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Moose turns 75

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NORTH BEND _ Past, present and new members of the

Sno-Valley Moose Lodge #1666 will be honored this Friday, Saturday and Sunday,

Jan. 28, 29 and 30, as the local lodge recognizes its 75th year in the Valley.

Family oriented dinners, ceremonies, guest speakers, a live

band, karaoke sessions and a Super Bowl Sunday party highlight the

weekend's activities. Attending and speaking at the celebration will be several

official Moose dignitaries, past lodge governors and other notable

individuals such as guest bartender Bill Williams, who bartended 25 years ago at

the lodge's 50th anniversary.

Current Moose members _ who today meet in their third official

hall, located west of downtown North Bend on North Bend Way _ have a lot to

be proud of, according to Bill Cavanaugh, 54, the Loyal Order of Moose

Administrator and a 35-year Moose Lodge member. In a time when many

national fraternal organizations _ such as the VFW, American Legion and

Eagle's clubs _ are having hard times attracting new membership, Cavanaugh

explained, this local herd has prospered.

In 1999, the Sno-Valley Moose Lodge _ roughly 400 members

strong _ recorded the second highest growth rate in the state of Washington

and Northern Idaho. The local Moose population increased by 85 new

members since May 1, 1999. Not since 1975, when the lodge boasted a

membership of 350 members, has local lodge participation been so strong.

"There are many factors (that contribute to our successes),"

Cavanaugh explained. "Both our national and

local leadership heavily promote the Moose as a `family fraternity.'

This means most of our planned activities are something the entire family

can attend.

"At least until 11 p.m. when kids ought to be in bed anyhow,"

added Cavanaugh.

"Many people might actually be surprised how many young

families have joined our lodge. Today, at least half of our members are probably

under 40 years old."

According to Cavanaugh, over the past five years Moose membership

had actually experienced a slight decline, but has recovered with this year's

recruits.

"There is always going to be turnover, but we're constantly looking

for new members and ways to attract them," said Cavanaugh.

Besides a prospering meeting hall, Snoqualmie Valley's housing

boom and no military prerequisite needed for membership (members must only

be 21), North Bend's location may also be of help. The next closest

Moose Lodge is located in Enumclaw.

"We have a number of members who drive in from

Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, and even Lynnwood and Kent,"

added Cavanaugh. Of the lodge's current incoming recruits, only 5 of 15 can

actually call Snoqualmie Valley home.

Looking ahead, Cavanaugh said, the city of Monroe plans to

establish a Moose chapter sometime in the next 12 to 18 months. Other area

communities developing chapters could also effect membership in the future.

"Simply said, this is a nice family (organization) filled with good

people; that's why I think it's been around so long," said longtime Moose

member Goldie Grina. "For years it's been an important place for our family. I

remember way back, going to the old (Moose) hall and dancing in the

basement. So I've been around for awhile. It's simply a nice place to go."

Goldie and her husband Cliff, a former Moose governor, supplied

the local chapter with a couple Moose members themselves. Their son

Don is a former Moose governor like his father, and son Gary once served as

a Moose secretary.

It's no wonder this herd of Moose continues to grow.

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