Our Day Community Opportunities Program (DCOP) participants recently got their party on at the Clifton Park Elks Lodge, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and amazing friendship.

Living Resources DCOP and the Elks are truly kindred spirits. DCOP was started over 40 years ago after individuals in our Day Habilitation program expressed a desire to more fully experience the communities around them. From these beginnings, we formed an environment that fosters community inclusion, self-sufficiency, and self-advocacy through volunteerism, education, and enrichment activities.

Bob Lumpkins, Elks Trustee and Chairperson of Community Project & Activities, who is known as “Lumpy” to his friends, said that service is something that the two groups have in common. The Elks are a benevolent organization that seeks out service opportunities within their community. A few years ago, Living Resources staff requested to establish the Elks Lodge as a volunteer site for our DCOP participants and a friendship was born. Teams began regularly arriving at the Lodge to do service activities such as setting up the banquet room for parties and events, and keeping the venue clean. In this way, they established a meaningful place in the Elks community.

Last year, the Elks decided to show their appreciation by throwing a Valentine’s Day celebration and making a donation to the agency. This was such a great time, that they repeated the event this year, with a St Patrick’s Day theme. Staff and participants enjoyed a lunch time meal of corned beef and cabbage with carrots, potatoes, and salad, as well as some baked ziti, because, why not?

After their appetites were satisfied, they danced the afternoon away.

As kindred spirits, not only did the Elks host the party free of charge, their Exalted Ruler, Kevin Bobbit presented Living Resources a check for $1,800, sponsored through the Elk’s National Foundation grant. This generous donation will be used for our program participants to enjoy future activities.

Frank Prevratil, Living Resources’ Director of Day Services said, “I feel blessed that the Elks embraced us. From the bottom of my heart, on behalf of Living Resources, I thank you for everything you do for us.”

As the celebration came to a close, friends hugged each other and said goodbye, heading in their respective directions. As they did so, it seemed like the leprechauns whispered the old Irish proverb, “There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, and may they ever be.”