On Dec. 4, 2022, the Loyal Order of Moose, Truman Lake Lodge, celebrated the lodge’s first anniversary with a dinner. The lodge was started last year by Sam Gibbons and Bill Clifton, with 59 …
On Dec. 4, 2022, the Loyal Order of Moose, Truman Lake Lodge, celebrated the lodge’s first anniversary with a dinner. The lodge was started last year by Sam Gibbons and Bill Clifton, with 59 charter members.
The 11 new members who joined in October brings the membership to 150, Gibbons said.
“One Moose,” said Gibbons, the lodge’s first president.
One Moose is a new organizational structure for the former fraternal organization, making women equal members of the lodge, he said. Half of the Clinton lodge’s members are women, Gibbons said. Moose lodges exist in every state except Hawaii, he said, as well as four Canadian provinces and Great Britain.
“We are the first new lodge in seven or eight years,” he said.
The Truman Lake Lodge held organizational meetings the first six months of 2022 in the American Legion hall. It’s now in its permanent home on Washington, a block south of the Square opposite the fire station, in remodeled space in the old L & M Supply building. The Moose Lodge occupies 4,500 square feet of the building, and incorporates several of the old wooden sales counters from the business into its decor. Linda Gibbons was on the decorating committee for the interior, which has a rustic theme.
The Lodge did have its own moose head, donated by Jim Marolf, who had killed the animal on a hunt. But the hair on the mount proved to be unstable, so the antlers were removed and mounted on the wall instead, Gibbons said.
The space, which resembles a large restaurant, also has a bar across the back part of the back room, a pool table, 3 large screen televisions and a small kitchen, where Friday night dinners are prepared. A new addition is a karaoke machine, which was donated to the lodge, Gibbons said.
On the outside of the building, the sign for the Moose Lodge appeared in December of 2022, donated and installed by the Kansas City, Kansas, Lodge 1999. The Jackson, Mo., lodge donated the sign on the south side of the building, Gibbons said.
A large part of Lodge life is community service. Since organizing last year and going from a Moose Service Center to a Moose Activity Center, the Truman Lake lodge members have held at least one Heart of Community project every month, Gibbons said.
When school started, the Lodge members donated snacks and reward coupons for treats for special-need students in the middle school, and delivered school supplies to the Teachers’ Closet. In November they donated to the Adult abuse prevention center. In December, they collected paper products for Zoe’s Home and went Christmas caroling at Bristol Manor and The Arbors.
“The Moose Lodge does really good things,” Gibbons said, “and I am proud to be the president.”
They also raise money through raffles, and right now, have a raffle for a Pit Boss flat-top griddle going on, and are raffling off two signed Kansas City Chiefs jerseys. A Lodge member has also made fudge to sell, with proceeds benefiting the Clinton High School’s junior class prom.
Upcoming social events at the Truman Lake Lodge include a Valentine steak dinner with raffle prizes on Feb. 10, a Super Bowl watch party on Feb. 12, and a St.Patrick’s party in March.
“Pitch” card games start at noon on Saturdays. Lodge meetings are held the second and fourth Monday.
The Loyal Order of Moose was founded in 1888 in Louisville, Kentucky, as a fraternal organization combining ritual and social activities. The name Moose was chosen because of the animal’s size, strength and devotion to protecting its family, according to the organization’s website. National projects include supporting Mooseheart, a children’s home, and Moosehaven, a senior citizen home.
Jerry Dawson is the vice-president of the Truman Lake Lodge. Roxanne Thompson is administrator. The Lodge is a non-profit organization, Gibbons said, and everyone, including the administrator, is a volunteer. In a special category of membership are the Moose Legionnaires, who donate their time to do jobs around the Lodge, such as hanging the big-screen TVs.
Gibbons is a former federal law enforcement officer who retired in 1997 and moved to Clinton, where he served as mayor from 2010 to 2014. He plays the trumpet for veterans’ funerals and community events and with his spouse, Linda, has a music ministry that serves churches in the area.
The Lodge welcomes interested people to tour the facility, he said, noting that guests will be signed in by a member, and are allowed two visits before applying for membership.
To be considered for membership of the Truman Lake Moose Lodge, applicants must be persons of good standing in the community. Along with getting rid of the gender requirement, the Moose organization has gotten rid of other outdated restrictions, Gibbons said.
The Truman Lake Lodge, at 300 S. Washington, is open afternoons Wednesdays through Sundays. For more information, call the Truman Lake Moose Lodge during open hours, 660-383-1177.
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