By Rosemary K. Otzman
The Belleville Moose Lodge #934 has been pretty much shut down for about a year, since it moved out of its old building on Belleville Lake.
It’s taken until now for members to settle into their new location at the former PNA Hall at the corner of Harris and Sumpter roads in Sumpter Township.
The Moose should have its liquor license by May and Comcast has promised to get them wired for internet and cable by April 20. Their lottery equipment is all set to go.
And, David C. Brown donated a pool table to the lodge.
The lodge is open for meeting nights from 6-9 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.
And, there’s a Children’s Easter Party from 1-3 p.m. this Saturday, April 12, at the Moose Lodge. The Easter Bunny is coming to the party and children will have an egg hunt and egg coloring activities.
The public is invited to stop by to check out the lodge whenever there are vehicles in the parking lot. They are looking for new members of the Moose Lodge and Women of the Moose.
Belleville Moose Administrator Robert Coutts said they had 2,200 members in 2001 and after the turndown of the economy and many members lost jobs and lost homes, the membership dropped. Then when the lodge was closed for a year during the sale and move to Sumpter, the membership dropped even more, to 500.
“Our new accommodations are a good fit for our needs and it provides a warm/welcoming atmosphere,” said Coutts, adding they have installed carpeting and done painting inside.
In the future they hope to have an outside patio in the woods, west of the hall, so members can enjoy the outdoors. That would include a privacy fence, he said.
“We are looking forward to building our membership with a renewed emphasis as a family center,” Coutts said. “There are many good times and fond memories in store for our members at our new home.”
The newly elected board of officers has just been elected and will take office May 1. Tom Vernatt is Governor; LeRoy Schmeltz, Jr. Governor; Charles Schmeltz, treasurer; Mel Schock, prelate; Marvin Steigerwald, Third Yr. Trustee; Dennis Craven, Second Yr. Trustee; and Rob Fire, First Year Trustee.
Coutts said when he started as administrator about four years ago the Moose was going through some hard times with available funds not being dispersed wisely. The IRS and DTE were not being paid and locks were put on the lodge door several times for non-payment.
“Now, we’re healthy. No debt at all. Our future is very bright here,” Coutts said. “We’re 100% in the black.”
He said the lodge even raised $10,000 this year for its charities.
The lodge has a new page on Facebook at Belleville Moose Family Center #934. Its email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . They’ll be getting a phone soon at the new building.
An open house is being planned this spring, probably for Memorial Day week end, so the public can drop by and look over the facilities – and maybe join the Moose.
By Rosemary K. Otzman