On August 8th, the Fontana-Rialto Elks Lodge chartered an all-expenses-paid deep sea fishing boat out of Dana Point for 14 local veterans.
The lodge partnered with two non-profit organizations, Working Dogs for Warriors (in Rialto) and Lighthouse Social Service Center (in Colton), to treat a handful of its veteran members to an 8-hour fishing trip as a thank you for their service.
“Our veterans must know we have not forgotten about them. So we thought it would be awesome to treat them to a relaxing day. So we rented two 15-passenger vans and drove everyone to the harbor, covered boarding expenses and all of the food,” said Jeremy Langley, Fontana-Rialto Elks Lodge exalted ruler.
The trip was made possible by a grant received by the Elks National Foundation, an entity dedicated to assisting Elks Lodges across the country in making a positive impact in their community.
“The veterans that joined us ranged in age from 25 to 70. Although it was a slow fishing day, our boat still caught three fish, a dorado, yellowtail, and small bass,” continued Langley.
For one veteran passenger, the trip marked the first time on a boat since finishing his term in the U.S. Navy, while it was the first time another veteran passenger had ever been on a boat.
“The 13 men and one woman that joined us were very appreciative. As a fisherman myself, I’m proud that we were able to pull this off, and it’s a shared experience that all of us will remember forever,” concluded Langley.
To learn more about the Fontana-Rialto Elks Lodge, visit elks.org/lodges/home.cfm?LodgeNumber=2013.