Elks Take Visually Impaired Veterans’ on Harbor Cruise

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Veterans from the Blind Rehabilitation Center in Long Beach pose for a photo during the 5th Annual Visually Impaired Veterans’ Harbor Cruise, hosted by Newport Harbor Elks Lodge on Sept. 18.
— Photo courtesy Newport Harbor Elks Lodge ©

Visually impaired veterans were treated to a harbor cruise, lunch and gifts recently by Newport Harbor Elks Lodge, officials announced in a press release.

The 5th Annual Visually Impaired Veterans’ Harbor Cruise took place on Sept. 18, at the Elks Lodge #1767, the lodge’s Public Relations Chairman Karen Johnson wrote in the message.

A group of 15 veterans and six aides from the Blind Rehabilitation Center of the Long Beach Veterans Hospital enjoyed an afternoon harbor cruise on pontoon boats provided and captained by members of the Newport Harbor Elks Lodge.

The day began with a light breakfast and coffee and social time with 20 Elk volunteers, the message reads.

Elks volunteers helped the veterans make their way down the dock ramp to the boats.

“Wheelchairs, walkers and white canes didn’t interfere with the veterans getting loaded onto the boats,” Johnson wrote. “They easily maneuvered the gangway and the roomy pontoon boats made it easy for all, including aides and lodge volunteers to enjoy the ride.”

When the veterans returned from the cruise, they were treated to a lunch of fried chicken, sandwiches, all the picnic style trimmings and a variety of desserts.

Bryan Baker, Lodge Exalted Ruler, and Angela Anderson, Lodge Veterans Chairman, spoke a bit about Elkdom, how proud the lodge was to host the annual event, and thanked them for their service to the country, Johnson explained in the press release.

Liz Greco, Veterans BRC Coordinator, thanked the lodge for hosting this fun event and encouraged the veterans to say a few words. Many of the veterans had attended this event before and stated that they feel this is the best of the events for which they are treated, Johnson noted.

At the end of the event and as the veterans made their way to their bus, they received a gift bag with snacks, a $10 Subway gift card and a $80 Target gift card. All provided by funds from the Spotlight Grant.

“The Elk volunteers felt proud to hand them that parting gift, and the veterans totally appreciated the Target gift card so that they could get what they wanted,” Johnson concluded in the statement.

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