TAMPA, Florida — Thousands of members of the Benevolent and Protective Order (BPO) of Elks of the United States of America and guests gathered July 4-7, in Tampa for the BPO Elks’ National Convention. During the convention, Christopher Heinrichs, Worthington, was installed as District Deputy for the BPO Elks for lodges in the South District of the Minnesota Elks Association, Inc. and will serve a one-year term.

The BPO Elks is one of the premier patriotic and charitable organizations in the U.S. and is committed to making its communities better places to live. Each year, the Order donates more than $71 million in cash and $310 million in goods and services to the needy, students, people with special needs, active-duty members of the US armed forces and their families, veterans and their families, and charitable organizations.

As part of the Elks’ ongoing commitment to help students achieve their goals, the Elks National Foundation awards annual college scholarships worth a total of more than $4.5 million to students across the country. To help local lodges make positive changes in their communities, the Elks National Foundation’s Community Investments Program provides local Elks lodges with more than $14 million to help them build stronger communities.

Elks pledge “So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.”

Elks volunteers give generously of their time and resources to serve veterans and military members. Through the Elks National Veterans Service Commission, Elks provide beds, supplies, and emergency assistance to help prevent veteran homelessness and assist veterans exiting homelessness. Elks provide ongoing support to veterans at more than 350 VA medical centers, state veterans homes, and clinics across the country. Elks volunteers also help veterans rehabilitate and thrive through adaptive sports programs and by providing them with therapy craft kits. Altogether, Elks volunteered nearly one million hours of service to veterans last year alone.