When the Hutchinson Elks Lodge was instituted Nov. 15, 1969, it had 187 charter members.
Mike Conner was the first Exalted Ruler (president), Arlie Schlecht Sr. was the second Exalted Ruler, followed by Kenneth Erickson, Ron Jonas and Roger Klinghagen.
Numerous members have joined over the past 50 years, but at a recent celebration the induction of new members brought the standing total to 231.
Today's officers are:
- Exalted Ruler Greg Huse
- Esteemed Leading Knight Paul Ackland
- Esteemed Loyal Knight Tammy Lehn
- Esteemed Lecturing Knight Sid Grams
- Esquire Calvin Anderson
- Tiler Stan Scieszka
- Inner Guard Lane Schlecht
- Chaplin Tom Bradford
- Secretary Sheila Stephens
- Treasurer Rikki Hillgemin
The Board of Trustees members are Dave May (chairman), Deb Card, Sheila Richter, George Lehn and Catherine Libor-Huse.
The lodge celebration included life membership for one member.
Sheldon Nies was the first Gambling manager for the organization. Richard (Dick) Phillips and Roger Klinghagen were the originators of the Minnesota State Associations Hoop Shoot. This competition is held locally, in the district, regionally and nationally. Elks members volunteer at other events locally and at the district, state and national level.
The Past Exalted Ruler organization holds the annual Gun Show at the Fairgrounds. The event is organized by Dale Harbarth with the help of past exalted rulers.
The Elk’s organization has a smaller group called the Does. They are a support group of women.
Many Hutchinson community donations come from the lodge. The Elks donate to youth activities, such as through scholarships to send 13 kids to camp every summer. The lodge also supports football, bowling, dance, cycling and many more youth activities.
The most recent achievement is the inclusive park on Sherwood Street Southeast. With help from members and the local community, this three-year project was completed.