by Nathan Boddy
Athena Lande, Administrative Assistant for Emma’s House Child Advocacy Center in Hamilton, says that the CAC is, “very, very fortunate to be where we are and to be of service.” Lande was on hand recently to accept the donation of several hundred dollars from the Eagles Lodge of Hamilton, funds which were the result of the Lodge’s bingo proceeds and a 50/50 raffle.
“We are a very well funded non-profit,” said Lande, “and that is based solely off our community.”
The Emma’s House CAC not only plays a critical role for young victims of physical and sexual abuse in Ravalli County, but it also serves as a model for other CACs throughout the state of Montana. Having opened in 2006, the CAC has routinely been the object of praise for the crucial work it has done to help young victims through streamlining and organizing essential services such as medical review, law enforcement, legal services, case management, etc.
Jeff Olsen represented the Eagles Lodge to deliver the donation to Emma’s House, and describes himself as a “volunteer and go-fer,” but adds that “if you need somebody to lift and tote, well, if it’s not a lot of lifting and toting, I’m ok with that!” He also mentioned that his association with the Eagles bingo games was largely on account of his wife having undertaken the role as Chair of the Bingo Committee.
Olsen says that the Eagles will be increasing their bingo games to two Thursdays a month, with doors opening at 5 p.m. and the calling getting started at 6:00. The proceeds of the game, and the simultaneous 50/50 raffle, will continue to be dedicated to a different non-profit each time. In fact, Olsen was on his way back to the Eagles Lodge to prepare for the next round of bingo, the proceeds of which would be directed to Hamilton’s Haven House food pantry.
“After that it’ll be for the Eagles Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday,” he said. “There will be thousands of eggs with candy, but four (of the eggs) will have little tickets for a bicycle.”
The Eagles Lodge is located at 125 North 2nd Street in Hamilton.