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Williamsport becomes home to Moose lodge

April 15, 1997

By TERRY TALBERT

Staff Writer

The Williamsport Loyal Order of Moose lodge on Tuesday became the first in the county to have a home since Hagerstown Lodge 212 closed in 1994.

Officers of Lodge 2462 signed a 7-year lease on the two-story River Inn in downtown Williamsport, with option to buy. The lease expires in 2003.

Owners of the inn had been allowing members to meet there periodically since they got their charter in April 1996, club officers said. The building can hold 227 people, they said.

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Two other local Moose chapters, in Leitersburg and Funkstown, have been using donated space.

Williamsport lodge members said now that they have a lease on the River Inn property, they will be able to open the club daily to members. Lodge Governor Charles Boward said plans are to have a family-oriented club.

The lodge has members from Washington County as well as from nearby counties in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Boward said.

Without a home of their own, the Williamsport lodge members' fund-raising abilities had been limited, officers said. Now that they have a home, members will be able to raise more money. The lodge is paying a $23,000 medical bill for a local man whose son needed surgery, officers said.

Jim Seymour, Moose director for the Maryland, Delaware, D.C., New Jersey region, was in town for the lease-signing.

Seymour called the fact that Williamsport Moose members now have a home "a step in the right direction" for the local organization and a potential boon to the community.

Seymour said approximately 46,000 Moose members statewide donate money to charities, primarily for children's activities. On Maryland's Eastern Shore, in areas where casino gambling for charity is permitted, Seymour said some chapters have donated up to $300,000 annually to charitable causes.

Glenn Arvin, part-owner of the River Inn and Williamsport Moose lodge member, said he was one of many former members of Lodge 212 left temporarily homeless when that lodge was stripped of its affiliation to Moose International for violation of charter rules.

The three current lodges sprung up after Lodge 212 closed.

The 390-member Funkstown Lodge has bought five acres of the Artz Farm property on U.S. 40 south of Funkstown and has an option to buy another 5 acres, according to past-Governor Bob Smith.

The chapter hopes to build a home to accommodate 600 members, he said.

At Leitersburg, the 118 members continue to use donated space at the Knights of Columbus Hall, Moose officials said.

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