Ranchos Roundup

Elks donate dictionaries to local elementary students

Elks Past Exalted Ruler Twila Otto holds two of the dictionaries the club is distributing around schools.

Elks Past Exalted Ruler Twila Otto holds two of the dictionaries the club is distributing around schools.


On March 26, the Tahoe-Douglas Elks donated more than 650 dictionaries to third-grade students in Douglas County, South Lake Tahoe and Coleville.

Past Exalted Ruler and Dictionary Project Chairman Twila Otto said the Tahoe/Douglas Elks have provided dictionaries to local schoolchildren for the past 18 years. In a typical year, funds to purchase the books are raised through Lodge events and supplemented with grant money from the Elks National Foundation. This year’s dictionaries were purchased with direct donations from local Elks members and proceeds from the group’s candy sales.

“Not all Elks (lodges participate in) this project, but it is something that’s been near and dear to the (Tahoe/Douglas Lodge) for 18 years now… we are looking forward to number 19,” said Otto.

In years prior, Elks members have enjoyed visiting schools to present the dictionaries to children and share the history of “The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.” Students are provided an opportunity to explore their new resource by looking up the definition of benevolent and discussing the word’s meaning and significance.

An in-person assembly wasn’t possible this year, so Otto composed a letter detailing the intention and purpose behind the dictionary program. Classroom teachers could then share the letter with their students when the books were distributed.

The Dictionary Project (dictionaryproject.org) is a national program that has provided more than 31 million third-grade students with their own dictionary since 1995. The Dictionary Project is implemented by local sponsors and volunteers across the nation and has grown to include a number of countries around the world. The Tahoe/Douglas Elks take the lead in supplying dictionaries to local students, and Otto hopes to expand the program’s outreach to private schools in the area.

Dash and Dine Friday

The Elks’ Dash and Dine date night menu for Friday night is barbecue chicken, Santa Maria-style beans and potato salad. Each order provides dinner for 2 for a donation of $25.

Call 775-265-5483 by 4:30 p.m. today to secure a reservation; leave your name, number of orders you’d like, what time between 5-7 p.m. you’d wish to pick up the food. If you’d like a call back for order confirmation, include your phone number with the message.

The Tahoe/Douglas Elks Lodge is located at 1227 Kimmerling Road in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

A sunny-yellow sign of spring

In spite of last week’s snowfall, spring has sprung in the Carson Valley, as evidenced by the abundance of dandelions quickly spreading across our yard.

Commonly considered a weed, dandelions are actually herbaceous perennials and are considered a nutritious food source in many parts of the world. When harvested safely, dandelions can be prepared and consumed in a number of ways that include salad, soup, and tea. They’re also a pollen and nectar source for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

These bright markers of spring provide a splash of color to the budding landscape, but I’m reminded of past years when the backyard grass quickly morphed into more yellow than green. In an attempt to keep their numbers to a manageable level, I head out with a weed puller every few days to lift dandelions from the ground by hand. They are hardy little things and if you don’t go deep enough into the soil to remove the whole root, they’ll come right back. I’m often convinced a space is cleared only to look outside a few hours later and see new yellow spots dotting the lawn.

How wonderful it will be if all the flowers and garden seedlings I’m planting intentionally this year establish themselves with such vigor. Fingers crossed for a bountiful growing season.

Amy Roby can be reached at ranchosroundup@hotmail.com.


RobertS 3 weeks, 1 day ago

They even have a bar at the Elk's for members and visitors to spend their money, drink and party too.

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