Saturday’s Toys for Tots program at the Beech Grove Moose Lodge was a bitter-sweet occasion for most members as the lodge is scheduled to close Jan. 2. However, the impending closure didn’t dampen the Christmas spirit of longtime member Deanna Watkins, who shopped for toys last week.
“It’s so much fun when you are spending someone else’s money,” she laughed, noting that the lodge had raised more than $1,900. “I bought many dolls and lots of toys for boys, girls and babies,” Watkins said. “I love the program because all the recipients are needy children.” The Marines Corps
Reserve will distribute the toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them Christmas gifts. “I would love to be at the homes of the children when they open these gifts Christmas
morning,” Watkins beamed with pride. “I know they will love these toys.”
The event, sponsored by the ladies of the lodge, was complemented by a visit from Santa and a pitch-in luncheon, which everyone agreed was delicious.
“It’s sad that this will be the last year that we do this. I look forward to it every year,” said a teary eyed Watkins, who is looking forward to the lodge’s Christmas party. “Some of us women will try to stick together and do charitable work in the future. I love all of these women.”
A dwindling member-ship and a growing debt sealed the fate of the lodge, which got its charter in 1982.
“We’re not going down without a fight,” Michele Campbell said. “You always hear people talking about Christmas miracles ... well, I’m looking for one."