Elks#039; lunchtime change leaves local clubs looking for meals

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2003

As of April 7, the weekday lunches at the Ironton Elks Club will be a thing of the past.

Elks Club Chairman Jim Holtzapfel said the weekday lunches are being discontinued,

in large part because of a poor economy and fewer people dining at the club.

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"It's an economic thing," Holtzapfel said. "It just isn't practical at this time to continue serving lunches. It's not paying it's way. I regret it, but that's the situation at this time. If things improve, we hope we could have lunches again."

Holtzapfel said the Elks Club will still operate its club and offer meals on Friday and Saturday evenings from 5-10 p.m. as it always has.

Elks Club officials have notified the Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis club leaders that they will have to make other arrangements for their weekly meetings. This has left other civic leaders scrambling to find new meeting places that serve lunches.

"This has created a problem for us. There are no other places in Ironton that would have the facilities to serve us lunch each week," Rotary Club President Rod DePriest said.

The Rotary Club usually has 20-25 members at its Wednesday noon meetings, he said.

The Rotary Club has appointed a committee to inquire if churches could provide a meeting room or caterers could handle the meals. DePriest said he is thankful his organization has been able to meet at the Elks Club and he hopes the Elks will have lunchtime accommodations again someday.

Lions Club President Charles Kouns said he has inquired if the dining room at the Marting House could handle his club's noon meetings each Tuesday.

"We're hoping they can work us in down there," Kouns said. "Clubs in Ironton used to meet there years ago."

Like the Rotarians, the Lions Club has approximately 25 members.

Larry Anderson, President of the Kiwanis Club,

said he had not been officially notified of any Elks Club changes, but had heard "through the grapevine" and is looking for a new weekly home for his 10 members.

"Finding a place for even 10 people is pretty tough," Anderson said. "We may have to meet in a room and just brown bag it."