Kayak with a Vet

All set for Sunday September 8th, 2024

2024 – Horizontal Save the Date
2024 – Vertical Flyer

2023 – 4th Annual Kayak a Grand Slam

St Louis Elks Lodge #9 hosted Kayak with a Vet IV Saturday September the 16th at the Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Opening ceremonies consisted of 1. Bob Dixson (Veterans Committee Chair – Saint Louis #9) welcoming everyone, 2. Bridget Caldwell (2024 Miss Teen Columbia Missouri) leading the Pledge of Allegiance, 3. local artist Caitlin Mickey singing of the National Anthem, 4. Reverend Williams performing Invocation Prayer which followed 5. remarks by Beth Schnettler (Exalted Ruler – Saint Louis Elks Lodge #9, Mike Moeller (Mayor of Maryland Heights – suburb where the event took place) and Tom Cooke (Saint Louis #9).

Next came the ceremonial ‘1st Veteran in the water’ which was Gary Havel Jr (Army Veteran, Member of Saint Louis #9, and Veteran Ambassador for the Kaufman Fund – https://www.thekaufmanfund.org .
The event was complementary for Veteran’s, Military Personnel, 1st Responders, plus members of St. Louis Lodge #9 and the whole of Missouri Elks Metro East District 4780.

During the event, over 30 Veteran related organizations (listed below) were on site networking and handing out materials.

In addition, the event promoted the following BPOE (aka Benevolent and Protected Order of Elks) community programs, Americanism Essay Contest, Drug Awareness, Youth Activities, Veteran’s Leather & the Missouri Elks Association Benevolent Trust Dental Van (State Major Project) http://missourielks.org/benevolenttrust ) which is an RV (parked on site – see below) retrofitted to provide dental services in rural areas throughout Missouri.

Dedicated Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Elks9Kayak3
L to R – 1st Responder, Robert Dixon (DDGER + PER – Saint Louis #9, 1st Responder, Michael Fleishour (Tiler – Saint Louis #9, Mike Moeller (Mayor of Maryland Heights), Howard Abrams, 1st Responder
Picture L to R – Beth Schnettler (Exalted Ruler – Saint Louis #9), John Gross (Grand Trustee, Desoto #2552), Dr. Robert Beck (Dentist – Festus Crystal City #1721), Robert Dixon (DDGER + PER – Saint Louis #9) in front of the MEA Dental RV.

Since 1962 Mobile Dental Units, purchased and equipped by the MEA (aka the Missouri Elks Association) have served the dental needs of eligible physically challenged children, and mentally challenged/developmentally disabled adults, children, and Vets. Basic and routine dental treatments include x-rays, examinations, cleanings, fluoride treatments, fillings, routine extractions and referrals. Each year, dental procedures are performed on more than 3,000 patients.
Veteran related organizations which took part included Team River Runner, Little Patriots Embraced, Defender’ Gateway, Homes for Heroes (Brandy Dudenhoeffer, Realtor), Kaufman Fund, Focus Marines, M.O.V.E. STL, Wreaths Across America (Jefferson Barracks), Veteran Curation Program, Dogs on Duty (PTSD Dogs), Got Your Six Support Dogs (PTSD Dogs), Warriors Wingman (PTSD & Hunting Dogs), Project Healing Waters STL VAMC (Fly tie & fish), Fisher House, Patriot Guard Riders, Veteran’s Urgent Care Advantage, Challenge Unlimited (employment assist for the disabled), Veterans United (Loan Officers), IAS Infertility & Adoption Support INC, Six String Heroes (Therapeutic Music/Entertainment), Comprehensive Benefits (Medical), Heideman Group/Delmar Mortgage (Heroes Program), American Legion (Chesterfield Missouri), St Patrick Center, VET BIZ (Veteran Business Assist), FORE Honor Foundation, H.E.R.O.E.S CARE, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (St Louis Chapter), Veteran’s Community Project, and Missouri Veterans Endeavor.

Earned Media a result of Kayak with a Vet IV

Elks Magazine, February 2024 Issue

2022 – 3rd Annual Kayak with a Vet III a huge success

A $2,000 check was presented to St. Louis VA Medical Center Fisher House. Picture (L to R) John Winkler – Capt. USN (Ret) + Elks 9 Veterans Committee Chairman Emeritus, Jim Donahue – Fisher House President, David Roeth – Elks 9 Veterans Committee Chairman Emeritus, Brett Mosley – Elks 9 Veterans Committee Chairman ( https://www.fisherhouseinstl.org )
A check for $1,500 was presented to the Joshua Chamberlain Society. Picture (L to R) Holly Schmitz – Executive Director of Joshua Chamberlain Society, John Winkler – Capt. USN (Ret.) + Elks 9 Veterans Committee Chairman Emeritus, Dave Roeth – Elks 9 Veterans Committee Chairman Emeritus, Brett Mosley – Elks 9 Veterans Committee Chairman https://www.chamberlainsociety.org
A $500 check was presented to The Kaufman Fund. Picture (L to R) John Winkler – Capt USN (Ret) & Elks 9 Veterans Committee Chairman Emerus, Gary Havel – representative of the Kaufman Fund + #9 Elk, David Roeth – Elks 9 Veterans Committee Chairman + Lodge Esquire, Brett Mosley – Elks 9 Veterans Committee Chairman, Tim Luby – Event Chair + Past Exalted Ruler https://www.thekaufmanfund.org
Within and nearby the Tremayne Shelter were representatives from Team River Runner (Co-Host), American Legion (Chesterfield) Post 556, Fisher House, Defenders Gateway, Folds of Honor, The Freedom 13, Greater St. Louis Honor Flight, Heroes Care, Got Your Six Support Dogs, Joshua Chamberlain Society (JCS), Kaufman Fund, Little Patriots Embraced, Patriot Guard Riders, Six String Heroes, Team Red White & Blue (RWB), U.S Marine Corps Recruiting, & Veterans Community Project (VCP).
Pledge of Allegiance
The National Anthem was sung by NFL Hall of Famer Jackie Smith ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Smith )
A miliary flyover was performed by a Stearman Biplane from Creve Coeur International Airport
Questions… Contact Squad Leader (aka Chairman) Mike Fieishour at ( [email protected] )


We’ve hosted Kayak with a Vet in 2019, 2018, and 2022. The Years off were due to Covid.