Gowanda Moose Lodge to ‘Raise the Roof’

Submitted photo Renovations to the large banquet hall at the Gowanda Moose Lodge were recently completed; however, these improvements are now threatened due to the building’s collapsing roof.

GOWANDA — While recent high temperatures may have some looking forward to cooler months ahead, members of the Gowanda Loyal Order of the Moose No. 1832 are hoping to prolong the fair weather as long as possible. Recently completed renovations to the lodge are now threatened by a collapsing roof, and it is a race against the clock to raise enough money to repair it before snowy weather sets in.

According to the Gowanda Women of the Moose No. 651 Treasurer Julie Fallon, heavy rains during the spring and summer months caused the roof over the kitchen to deteriorate. After the damage was assessed, it became apparent that the entire roof should be replaced. “We just renovated our small and large banquet halls,” Fallon explained. “We got new flooring, a new bar, renovated the bathrooms and painted. We’re really worried all of this hard work will be ruined.”

For Fallon and many others, membership in the Moose Lodge is personally meaningful. “People think that it’s just a bar, but it’s not just a bar. Yes, we sell liquor and beer, but we’re so much more than that. We have a lot of fun: We do dinners, a holiday kids party, collect Toys for Tots, donate to Meals on Wheels and a lot more. It’s a great organization. The money stays local but also has a bigger impact.”

Fallon went on to share the most meaningful aspects of the organization for her: Mooseheart and Moosehaven. “Mooseheart is a residential facility that houses about 220 children, from six weeks old through high school. Every Moose lodge and every chapter of Women of the Moose supports Mooseheart, which is about 30 miles southwest of Chicago, and Moosehaven, a retirement community in Florida,” Fallon explained. “Many of the children at Mooseheart are orphaned, have lost at least one parent or just don’t have a healthy home environment. Every child that graduates from Mooseheart gets a full ride to college.”

Fallon continued, “It’s really an amazing program. Our lodge sponsors two 10-year-old girls, ‘sunshine children,’ and we send them cards, gifts and Christmas presents. We just sent them a package of school supplies.” The Gowanda lodge supports Mooseheart’s New York State House, which houses 10 girls from New York ranging in age from 11 to 16.

Fallon said that repairing or replacing the collapsing part of the roof is the priority before winter. “We’re looking into some grant possibilities. Our goal right now is to come up with as much money as we possibly can without getting a loan. That would set us back even further,” she said. To that end, the Moose Lodge has planned five fundraisers from September through November to raise money for the repair project, “Raise the Roof,” as well as the Gowanda chapter of Women of the Moose.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, the Gowanda Moose Lodge is hosting a Raise the Roof Big Money Raffle. According to Fallon, “People have a really good chance of walking away with a lot of money!” Raffle tickets are $100 each and include two buffet dinners and draft beer or well drinks from 5 to 7 p.m. Only 350 tickets will be sold, and odds of winning are one in 10. First prize is $7,500, second prize is $2,500 and third prize is $1,000. Fourth through eighth prizes are $500 each. Ninth and 10th prizes are $250 each. Prizes 11 through 35 are $125 each. The event will also include a basket auction. For tickets and more information, contact the Moose Lodge at 532-4882.

The following Saturday on Sept. 29, Women of the Moose is hosting Paul Zittel and Pure Country Live for a square and round dance with a basket raffle. The event takes place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with suggested donations of $15 per couple or $8 per single. Beverages and food will be available. For more information, contact Pat at 532-5709.

On Sunday, Oct. 14, Women of the Moose is hosting a Towel Raffle Party, which also includes a basket raffle. Doors open at noon and the raffle starts at 1 p.m. Food will be available. For more information, contact Fallon at 574-6944.

The Annual Election Day Turkey and Ham Raffle takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. The $5 donation includes a barbecue burger or hot dog, baked beans and draft beer or pop. Proceeds benefit the Raise the Roof Fund.

Get started on your holiday shopping at the Women of the Moose’s annual holiday craft show on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A wide variety of hand-crafted, locally made items and food will be available. Tables are available for a donation. Contact Fallon at 574-6944 for more details.

All events are open to the public and scheduled to take place at the Gowanda Moose Lodge No. 1382, located at 201 Aldrich St. in Gowanda. Fallon said new members are always welcome and do not have to be Gowanda residents to join.