Elks Home now open to public

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By Tom Wilmoth

    After more than 100 years of serving only Elk members, the Elks National Home in Bedford is now offering its services to the public.
    And the phones are ringing off the hook.

    “This means that the beautiful facility, outstanding services and great quality care, for which the Home is so well known, are now available to both Elk members and the general public,” stated Pam Mutter, executive director of the Elks National Home.
    Mutter said this was the option—as opposed to selling—that was preferred.
    “We feel very good about it,” she said.
    A declining number of Elk members who were utilizing the facility led to discussions at the national level as to what to do with the Home. Currently there are about 80 Elks staying there but the Home is licensed for up to 230. Several more will be added to the list soon, stated Mutter, about the calls from the public the Home has been receiving from those wanting to be there.
    “It's not sold; we're going forward with opening to the public as a different avenue,” Mutter said.
    She said that it is one of the last of similar type facilities that hasn't previously opened to the public to become financially solvent. Mutter said the Odd Fellows Home in Lynchburg was a good inspiration for the move.
    “They shared with us how drastically it changed their numbers,” Mutter said.
    She said the Elks Home is well-known in the community and believes there will be many who would like to stay at the facility.
    “We have room for a lot more residents here,” she said.
    And the Home also has an adjacent 200 acres of land that presents “unlimited potential,” Mutter said.
    The Home will still be owned and governed by the Order of Elks. Currently the Home has about 32 employees, but could add more as the facility's use grows.
    “We're ready to have them come on in,” she said. “With this package we have done an overall price restructuring. Living here is very affordable.”
    Mutter said a lot of monthly rates are cheaper than they were prior to the restructuring, making it more affordable. Elk members will receive some monetary benefits by staying there, but Mutter said it will be attractive to non-Elks as well.
    “We have been wanting this to happen for a good while,” she said. “We're delighted.”
    Interested? For information call 1-800-552-4140 or 540-586-8232. Ask for Nellie, Robin or Deanna. They can mail you information, answer questions or schedule a tour.