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Community Leader Shares Support for Gay Marriage

Susan Timney, tapped as the Exalted Ruler of the Alameda Elks Lodge #1015 earlier this year, has been openly gay for some time. Timney was recently featured in an online Bay Area News Group piece, just days before the recent annual Gay Pride celebrations in San Francisco,

She married Lynda Kretlow in August 2008 in San Francsico and says “Of course I would love to see Californians be in favor of gay marriage” — like their New York counterparts. (New York affirmed the rights of gays to marry on June 26.)

“I really believe that any two human beings, of legal age,who mutually agree on their love in our country should not be constricted from matrimony because they are the same sex,” Timney explained. “I am very happy for the people in New York.”

“I hope the ceremonies and traditions like the one [Lynda and I] experienced can happen for everyone,” she concluded.

The now active member of the Alameda community — who grew up on the Island — returned to live on the Island (from San Francisco) in 2005, two years after joining the local Elks group.

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Elks, music school plant new roots in Alameda

A New Tree for a Great Causenew tree for a great cause

A new tree for a great cause

The community spirit in Alameda is a vital and exciting part of life on the Island, as most Alamedans appreciate. And it’s always fantastic to see it come to life in different ways and at different places everyday – as it did on Friday, September 18.

At 5:30 p.m., the Alameda School of Music donated a tree that’s been planted in front of the Alameda Elks Lodge on Santa Clara Avenue (next to City Hall). And the Elks showed their gratitude, as 103rd Exalted Ruler Tom Mickelic remarked, “by wearing their uniforms on the hottest day of the year!”

Staff and students at the music school, led by Barry Solomon, see the gift as a special way to say “thank you” to the Alameda Elks for letting them use their historic facility for recitals over the last three years. 

“For the past three years, the Alameda Elks Lodge has provided the perfect venue for the bi-annual performing recitals of the Alameda School of Music,” said Barry. “The recitals are free and open to the public, and it is always truly fun and heartwarming to see children of all ages, and even a few adults, performing their musical pieces that they’ve worked so hard of for the past few months.”

Between 75 and 100 students perform at each recital usually in December or January and June.

The Elks are indeed generous with their facility, their time and their support. In fact, nationwide the Elks are the second-largest organization in terms of scholarships given to students, after the government, according the local members.

Many groups from around Alameda, like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, work at the Sunday breakfasts that the Lodge organizes. This gives the groups additional support and the experience of busing tables for hungry Elks. One such event is being staged on November 8 for the Children’s Ballet, for instance. And past breakfasts have benefitted the Alameda High School basketball team and a walk to fight cancer.

The group has 675 members in Alameda. Its building was constructed in 1906.

The lodge’s new dogwood tree will take about two years to reach a height of 10 feet or so. And that means about 4 recitals will be held and 400 different songs performed by the Alameda School of Music students between now and then.

(The Alameda School of Music is located in the 1300 block of High Street.)