Mission Viejo / Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge No. 2444 (“Elks Lodge”) Run-A-Ways campers club once again chose to forego their annual gift exchange in favor of making donations to South County Outreach in Lake Forest. Seven hundred ($700) dollars was collected at the club’s annual Christmas party for that worthy charity. The Elks Lodge Charity Fund added an additional three hundred ($300) dollars to round out the amount to one thousand ($1,000) dollars. Seventy gift cards in fifteen and twenty dollar denominations were purchased with the funds and presented to a grateful Norah Dopudja, Director of South County Outreach Operations, by Elks Lodge Run-A-Ways past Wagon Masters Pat Martino and Andy Costello. Gift cards were placed by South County Outreach in gift baskets for distribution to needy families.
Director Dopudja said of the cards, “These gift cards are really appreciated by the teenagers in our families. Toys and dolls are often donated and given to the small tots in the family and the teenagers seem to get overlooked. These gift cards can be used by teenagers in the family if they want to buy a gift for someone or to buy something for themselves.” Past Run-A-Ways Wagon Master Martino said, “The Run-A-Ways is just a small club within the Elks Lodge, but the club members are some of the most generous people who raise thousands of dollars every year for charity. We’re also grateful to all the Elks Lodge members and the Elks Lodge Charity Fund for the extra support.”