On Friday, Aug. 17, Lake Oconee Elks Lodge members had a great time with a group of veterans from the Georgia War Veterans Home in Milledgeville. Elks met the veteran’s bus at the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall Sports Museum in Athens, and the Elks and Vets alike were excited to tour this beautiful museum. The museum houses a fantastic collection of University of Georgia sports memorabilia. Not only is there a large quantity of football memorabilia, but also soccer, basketball, golf, gymnastics, and baseball items. There is a massive amount of information about all of the various teams and coaches that the University has had success with throughout the years right up to the present. The veterans are all big Georgia Bulldog fans, so they were in no hurry to leave.
After the vets had seen all they wished to see, they boarded the bus and headed over to the Varsity in Athens. The Varsity is a downsized version of the famous Varsity in Atlanta, but the food is exactly the same and the Veterans were excited to have lunch there. The Elks Lodge had bought vouchers for lunch that included anything they wanted to order and knowing how much they like desert, vouchers were also bought and handed out for them to choose a desert. As luck would have it, they arrived right at lunchtime, so the Varsity was in full swing. The veterans were very patient though, and some of the folks in line allowed some of them to go ahead of them to order their food.
There was a room set aside for the veterans, so the Elks and vets would be able to sit together during lunch. It was great to hear stories from some of the veterans during lunch, while others chose to simply eat. Some of these guys are very animated, such as Mike Delatorre, who reminds everyone of Robin Williams. He always has plenty to talk about and is a very interesting fellow to say the least.
When everyone had their fill at the Varsity, it was time to head home. The veterans boarded their bus for the two-hour trip back to Milledgeville, and the Elks headed back to Lake Oconee. Some of the veterans said they intended to take a nap on the way back, but as always before they left, thanked the Elks for the outing. They enjoyed the trip, and some said they would like to do this again. Lake Oconee Lodge looks forward to the next outing with these special folks coming up in September.