Moose, clams and fundraising for charities

| 23 Aug 2017 | 01:50

By Laurie Gordon
NEWTON — On Saturday, Aug. 19, the Moose Lodge, located on Route 622 in Newton, held its annual Clam Bake which is one of the largest fundraisers for the organization that helps many area charities. Moose Lodge 432 and The Women of the Moose (WOTM) Chapter 1830 stage this annual event.
Staging the Clam Bake is quite the endeavor. Governor/President of the Moose, Bill Lunger, said, “In my capacity as Governor/President, it is my responsibility to appoint chairmen to different positions .So this year and last year I appointed Chris Quartuci as chairmen of the event he then selects members to be part of the Clam Bake committee. At that point it broken down into sub-committees that take care of things such as tents, tables and chairs,parking off- site, transportation, food and beverage.”
Approximately 230 people attended this year's Clambake with 32 people working the event. Tents were donated by Jen & Bob Fehr, Ray Bears landscaping, BSA Troop 85, the Stillwater Fire Department and Gene Aldenburg.
Lunger said, “This year we had many people help us from outside the lodge with donations and discounted items for the clambake as well as t-Shirt sponsors. Ideal Farms, Hayeks, Brodecker Farms, Chrisman Farms, Tri-state rental, Balance Accounting, Automated Wireless, Cunico Chiropractic, RedKnights, In Tune Piano Tuning, Senator Steve Oroho, BSA troop 85 and the t-shirt man were all of incredible help.”
The donation price of the tickets to attend were $50 for a regular ticket and VIP tickets were $60.00. VIPs were seated and served by WOTM so they did not have to leave their seats for food or beverage. The ticket donation included clams (both steamed and raw), and a bar-b-que which included chicken, sausage and peppers, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cop and homemade pasta salad.
Ashley Markovic, of Sandyston, is heavily involved with WOTM. “The Women of the Moose have assisted the men where they have needed us with this event throughout the planning, setting up, running and breaking down of the event,” she said. “Specifically we helped serving food to the VIP tents, selling the 50/50s and selling tickets to raise money for the chapter. We also helped with the food preparation and the moose shuttle was driven by WOTM.”
The physical set up of the event took place about three days in advance starting with the set up of the tents and tables the Wednesday before and then preparing the food on Thursday and Friday.
“We had a lot of members-- both men and women—volunteer their time in those days prior,” Markovic said. “The day of, we had members at the lodge as early as seven am who started cooking and finishing any set ups, and afterwords members stayed late to wash dishes and clean up the area as well as come back on Sunday morning for break down. It was amazing to see so many people donate their time to make this event a success.”
Volunteers included Jim Stark, of Hampton, who joined the Moose a year and a half ago and volunteered as a traffic director for the Clam Bake.
“I joined because it looked like a good way to make new friends and be part of a fraternal organization that does some good in the area,” he said. “The Clam Bake is our biggest fundraiser of the year. It helps the Moose pay bills and support the charitable groups Mooseheart for kids and Moosehaven for seniors.” He added, “It was a great event and the band—Fantasia-- was spot on.” Markovic said the event was a huge success. “Everyone who attended the event enjoyed their day, ate delicious food, met new people and helped both the men and women raise money that will either go back to our surrounding communities or to our two charities through Moose International which are Mooseheart and Moosehaven.”
At the event, the scholarship committee, headed by Gene Altenburg, presented scholarship awards through the Keith Hyche Scholarship to four local graduates from Kittatinny, Sussex Vo-Tech and Newton high schools.This past year, the lodge had donated to The Stillwater, Fredon and Hampton fire departments as well as BSA Troop 85, the Newton VFW, Halstead Street School, Angels for Babies as well as Mooseheart and Moosehaven.
Currently, through the month of August, The Women of the Moose are hosting a “Stuff the Backpack” campaign. They are collecting school supplies that will be donated to both Newton and Fredon schools and donations can be dropped off at the lodge. In September, The Women of the Moose will be hosting a family picnic on Saturday, September 16th from 2 to 6 pm. It will feature corn hole, horseshoes, music, sidewalk chalk and food and tickets are $5 per person which can be purchased from a member or at the lodge.
The Moose and WOTM are family fraternities. Lunger said, “All who are qualified are encouraged to join you just need to be sponsored by a member then your application goes before the board and then voted on by the membership.” He added, “The Moose, to me, is like family: we all look to help each other in our every day life as well as contribute to those in need. All of this we do quietly without fanfare.”
Coming up for the Moose, they'll be sponsoring a place for the judges to meet for the Sussex County Firemen's Parade as well as feeding them breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their next two big events are their golf outting on September, 15th at Farmstead Golf & Country Club then their Pig Roast will be on October 14 at the lodge.
The Moose Lodge is located at 214 Swartswood Road in Newton. For information, call (973) 579-1846 or find them on Facebook.