Members of the Tacoma Elks Club showed their community spirit as their building was crumbling around them.
I went to their surplus sale on Thursday to see if I could get some good deals on furniture or other supplies for a free, nonprofit community writing center that my friends and I are creating. Once I told the members where the tables and chairs would be going, they refused to let me pay, insisting that they wanted the furniture to go to a place where it would help the community. They gave us 10 tables and 40 chairs and encouraged me to come back for more.
I have mixed feelings about the generous donation. I was thrilled to get the much-need furniture for free. On the other hand, it was incredibly sad to see the building being emptied, photos being taken down and the walls, counters and railings stripped of woodwork and metal so that the new Walmart can take its place.
As I was coming and going with my loads of furniture throughout the morning, one Elks member sat in his wheelchair gazing out the large dining room windows into the field behind the Elks building.
I hope his memories include all the good things the club did for us, the community. I, for one, am moved by the generosity.