HARRISBURG – The Harrisburg Elks Lodge Monopoly tournament is returning after a one-year hiatus, and will feature the group's brand-new lodge, the group's board of trustees chairwoman says.
Jessica Mitchell, who is an insurance producer for Williams and Associates in Harrisburg and Marion, said she and other Elks members are looking forward to the group's 35th tournament in the new lodge, located at 220 Vince Ashley Drive in Harrisburg.
"We're excited to let people see what we're all about, especially with the new lodge just being opened," Mitchell said.
What the Elks is all about is helping raise money to help others, particularly children. This year is no different, with all the proceeds of the Monopoly tournament going to CASA of Saline County, Mitchell said.
"This is a great opportunity for businesses to get their name out in the community while helping a very worthwhile cause," she said.
CASA, which stands for court-appointed special advocate, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so abused and neglected children will have an adult who can make determinations in the best interests of those children related to the courtroom. The CASA program was established in 1977 by a juvenile court judge in Seattle.
Saline County currently serves 68 children, but only has 20 advocates for those children, according to information from CASA of Saline County.
Mitchell said the 2017 tournament will be a return to the Monopoly tournaments of years past, with sponsorship of player opportunities for businesses, raffle items and a silent auction. Because of planning and work on the new lodge, the Elks did not have a tournament in 2016. The new tournament also will be the first in many years that will be actually in the lodge itself, Mitchell said. The new lodge opened Feb. 3.
Also returning will be a high roller sponsorship opportunity. For $1,000, a business can sponsor a table, and in return will be featured on all of the tournament's promotions.
The tournament, considered a formal attire affair, has been well known for the past 35 years in the Saline County area, and has raised more than $25,000 per tournament in years past, Mitchell said. Prior to 2003, the winner was eligible to compete in the state tournament. That winner competed in a national tournament, and the winner there competed in a worldwide competition. In 1995, longtime Elk member and current Saline County Board member Roger Craig made it to the world championship in Monte Carlo and took fourth place.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. Players and bankers must be in attendance by 6 p.m., with the first round beginning at 6:30 and ending at 8 p.m. At that point, the top 6 players overall, regardless of table rank, will compete for first place.
"It's just for bragging rights, but there are a lot of bragging rights for this tournament," Mitchell said.
The band "The Swamp Tigers," a high-energy rockabilly band, will play from 8 to 11:30 p.m.
For those who wish to hear the band or simply observe the fun, there is a $10 entry fee. Players with a sponsorship are exempt from the admission fee.
In addition, food will be available at the Monopoly tournament, Mitchell said.
"This is one of the most popular events that takes place in Saline County, and we'd like to encourage everyone to come out and see us and the new lodge," she said.
A practice night will be offered to players if there is enough participation. Mitchell said those wishing to attend the practice night, which tentatively would be Feb. 23, should contact Event Chairperson Jennifer Cain at (618) 499-2111.