Welcome to Connecticut the "Constitution State"

 State President Mike Bonini  

On behalf of the over 21,000 Elks of Connecticut, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our State Association website. Here you will find information regarding our State Association, our 31 local Lodges and how we are promoting our local, Connecticut Elks Association and Grand Lodge programs. I encourage you to visit here often.

Although Connecticut is small geographically, we are large in commitment to serving our communities through local charitable works, state association sponsored programs and involvement with all Grand Lodge programs. It is with great pride to hear Connecticut recognized at a Grand Lodge Convention for achievement of program excellence. Connecticut has won many State Association awards and Grand Lodge awards over the years and we strive every day to continue down that path.  We are extremely proud of the fact that Connecticut has had an annual gain in membership for the past 5 consecutive years!

It is also noteworthy that Connecticut is home to twenty Lodges that are over 100 years old including our “Mother Lodge,” Hartford No. 19, the first building constructed in Connecticut solely for use as an Elks Lodge in 1903.

I am from Wallingford and Wallingford Lodge No. 1365 is my home lodge. This year is our 100th anniversary serving the community. Wallingford is a great little New England town. A little history of Wallingford: in 1667 the Connecticut General Assembly authorized the "making of a village on the east river" to 38 planters and freeman. We grew and grew and in 1670 we were incorporated and known as Wallingford. During the 19 Century Wallingford was known for our Silver & Pewter manufacturing. When traveling to or through town, visit some of our many historic attractions. Also, please except my invitation to visit Wallingford Lodge No. 1365 or any other of our of friendly lodges while traveling through our state.

Connecticut has played a pivotal role in Elkdom over the years. In 1927 at Meriden Lodge No. 35, the endorsed candidate for GER John F. Malley first proposed the creation of the Elks National Foundation, our philanthropic fund. This charitable trust will give away over $25 million dollars in scholarships this year and helps us to support the many community programs of our local Lodges.

The Elks of Connecticut developed and implemented our national soccer shoot program, which was the brainchild of Grand Trustee Robert W. Hansen and Past Grand Loyal Knight Francis A. Joyce, both members of New Britain No. 957. This program teaches youths of all athletic skill levels the values of good sportsmanship, allowing them to compete, connect and succeed.

The Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and their “Safe Kids Program” is our state major project. For over 60 years we have enjoyed our relationship with the CCMC, assisting them with keeping children safer through education and the use of bicycle helmets, child car seats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Our annual donation of $100,000, funds the efforts to reduce the number of children hospitalized each year. Since our first donation, the Elks of Connecticut have made nearly five million dollars in donations to CCMC!  Please stop by the Connecticut Elks major project booth at the 2019 National Convention in ST Louis, Missouri to learn more about the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Our association is also proud of our affiliation with Connecticut Special Olympics and the Holiday Classic during the month of November. We serve as the title sponsor bringing over 100 Elk volunteers to assist these special athletes during the volleyball, power lifting, bowling and basketball competition events. We continue to grow with the Special Olympics program and have expanded our participation into the annual Skills Competition held in the town of Hamden each year during the month of June.

The Connecticut Elks Association Charities Inc. 501(c) 3 program was established in 2015 to assist in furthering the fundraising needed to promote the Association's charitable works. This program has been a pleasant success from its inception through today.

During my 28 years as an Elk, I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve the Wallingford community through the various programs of the Elks. Since my initiation into the Order in 1991, I have served as a Lodge Officer, House Committee Chairman, Exalted Ruler, State District Chairman, State Officer, District Deputy, State Vice President and now as State President. It is an honor for me to serve the Connecticut Elks Association as its President and represent our members at the Grand Lodge Convention in ST Louis, Missouri this year.

As Elks, we are known as an organization that cares and shares. Most impressive about this is that we accomplish caring and sharing through the virtue of Charity and volunteering our time and resources to achieve the goals of our great Order. The success of any association depends on the involvement of its members. Connecticut Elks have always gone above and beyond to continually move our programs in a positive direction. Our motto for this year is: “We Are All In This Together”. I am confident that from the arm of Charity, Connecticut Elks will continue to exhibit the caring and sharing excellence that the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is known for.

Thank you for visiting our website!

Fraternally,

Michael A. Bonini, PDD