Community News

Mission Viejo, Saddleback Valley Elks Celebrate New Officer Installation


Exalted Ruler Mike Klinger and First Lady Judy Klinger

by: Andy Costello
Posted: March 20, 2018

MISSION VIEJO...Over two-hundred Elks members, families and guests recently celebrated Mission Viejo / Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge No. 2444 installation of Officers. Outgoing Exalted Ruler Mike Long expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the members for a very successful year. He paid a special tribute to First Lady Vicky for her love and support throughout the year. He praised his Corps of Officers and Committee workers for the numerous charitable accomplishments of the past twelve months and for having one of the largest increases of new members in recent years. Long also offered his congratulations to the incoming Corps of Officers, pledging his support and wishing them success in the coming year.

Installation of Mission Viejo, Saddleback Valley Lodge 2444 Officers


The new officers will be serving the Lodge for a term of one year starting April 1, 2018. They are: Exalted Ruler (Lodge president) Mike Klinger of Rancho Santa Margarita, Lodge Knights (Vice Presidents): Leading Knight Jamie Camunas of Lake Forest, Loyal Knight John Lee of Mission Viejo, and Lecturing Knight Lane Keran of Rancho Santa Margarita, Secretary, Laura Lumley, and Esquire Rick Capotosta of Mission Viejo, and 5th year Trustee Alan Harkness of Capistrano Beach. Also installed were: Treasurer William (Bill) Bongartz and Chaplain Cynthia Wooten of Lake Forest, Inner Guard Steve Cagnacci of Mission Viejo, Organist Andy Costello of Laguna Hills, and Tiler Lia Fasse of Laguna Niguel.

In his acceptance speech, newly elected Exalted Ruler Mike Klinger said that his motto for the year will be, "Focused on Elkdom." He explained, "For over 44 years I have continued to perfect my hobby of photography and in many instances fashioned my life and my involvement in the Elks like a camera. I focus on what's important, capture the good times, develop from the negative and when things just don't work out...I'll take another shot!" Klinger also highlighted the importance of the Lodge's continued involvement in charitable works within the community and his emphasis on the Lodge's participation in the all important Elks Drug Awareness Program.

Officer of the Year - Trustee Chairman Frank Scarpini



Elk of the Year Dennis Boelts



Citizen of the Year Ron Eger



At a year-end awards ceremony, three of Elkdom's highest Lodge awards were presented. The Citizen of the year award went to Ron Eger for his excellent work in the community with the Elks Lodge's Third Grade Dictionary Program. The Officer of the Year award was given to Chairman of the Board of Trustees Frank Scarpini for his years of service in the Lodge and as an officer on the Board. The Elk of the Year honor was awarded to Dennis Boelts as the Lodge's hardest working Chef and especially for his ongoing dedication to the charitable work of the Lodge and his outstanding volunteerism.

In other Lodge news, eleven (11) members were named to high positions in the Elks Orange Coast District. They are: Past Exalted Rulers: Mike Long – Public Relations Chairman, Hal Mattson – Government Relations Chairman, Dave McLeod - Indoctrination Chairman & Ritual Contest Member, and Derek Randles – National Foundation Grants Chairman. Also named to District positions were: Dave Perry – National Veterans Service Chairman, Greg Morgan – Hoop Shoot Vice-Chairman, Lodge (newly installed) Loyal Knight John Lee – Scholarship Vice-Chairman, and retiring Chairman of the Trustees Basia Bills – National Foundation Chairman. Three special assignments were also announced: Andy Costello - Grand Lodge Area Seven Membership and Marketing Committeeman, Past District Deputy Norm Jones - Orange Coast District Secretary, and Past District Deputy Harvey Boelts was named Orange Coast District Leading Knights Advisor. The local Elks Lodge was honored to have so many of its members appointed to highly respected positions in the Order of Elks.

The Mission Viejo / Saddleback Elks Lodge No. 2444, celebrating forty-nine (49) years of service to the Saddleback Valley communities, is one of ten lodges in the Orange Coast District of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) whose headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois. The BPOE is a charitable organization with a 150 year history of giving, "Elks Care, Elks Share."

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