Elk’s Lodge comes through for local boy
July 25, 2000
Social organizations do what is best for people. Never has this been more true than this past week for the Spalding family of Maybell.
When he was 10-years old, Jason Spalding had a brain tumor removed. Because of the surgery, now 12 years old, Jason is left with residual disabilities.
“He has some trouble with his right hand, so it’s hard for him to write,” said Larry Spalding, Jason’s father. “He was falling behind in his home schooling.”
“A therapist from the Children’s Hospital thought it would be helpful for him to have a modified computer,” Evelyn Tileston, executive director of the Independent Life Center, said.
Working with a fixed-income, the Spaldings approached the Independent Life Center in 1998 in hopes of obtaining a computer for Jason.
“As it happened, we had a computer that was given to us by the Colorado Assistance Tech-nical Project. We rarely used it so we gave it to Jason,” Tileston said.
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As technology increases, computers become outdated almost as fast as they are taken off the shelves. Without a CD-ROM on this particular computer, certain programs necessary to educate Jason were not available.
Tileston and the Spaldings realized a new computer was necessary.
Tileston made a call to the local Elk’s Lodge, 1577, and spoke with Larry Embury, a past district deputy director for the lodge. Embury took the ball and rolled it from here.
“Two months ago, Larry called and said he took the request to the Elk’s state foundation. He presented it to them and they voted unanimously to support the purchase of a computer,” Tileston said. “It will open all kinds of education opportunities for Jason.”
Embury gives much of the credit to Tileston’s determination. “Once Evelyn heard they needed a computer, she was like a pit bull,” Embury said. “She got hold of it and just wouldn’t let go until something was done.”
Embury said the Elks’ state organization approved the motion almost before it even hit the floor. He explained that the Elks are all about taking care of kids and veterans, and Jason’s need is the kind that puts Elks into swift motion.
The Elk’s Foundation donated $1,000 to the cause, but they had one caveatt. The state organization challenged the Craig lodge to match the funds. Embury said there wasn’t even need for discussion.
“This is what we’re all about,” said Jody Watson, the lodge’s exhalted ruler. “A lot of people don’t know what the Elks do, but charity is our main purpose especially when it comes to kids and veterans.”
The purpose of the Elks has not been missed by Tileston, or by the Spaldings.
The $2,000 was more than enough to purchase a modified computer and software programs for Jason, especially when Computer Support Center in Craig helped in obtaining the system. Bob Trembley of Computer Support Center worked to install programs and assure the computer was working right. He offered the computer to the Independent Life Center practically at cost and labored at no additional charges.
The computer was given to Jason Tuesday night at the lodge, and the boy’s father had an opportunity to express his gratitude, as well.
“You guys just can’t know what this will mean to the boy to us,” he said.
“It is wonderful to play a positive role and see it all come together,” Tileston said. “This is a feeling I hope many other people can enjoy.”
Maybe Jason summed it up best, “You guys are sweet to give me this computer,” he said. “The Elks are very sweet.”