BRYSON was content to snuggle into Santa’s soft beard. His brother, Travis, soon joined him.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
The Owosso-Saginaw Elks #47 hosted its annual holiday party that included 20 special education students from the Shiawassee Regional Education Service District (SRESD) on Tuesday, Dec. 19. Three classrooms of students arrived by bus to the lodge located at 524 S. Washington St., Owosso: a building the Elks purchased from Grand Trunk Western in 1979 for $1. Several decades later, the Elks are firmly established in the old depot, now lodge, and have been making strides toward improving the historic location. They are also conscientiously trying to share it with the public by hosting community events such as the party for the SRESD students.
The Owosso-Saginaw Elks #47 have roots connected to the Owosso area that date back well over a century. So, of course, long-term historic connections have resulted in a direct relationship with Santa, who made a guest appearance during the party. Santa was honored with an antique chair positioned in front of a large Christmas tree, where he greeted each child individually. Most of the students appeared elated by the rare opportunity of a personal visit from the jolly old elf. The shyer members were content with a “high-five” or a handshake. It was difficult to tell who was more honored by the visit: the children with warm smiles, or Santa and the Elks members, through the purveying of Christmas spirit.
Exalted Ruler Terry Hayden, a 30-year member of the Elks, now representing the 120-members of the lodge, shared his enthusiasm for the event. “We really enjoy doing this,” Hayden stated.
The Elks have hosted this party for numerous years. This year, every child was gifted a coloring book and crayons. Lunch included sloppy joes, mac-and-cheese, jell-o and orange drink. To top it all off, the Elks presented $200 to the classes toward classroom supply costs.
For those interested in finding out more on the Elks, call (989) 723-3344. SRESD information can be found at sresd.org, or by calling (989) 743-3471.