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Moose Ladies’ luncheon benefits youth, senior centers

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By Sam Hickman

 SHALLOTTE — Wayne Mims, a member of the Shallotte Moose Lodge, performed his “Shadows of Elvis” routine and everyone loved it.

Mims sang and danced his way around the crowd like a seasoned professional, drawing smiles and turning the heads of those in attendance at the Shallotte Moose Ladies Luncheon on Wednesday, April 16, at the lodge off Holden Beach Road in Shallotte.

Mims was the star of the show, and he entertained for a good cause.

The luncheon costs more than $500 for the Moose Ladies, but they coordinate projects throughout the year that cover the costs. The money that’s left over from the projects is donated to the Mooseheart Child City and School and the Moosehaven.

“These are two great causes,” Shallotte Women of the Moose chaplain Cleo Lawrence said. “It’s a very rewarding day.”

Mooseheart is a community and school for children and teens in need, located on a 1,000-acre campus, 38 miles west of Chicago. During its 97-year history, Mooseheart has been home to nearly 12,000 young people, ranging in age from infancy through high school.

Founded in 1913 by the Moose fraternal organization, Mooseheart is supported completely through private donations. Moose International headquarters is on the Mooseheart campus.

The Loyal Order of the Moose determined it also needed to provide care for those “on the other end of life,” so it adopted a retirement community in Florida and called it Moosehaven.

Lawrence said the Women of the Moose love to help in any way they can. The luncheon, which is hosted twice a year at the Shallotte Moose Lodge, is increasing in popularity.

“We used to not have very many people; now, we pack 200 people in here. We’ve reached the capacity of the building,” she said. “Out of 200 people, we might get one complaint, but that’s always going to happen when you’re dealing with … elderly people.”

Judy Wallace said she couldn’t believe the turnout.

“I couldn’t even give a ticket to my 90-year-old neighbor,” she said.

London Gore read a poem before lunch was served, thanking the Women of the Moose for hosting such a great event.

“They feed us, for free, two good meals each year,” he quipped. “Isn’t that great?”

One couple in particular was especially proud to be at this year’s luncheon, Johnny and Dorothy Uberto. Johnny, 99, was recognized at the event as the oldest person in attendance, an honor he was proud of.

But, Lawrence said, the star of the show is always Elvis, or Mims.

“We’ve had people check themselves out of the hospital to come see him,” she said. “They’ll be up there in a minute, dancing on their walkers.”

 

Sam Hickman is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or shickman@brunswickbeacon.com.