ST. CHARLES – As the members of St. Charles Moose Lodge #1368 celebrated the lodge's 100-year anniversary Saturday, Mooseheart family teacher Mike Worden expressed gratitude for what the lodge does.
"They're the reason we exist," Worden said. "The lodge and all the other lodges around the world fund what we do."
Mooseheart Child City and School, located between North Aurora and Batavia, is a community and school for children and teens in need. Mooseheart this month will also celebrate its 100-year anniversary.
Worden and his wife, Linda, have been family teachers at Mooseheart for almost 16 years. As a way to show their gratitude, the couple helped run some of the games during Saturday's celebration along with several Mooseheart students.
But St. Charles Moose Lodge doesn't just raise funds for Mooseheart. Last year. the lodge donated more than $50,000 in cash to charities.
Some of its activities have included donating turkeys for Lazarus House's Thanksgiving dinner at the Salvation Army's community center in St. Charles, and helping the St. Charles Police Department purchase a police dog.
"We take care of our own here," said Mike Rallo, current governor of St. Charles Moose Lodge.
With 1,200 male members and 600 female females, the St. Charles Moose Lodge is one of the largest in the state.
"We are a family place," said St. Charles Moose Lodge member Pete Baldino. "We've got great volunteers and great people. It's all about the people."