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COHOES - Members of the Cohoes-Waterford Elks showcased their commitment to
community service Saturday as they held a cookout fund-raiser to benefit 11 families who
were displaced by a large fire which ripped through a Waterford apartment complex on
Memorial Day.

Complete with a variety of donated food, beverages, and ice cream from local businesses,
organizers set up a small pavilion with picnic tables and a small stage for live music in their
parking lot at 45 North Mohawk St., which area residents could enjoy for $15 per person, with
all proceeds going to benefit the 33 people who were left without a home after a fire
destroyed a 10-unit apartment building and neighboring two-story, one-family house at 100
104 Broad St. on May 26.

"We know that it's been a while since the fire occurred, but we wanted to supplement the
victims in any way that could," said Regina Hogan, exalter ruler of the Elks lodge. "Our
motto is 'Elks care, Elks share' and we want to show the community that we are committed
to helping others when we can."

The event took place from 1 p.m.-6p.m. and while attendance was low in the early afternoon, Hogan hoped that more than 200 people would show up throughout
the afternoon so that she could reach the club's goal of raising $5,000, which would be matched by the Elks' district charity fund.

The local lodge's past exalted rulers association also donated $500 to support the displaced families, some of whom were expected to attend the event later in
afternoon. "I know many of them are still renting and if this can help them in that respect or with utility bills, then we are happy to see that happen," said Hogan.

Clint Birdsall, a past exalted ruler of the lodge and one of the trustees for the Elks' district charity fund, explained that the Elks pride themselves on being able to
help local veterans, children, and victims of natural disasters such as this.

"This is what the Elks do," said Birdsall. "We're big in the community and try to raise money for the people who need it because that's what we're best at."

Additionally, Birdsall noted that the Cohoes-Waterford Elks are continually active throughout all aspects of the community and regularly sponsor scholarships and
education programs in area schools as well a number or local sports teams.

Live music for the event was provided by "Otto RD," "Bob Lord," "Abul and the Dreadknots," and "Twenty-Four Seven." The American Red Cross of
Northeastern New York immediately provided clothes and lodging to the families after the fire occurred and had estimated it would spend up to $20,000 on
providing relief to the 11 families at that time.

Other donations which have been given for the fire victims include $2,500 from Hannaford Supermarkets, $3,000 from Price Chopper, $5,000 from Momentive
Performance Materials, along with a number of personal contributions.

Tom Caprood can be reached at 270-1278 or by e-mail at tcaprood@troyrecord.com.