Published: Sep 23, 2010 12:53 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 22, 2010 11:36 PM EDT

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - A popular organization known for helping the community is being forced to downsize. The Elks Lodge has lost more than half of it's members and now they are having to move. They worry about the impact even more cuts could have in local neighborhoods.

Elks Lodge 2602 holds fundraisers, presents scholarships, and conducts drug awareness programs for local students.

"We're all for the kids, but we're also for the veterans," Special Representative of Grand Lodge Dick Cooke said.

But, the philanthropy-based organization that has helped Lehigh Acres community for more than 30 years, is now looking to the community for help.

"Since the economy has taken a nose dive, we've sort of gone right along with it," Founding Member John Hammer said.

Donations are down. Once booming at 700-plus members, they currently have 241.  This on top of financial issues, is forcing them to sell their 12,000 sqare foot building, and look for a smaller space.

"We would need roughly $2,500 per week and we're not getting that kind of money cause we're not getting that kind of support," Exalted Ruler Larry D'Angelo said.

Without support, they risk losing their charter, meaning resources would go elsewhere. Lehigh wouldn't get support at all, we'd have to take care of the schools in Fort Myers, not over here," Esteemed Loyal Knight Quinn Jerriey said.

Here's how you can help:
-Become an Elk. They're especially looking for younger members.     
-You can also attend dinners and dances. All money collected at these events, goes right back to the community.

To get involved or donate, you can contact them at:
(239) 692-2602
or visit them at:
1050 Joel Boulevard, Lehigh Acres