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Banquet to honor local lawmen

WINTON – Joseph Scott of White Lily Lodge #326 said the time is long past due to hold a ceremony honoring the Roanoke-Chowan area's finest law enforcement officers.

In fact, he has organized an event to honor officers in Gates, Hertford, Bertie and Northampton counties. That event is set for a 7 p.m. start on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Elks National Shrine in Winton.

"It all began when we were thinking of ideas for our Autumn Feast II event," said Scott. "I came up with the idea that we truly need to honor those men and women who protect and serve us in this region."

Once Scott dove head first into the project, he quickly found out it was a monumental task.

"I started putting everything together, but I got to the place where I couldn't get done what I wanted to get done and that's when I got the President of the NAACP, Rickie Saunders, involved. "Also, Sallie Weaver, one of the Daughters of Elks of Eureka Temple #521, has been a big help to us. Actually, this event was not planned to be as big as it has grown, but it's gotten a lot of support. People want to help and it has just exploded."

Saunders added that the principles of Elks Lodges across the nation focus on charity, justice, brotherly love, fidelity and recognizing a belief in God.

Elks also enjoy promoting the welfare of others and enhancing the happiness of its members and the spirit of American patriotism is alive and vibrant in Elks.

"We also strive to cultivate good fellowship with our communities and we strive to protect our government," said Saunders. "That is why events like our Autumn Feast are so important to the communities in which we all live. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America serve the people and communities through our many benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks Care and Elks Share."

Saunders, secretary of White Lily Lodge 326, said Exalted Ruler of the lodge, Caleb Forbes and the Daughters of Elks Exalted Ruler Estella Simons are also working with the membership to help make Autumn Feast II an event that will truly honor the unsung heroes in each of the counties.

There is a $10 admission charge to the event. That price includes cocktails, refreshments and hors d'oeuvres, which will be served from 6 to 7 p.m.

Awards will be presented to law enforcement officers from the four counties from 7 to 9 p.m. and a celebration dance begins at 9 p.m. and runs until everyone goes home, said Scott.

Music for the dance will be provided by a disc jockey, and the attire is semi-formal.

For more information on this event, call Scott at 252-539-4027; Rickie Saunders at 252-465-6510; call the White Lily Lodge at 252-332-4151; or the Elks National Shrine at 252-358-7661.