Moose provide needed support to Vicksburg community
The Loyal Order of Moose and Women of the Moose are a valuable asset to Vicksburg. Through their service to the community, they have sponsored events that have benefited non-profit organizations including the Warren County Children’s Shelter the Warrior Bonfire Project and fundraisers for local cancer patients.
“When we hold an event, 99 percent of the time, we will take every penny we raise and give it to whatever group we are trying to help and will even add a little extra to the pot,” treasurer of the local Loyal Order of Moose David Cotton said.
Cotton said the local group has approximately 275 members, which are comprised of about 175 men and 100 women.
“Meetings for the men are held at 7 p.m. every first and third Thursdays at 2100 Fisher Ferry Road beside the Super Junior and the women’s group meets every second and fourth Thursday,” he said.
Cotton said he got involved with the local Order of Moose after a friend invited him to join.
“Some members have been in for 40 to 50 years,” Cotton said, “I have been in 12.”
In addition to holding fundraising events for those needing medical treatment, projects sponsored by the group include an annual Halloween carnival, a collaborative Easter egg hunt with the Elks Lodge with funds going to the Children’s Shelter and a fundraiser for the Mississippi Mudbugs, which is a local special Olympics softball team.
The Mudbugs compete in the International Moose Softball Tournament, Cotton said, and this year the team is going to North Dakota.
New member Alice Hebler said the group typically raises about $8,000 for the group and this year’s fundraising dinner is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 17. Tickets are $10.
Cotton said prior to each Thursday meeting, the group also gets together for dinner. The meal starts at 6 p.m., and it is prepared on-site, however every fifth Thursday, the local lodge has a potluck dinner.
“Everybody brings their favorite to this,” Cotton said.
The Loyal Order of Moose also hosts bingo games every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
“We have open bingo, and this is the largest bingo game in the city,” Cotton said.
The Loyal Order of Moose and Women of the Moose have more than 1,000,000 members and are located in over 1,500 communities across all 50 states and four Canadian provinces, plus Great Britain and Bermuda, Cotton said.
Nationally the fraternal organization provides services to children and teens through Mooseheart Child City & School, which is a 1,000-acre campus, located 40 miles west of Chicago and for their senior members a 70-acre retirement community, Moosehaven, is located near Jacksonville, Fla.
Cotton said he and his wife toured the facility in Florida and said it was beautiful.