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No plans to close Moose Lodge

July 23, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

"Ignore all rumors" is the word from members of Williamsport Moose Lodge Family Center 2462 in the wake of rumors that the club is closing its doors.

Members of the lodge's board are trying to spread the word in newspaper advertisements, at Moose board meetings and even at local supermarkets and taverns that there are no plans to shut down the lodge.

Members of the lodge's board of directors addressed rumors of a closure at a Tuesday meeting at its headquarters on Conococheague Street. Board members said they have been asked about the rumors at local taverns, grocery stores and at other Moose locations as far as Mercersburg, Pa., and Martinsburg, W.Va.

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"We're a small club that's always taken the bruises, but we continue to stand," said Dan Cunningham, junior past governor of the lodge.

Cunningham said many of the rumors about the lodge closing are similar to an exaggerated fishing story among friends.

Larry Straitift Sr., board trustee, said the rumors of a closure began after some members of the lodge, including board members, decided to change their affiliation to other area lodges because of some ongoing disputes. Straitift said multiple members who had served on the board until February now belong to the lodge based in Funkstown.

Straitift and other board trustees declined to elaborate on the nature of the disputes, names of those who left the local lodge or the reasons for their transfers.

Lodge Junior Gov. Mike Little said the low attendance at the lodge became a noticeable problem in May. Little said he believes rumors of a pending closure have been the key reason for the decline.

Little and Cunningham said the decision to place an advertisement in the paper reading "Ignore all rumors," was made about three weeks ago as a result because of fear a continued lack of support from members could lead to the lodge's closure in the future.

"We figured that'd be the best thing to do because everybody reads the back page of the paper," Cunningham. "We were just tired of being the little kid that was getting knocked down."

The next scheduled event at the Moose Lodge is the spaghetti dinner and '50s music dance on Aug. 22.

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