You may have seen the sign is gone from the former Kenai Moose Lodge on the Spur Highway just west of Forrest Drive. The organization disbanded locally and closed the doors to its family center social club earlier this year. But the charter remains active, according to Norm Dean, West Coast Region manager for Moose International.
“Well, we’re working to secure leaders in the local lodge that will move forward and find a new location and get back to what the Moose does, and that’s support our two big national charitable endeavors,” Dean said.
Those endeavors are are “Mooseheart” Child Haven for orphans and “Moosehaven,” a retirement community for Moose Lodge members.
“We take care of children and seniors and our local community. And that’s where our lodges come in," Dean said. "We want our lodges to be active in the community and be a valuable resource in the community for fundraising, for needs within the community. A lot of lodges will take on taking care of parks or cemeteries or things like that, and try to make their communities better places to live.”
When re-formed, Dean, who is based in Seattle, says new Kenai Lodge leaders should find past problems taken care of.
“Yeah, there were some issues, and that’s been corrected," he said. "The lodge doesn’t have any outstanding obligations right now and they’ve got a little bit of money set aside that they can start a new location.”
Dean says Moose International has restructured its field staff, which he is a part of, to help keep lodges healthy.
“We work closely with the lodges, more closely with the lodges, and help them navigate the regulatory structures and the government and make sure they stay out of trouble with those and make sure they’re running their lodges and what we call their “social quarters” in a responsible manner so that they’re able to sustain and contribute to our effort and the community effort," Dean said.
Dean said he’d be in Kenai in late January to hold what he called a “town hall” meeting with recent Moose members, looking for someone to “step up” and take on leadership of finding a new location for rebuilding the Lodge.