Moose Lodge 504 and Bob Valen honored for year
The chamber of commerce named two of its own to awards last Thursday night as the "Achiever of the Year," and "Business of the Year."
The awards are made by the vote of members of the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce.
Named "Achiever of the Year" was Bob Valen, the chamber's own vice president and a retired National Park Service employee. Valen served over 35 years with the NPS, and in retirement has been as busy as ever.
He also now serves as chairman of the Coulee Area Park & Recreation District.
Named as "Business of the Year" was Moose Lodge 504.
In introducing that selection, Electric City Mayor Jerry Sands said he was proud to be a member of the lodge and told of the variety of things it does.
"First," he said, "the lodge has completely re-done its interior, making it more comfortable for its membership."
The inside has been redecorated, with paint, lighting, high-back lounge chairs so members can sit together and visit, and two fireplaces to help create an atmosphere of home. The Moose Lodge received its charter in 1937, and has nearly 350 members.
The Moose Lodge works with local food banks, gives scholarships to graduating seniors at Lake Roosevelt High School, and other local activities.
Work has been done on membership, and the activity calendar is filling up.
The Moose this past year started a "Queen of Hearts" game in which people add money to a pot and can turn up a card. If it is the Queen of Hearts, they get to claim the pot. Half goes to the Moose Lodge and the other half goes to the winner.
The game recently went for $18,000. The Moose got half of the proceeds to benefit its charities.
Sands said the "Queen of Hearts" fund is up to $4,000 since the big pot was awarded.
The Moose Lodge managers are Renee and Bill McCarty.
"It's been real pleasure working with people that recognize our mission and want to be a part of it," Renee McCarty said.
The primary mission of The Moose, she said, is maintaining a boarding school in Chicago called Moose Heart from which students graduate with a high school education and a skill.
ln accepting the "Achiever" award, Valen started by saying, "I don't know what to say." Then he went on, "I enjoy what I do because I have no direct supervision," something he appreciates after a career with the federal government.
Valen is president-elect of the Rotary Club, writes a monthly weather column for The Star newspaper, drives cars to auction for both Choice Auto and Jess Ford, and generally tries to involve himself in activities that he feels benefit the community, including work on multiple chamber committees.
As the new chair of the parks and recreation district, Valen has his eyes on such activities as a fly-in to the Electric City airport, kayak and biking events.