In addition to celebrating our nation's flag, members of the Crescent City Elks Lodge will celebrate local youth pursuing careers in law enforcement and public safety at a Flag Day ceremony on Saturday.

Following the ceremony, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Crescent City Lodge 1689 will host a luncheon for Explorers with the Crescent City Police Department, the Crescent City Fire Department, the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office, Del Norte Ambulance as well as local U.S. Navy Sea Cadets.

The Explorer program is an offshoot of the Boy Scouts of America and gives teens an opportunity to experience what law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services careers are about.

The Lodge will also distribute a $2,000 grant it received through the California-Hawaii Elks Association to the five local Explorer programs, said Lecturing Knight Janette Burlison. Burlison said she hopes to make the lunch an annual event and hopes the Lodge will build on this initial award.

"Their dedication and motivation to pursue law enforcement, health and public safety (careers) overwhelms me," she said. "This is the beginning of a big, wonderful thing."

Burlison said she began encouraging the Lodge to get involved with the Explorers programs in October when the fire department's program started. An encounter with the Crescent City Police Department's Explorers, who were making sure doors to downtown businesses were locked after hours, further impressed her.

Burlison said the group had stopped at a business next door to the lodge and found an unlocked door.

"The entire Explorer group stood at attention until I got the business owner to lock that door," she said. "I'm so proud of them."

In addition to providing a little help through funds, Burlison said the Elks Lodge can also help provide a venue for car washes, bake sales and other fundraisers.

"We can't always hand you a dollar bill, but we can help you," she said.

The Elks' flag day ceremony and Explorers luncheon comes a few weeks after Crescent City representatives attended California-Hawaii Elks Association's annual convention in Palm Springs.

During the convention, the Lodge's Exalted Ruler, James Taylor, presented a $4,300 check to Ethan Kempton, a 7-year-old Temecula boy with cerebral palsy who is California-Hawaii Elks Association's 2014 theme child. Lodges throughout California and Hawaii contributed about $3.2 million for children with disabilities.

The Crescent City Lodge's Flag Day ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Elks Lodge at 359 H Street.

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