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St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser helps provide scholarships
by Sarah Cooper
Mar 11, 2008 | 1411 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Debra Reid - Nevada Elks Club chef Paul Petery shows off the "heart" of corned beef at the Sparks Elks Lodge. Petery said he's slicing up 400 pounds of meat for today's fundraiser.
Tribune/Debra Reid - Nevada Elks Club chef Paul Petery shows off the "heart" of corned beef at the Sparks Elks Lodge. Petery said he's slicing up 400 pounds of meat for today's fundraiser.
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The smell of corned beef and scraps of paper with lunch orders drifted through the Sparks Elks Lodge Tuesday as a crew of cooks prepared for the Lodge’s annual St. Patrick’s Day fund raiser.

Amid the clanking pots and kitchen chatter, lodge trustee Vince Puliti was taking orders for the $6 home-made corned beef sandwiches on his cell phone.

“We are just trying to make a little money to help out the programs in the community,” Puliti said.

The sandwiches come with homemade potato salad and a pickle spear. Puliti and his cooking crew will also give the customers a little mustard, mayonnaise and some horseradish on the side.

The potato salad is created by the wives of the Elks Lodge members.

“Anything we do we are trying to make it family oriented,” Puliti said. “It used to be that the Elks Lodge was a mens-only kind of thing but now we want to include the family.”

Potatoes and eggs dropped into the boiling pot Tuesday spent the night in the refrigerator and made their way into the potato salad this morning.

Puliti got most of his orders in on Tuesday, but said that some people can still call in their lunch request today.

In the midst of last-minute orders and delivery requests, Puliti and others have a system for maintaining control. The orders, scribbled on notepads, are stacked in neat piles according to geographic location and delivery time.

“A lot of people want them at a certain time and we try to accommodate them the best we can,” Puliti said.

The fundraiser has been a St. Patrick’s Day tradition for as long Puliti can remember, and he has been at the lodge for 10 years.

“We started out trying to just do Sparks (deliveries), but we just couldn’t do it,” Puliti said.

He said the returning corned beef lovers come from local casinos, hair salons and veterinary offices across Reno and Sparks.

The Elks Lodge is a non-profit organization. Fundraisers like this one help support local charities and organizations such as youth, veterans and needy community groups

“It’s more or less just a fundraiser to assist the functions that help the kids,” Puliti said. “It goes into a charity account. Then all the way up into high school it helps with scholarships. Depending on how much we have in the coffers depends on how much we are able to give in scholarships.”

To place an order, call 358-2397, 342-9430, 626-5814, or 742-5996.

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