Supreme Governor Willard Kitchens, the chief presiding officer of the Loyal Order of Moose, made Leesburg his first stop on his tour of Virginia lodges Thursday.
“I was impressed with the friendliness of the lodge,” Kitchens said. He was on-hand for the presentation of a $500 check to the Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus, which organizes the iCan Bike Camp, an event that teaches individuals with disabilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle.
Leesburg Moose Lodge Governor Al Erickson said it would “the first of many.” Last year, the Leesburg Moose Lodge and the Moose Riders—the Moose’s motorcycling group—raised $2,500 for the first camp, despite rained-out fundraisers.
“This year, we’ll do better,” Erickson vowed.
Kitchens has been a Moose member since 1982, and served on the organization’s governing body, the Supreme Council, since 2008. He was elected to a one-year term as Supreme Governor at the organization’s 129th International Convention in July 2017. He first joined a lodge in Prattville, AL, and is also a member at lodges in Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi and has served in a number of other positions and received two awards from the organization.
“When I joined the Moose, it was just like these guys right here,” Kitchens said, seated at the bar in the Leesburg Moose Lodge’s social hall. “They had a bar, and the main reason I joined was because they had a Saturday night dance.”
Over time, he became more involved and started working on the organization’s charitable and community-focused work.
“The biggest thing we promote is fraternalism, working within the community,” Kitchens said.
As supreme governor, he is spending a year making a national tour of Moose lodges.
The iCan Bike Camp is a program created by the nonprofit iCan Shine, and is presented in Loudoun through a partnership of the Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus and Tuscarora High School’s Husky Buddies Program.
The Arc of Loudoun is still looking for volunteers for the day. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old or accompanied by an adult, able to attend for 90 minutes at the same time each of the five days of camp, able to provide physical, emotional and motivational support to a rider, and able and willing to do light jogging or running.
To register or volunteer, contact Eileen Shaffer at the Eileen Shaffer at The Arc of Loudoun 703-777-1939, extension 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Organizers are looking for up to 80 volunteers, two to each of 40 riders.
The iCan Bike Camp will be at Tuscarora High School in Leesburg from June 25 to June 29.