HARLINGEN — After years of moving up in the ranks, this philanthropist has earned one of the top titles in this charitable organization that she says is very near and dear to her heart.
This month, Pamela J. Crouch, of Harlingen, was named district deputy grand exalted ruler for the BPO Elks for lodges in the South District of the Texas Elks State Association and will serve a one-year term.
“It’s a great honor,” Crouch said. “I’ve been involved with the Elks so this is just another step up in the process to do what I could to help.”
The BPO Elks is a nationwide organization in the United States that donates funds, goods and services to students, people with special needs, active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces and their families, veterans and their families and nonprofit organizations.
According to Crouch, the South District of the Texas Elks State Association runs from Kingsville to McAllen and down to Brownsville.
From giving scholarships to children and providing aid to veterans, Elks Lodges invest time and funds into programs and opportunities that aim to benefit communities.
According to Crouch, each lodge creates different fundraisers and events to raise funds and provide services for its community.
“There’s a lot of good work that the Elks do that goes directly, right back into our local community,” Crouch said. “Harlingen has huge bingos and they donate all of that money back into the community to everything in Harlingen that you can think of from food pantries to animal shelters, Loaves and Fishes and kids activities, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.”
Crouch began participating with the Elks organization when she lived in Illinois and has been a member for more than 20 years.
“My husband and I have both been members for so long. The main thing that we were always involved in was volunteering with community service,” she said. “It’s just so important.”
According to Crouch, to receive the title of district deputy grand exalted ruler, a member will need to be approved and serve through each chair of their local lodge.
Crouch said about nine or 10 years has to be invested with the organization to become district deputy grand exalted ruler and there are many steps involved with the process.
“Some years, you’re so busy with personal things and you’re thinking you don’t want to go any farther. You’ll think you’ll step back and let somebody with more energy and more time,” she said. “But in the end, you think about all you could do and accomplish. So that encourages you just to go on.”
Crouch said it feels very rewarding when she and the other members are able to make a difference in people’s lives.
“You’re not out here on your own trying to solve the world’s problems. You can come together with like-minded people that support all of these functions and work as a team,” she said. “You can accomplish so much more.”
For more information about the organization or to become a member, visit www.elks.org .