RUMFORD—Membership to Rumford Elks Lodge #862 is low recently, perhaps due to the economy, says Past Exalted Ruler Dave Fitzpatrick. The Elks are a fraternal organization that gives back to the community and their main goals involve community projects. They are always looking for new members to volunteer, Fitzpatrick says.

Recently the Elks donated checks for $75 to McKennel’s Animal Adoption Agency in Rumford and to the River Valley Animal Advocates in Canton.

They also donated cat and dog food, kitty litter, bleach, and toys for the animals. Marsha McKenna, owner of McKennel’s, says the Adoption Agency needs mostly cat food and bleach.

Recently some of her cats were displayed at Aubuchon hardware store in Rumford, which resulted in home placements for them. “Adopting animals into good families is what we’re about,” she says. She is willing to work with people on the costs for the pets but the price depends on whether or not animals have been spayed or neutered, or if they have other medical needs.

Because of the economy McKenna says she can’t help as many animals as in the past. A Bethel veterinarian helps her by spaying and neutering the cats; otherwise costs range from $130 to $150 for these operations.

The River Valley Animal Advocates program specializes in capturing and releasing feral cats after spaying or neutering them. They also provide loans for elderly and low-income people to use for their pets’ veterinary care.

The Elks also provide scholarships for Project Graduation, a regional Hoop Shoot for students ages eight to 13, and Maine children’s cancer programs. Veterans programs including free dinners for vets are also part of the Elks’ services.

For more information about the Elks call 364-4022.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. the Elks will have a spaghetti dinner including bread, salad, dessert and coffee. Cost is $8 per person. Proceeds will aid the Lodge’s building maintenance costs.

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