The Lakewood Elks Honor Community Leaders, Including Mayor Ray Coles

Posted on April 23, 2018 By

The Lakewood Elks #1432, part of the Southeast District, recently honored Mayor Ray Coles as its Citizen of the Year; Ed Kelly as Elk of the Year; Joe Barina for his election as Exalted Ruler for fraternal year 2018-2019; and Michael Dennis for his successful term as outgoing Exalted Ruler.

Barina, who has been an Elk for 10 years, said, “We wanted to recognize Mayor Coles for being instrumental in helping us communicate effectively with the school system and the township.  He is our hero. Our main mission is to help others and the more people who know about us, the better job we can do. Our motto is Elks Care – Elks Share.”

Elk members pride themselves on their service and devotion to the community. Their  involvement includes supporting children with special needs; sponsoring Special Olympics; giving scholarships; spearheading youth programs; participating in projects for youth, such as drug and alcohol awareness; providing service to veterans – homeless, disabled or in need – and the military, among others. The Lakewood Elks also help fund Camp Moore, a free camp for about 75 special needs children, who have the support of an individual counselor for swimming and activities for a week.

Michael Dennis said, “We are one of the premier districts in the state that raise money for programs that help others, especially the Vets and special needs children. We’re very proud of that.”

The Elks National Foundation provides money for scholarships and grants, such as the Beacon Grant. Last year with the money from the Beacon Grant, the Lakewood Elks teamed up with Elk Oscar Orellana, a Lakewood High School guidance counselor and wrestling coach, to bring the children and their families to the Lakewood Lodge for a banquet and entertainment after the Special Olympics. The Elks also treated about 350 people and underprivileged children to a carnival that included food, a petting zoo, bouncy houses, and miniature train and pony rides through the Gratitude Grant.

More than 300 men and women from Lakewood, Jackson, Howell, and Brick belong to Lakewood Elks Lodge #1432, 711 W. Kennedy Boulevard, Lakewood, which was established in 1922. They generally meet the second and fourth Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Jolly Corks Lounge, which features a Friday night dinner, Direct TV, darts, shuffle-board, a pool table and a digital jukebox, is open seven days a week from 3:00 to 11:00 p.m.

For more information about the Elks or about becoming an Elk, contact Joe Barina at 732-363-9572 or