we've done this sale in about four or five years," he said.

Sadvar oversaw the weekend sale, but credited Elks Lodge treasurer Fonda Crockett with reviving the sale. For the future, he said he'd like to arrange two sales per year, one in early summer and one in the fall.

"If we do it in October, having it indoors will seem like a better draw," he said.

People trickled in from the warm weather throughout the day to observe the various items of the six sellers with tables set up. Finneman said she had "done alright" despite slow sales. Still, she liked the idea behind hosting the sale.

"I think a sale like this is a great idea," she said. "It's like one-stop shopping."

The Elks Lodge charged a small fee for patrons to set up a table, and Sadvar said the Lodge collected about $50 in table fees.

"I'm pretty happy with it, it's about average," he said. "We should get some more with donations, too, so it'll probably be around $100."

Sale fees and money from a snack bar went toward the Elks Lodge's charity fund, much of which is the group's contribution to the annual Christmas for Kids fundraiser.

Sadvar said for each of the last five years, the group has donated $2,500 worth of toys to the cause. Each year, Sadvar has loaded his bright yellow truck, "Ol' Yeller," a Craig fixture, with the toys.

"The first year, I had to put up sideboards to keep all of them in," he said.

Sadvar, a Past Exalted Ruler for the Elks, said his involvement with the organization is his way of giving back to the community.

"I'm going to bust my buns to keep it going," he said.

The Elks Lodge also focuses on honoring veterans, law enforcement officials and firefighters, and raising money for youth scholarships.

Craig students have received up to $4,000 in scholarships from the local group, which also hosts weekly bingo games Friday nights to raise funds for the building's upkeep.

Sadvar is a third-generation Elk, having been involved with the Craig lodge for 43 years.

His grandson, Justin, is the Lodge's current Grand Exalted Ruler, representing Craig at the organization's national convention in Florida.

Sadvar said the Craig Elks Lodge is always looking for new members, with numbers having dwindled in recent years. In 2004, the Colorado Elks Association's centennial, Craig had 168 Elks.

Sadvar said the current membership stands at 103.

"I just hope people will come in and support us every Friday," he said. "Just remember, without us, there will be a lot of kids without a Christmas."

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