Volunteer Venita Collier
Meet volunteer Venita Collier. She is a (VAVS) Veterans Affairs Voluntary Services representative for the Colorado State Elks Association, and has been for the last three years. Venita’s Elks Lodge is #1777 in Lakewood, CO. She is very proud of her participation with this organization, and what it does for the community. Venita Collier: “There is no greater reward than to serve those who gave so much in serving our country. It is a blessing to be able to give them joy and the joy I receive words cannot express.”
In case you are not familiar with the Elks Association mission, the following is from Venita Collier’s Lodge #1777 website: “Elks are American citizens who enjoy living life by the golden rule and contributing to the lives and well-being of those around them. We guide ourselves through life with strong morals and a great love of our fellow man – always adhering to the founding principals of our order: Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity.
The Elks have contributed more than $3.6 billion in donations for the nation’s youth, veterans, disadvantaged and handicapped, and to individuals and groups in support of patriotic and civic programs.
The Lakewood Elks Lodge was founded in 1949 and gives approximately $20,000 annually to local causes that include veterans, disadvantaged children and disabled. Our members participate in our fundraisers so that we can give back to our community. It is at the core of who we are.”
Venita Collier updating Stan Paprocki and other members from the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #1071 regarding donated money from #1071 for veterans.
Although Ms. Collier is involved with many charitable activities as an Elk member, volunteering to help veterans is close to her heart. She is a VAVS Representative for Valor Point. Valor Point is a domiciliary for 40 homeless veterans and is part of the VA.
In Venita’s own words: “When a veteran is ready to leave Valor Point and move into an apartment on their own, they have nothing but empty walls. This is where I come in and make Graduation Starter Boxes with items for the kitchen, bathroom and household. Each box is valued between $150 to $175.
Valor Point holds a special veteran graduation luncheon where the veteran is presented with their own graduation box. At this luncheon, the veterans from the past year receive a Graduation Certificate. It is a nice event for the veterans, with food, music and an opportunity to re-connect with friends. Besides the graduation luncheon, as Valor Point’s VAVS, I also host the veteran December seasonal event.
Venita Collier at the Valor Point luncheon on May 18, 2017
The Elk’s association have VAVS Reps throughout the U.S., and there are many in the State of Colorado. My husband, John Collier is also a representative.
Our Lakewood Elks #1777 Veterans Committee always has two veteran’s programs per year. On Sunday, May 21st, we will host our 4th Annual Root-Beer Float, Sing-A-Long Veterans Patio Party. All Veterans eat free. This event is always a huge success.
In November, both John and I participate in the Metro Veterans Stand Down. In the past 4 years, we have been escorts on the bus which includes escorting the homeless veterans back and forth to the National Armory on Franklin Street in Denver. We have many other Elk members in the Metro area who work the Stand Down by serving the veterans breakfast which is furnished by the Colorado State Elks Association.”
Venita and John Collier
Venita sharing more on the importance of Lakewood Elks Lodge #1777:
” We, the Lakewood Elks participate in the RED, WHITE, BREW event where our CO Central Northwest District have a beer tasting event to raise money to help veterans. Last year, our Lakewood Elks hosted. We raised close to $5000.00 which was donated to the Fisher House in Aurora.
We, the CO State Elks work the DIA Winter Sports Clinic every year at DIA, Aspen and Snowmass. Last year, we had 200 disabled veterans arrive at DIA. Our job included assisting the veterans on and off planes, to the hospitality room, and most importantly, on their plane to Aspen for their week-long event.
We also have a Wounded Warrior account at our Lodge to help veteran warriors when they are in great need.”
Hats off to you, Venitia Collier, for your dedication over the years. Our veterans and our community have benefited greatly by your efforts. It is no wonder you have received the Freedom Grant award from the National Elks four times.
Our thanks to you, and all the volunteer Elks Lodge members, who follow your rule: “adhering to the founding principals of our order: Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity.”
If you would like to get involved and volunteer as Venita Collier does, please visited the Elks Lodge website: lakewoodelks.com/