The California-Hawaii Elks Association regrets to inform you we have lost a charter member and first Chairman of the Bequests and Living Trusts (BLT) Committee. Leonard passed away on November 8, 2013 in Lancaster, CA and was preceded in death by his beloved Sky in 2008. No services were held.
In 1984 the CHEMPI Board of Trustees wanted to ensure the financial future of the Major Project and instituted the Bequests and Living Trusts Program. Leonard Cosgrove, Lancaster Lodge No. 1625 was appointed by the Board of Trustees to head the Committee and Larry Morse, Merced Lodge No. 1240 was appointed as his Vice Chairman and were instrumental in creating, building and nurturing the Committee from the beginning.
The BLT Committee is a subcommittee of the Major Project. It was formed to encourage Elks, their spouses and their families, to make provisions in their wills, living trusts, insurance policies, annuities, retirements, providing the distribution from their estates to the Major Project. In 1988, the BLT Committee formed the BLT Benefactors group to recognize the Elks and their spouses who’ve made that commitment to the Major Project. Those Elks and their spouses who’ve notified the office in Fresno, that made a provision from their estate to the Major Project, have received a beautiful and framed certificate and a BLT pin. This designates them as a person who cares about our children receiving benefits from the Major Project program.
At the Mid-Term Conference in 1991, the Board of Trustees of the Major Project established a BLT Legacy Trust Fund. The Board provided that any sums or gifts to the Major Project of $500 or more from bequests, trusts, legacies or other donations should be accumulated to build a firm financial foundation for the Major Project, and to only be expended by special vote of the Trustees. Therefore, similar in concept to the Elks National Foundation.
The BLT Legacy Trust Fund was established in 1984 with a beginning balance of $8,000 and has grown to over $21 million today.
At the present time, CHEMPI is actively assisting a large number of children with an annual budget that reaches over four million. Much of the work is done in rural areas, which lack the special services furnished by the Major Project.
Since the Major Project began, thousands of youngsters have received Preschool Vision Screening and Occupational, Physical or Speech-Language Therapy in their homes. In addition, some scholarships for students with disabilities are awarded.