State Chairman
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CO-Chairman Region I
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CO-Chairman Region II
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Francis J. Decibus, PSDGER
Robert F. Binetti, PSP

Ron Mangone, PSP

Financial Advisor
Stephen J. Terrible, PSP




At a hotel in Trenton this committee was founded with the purpose of establishing such activities that would bring light , sunshine and happiness into the lives and hearts of the afflicted.

Many years have passed since the birth of this movement, "helping handicapped children to help themselves" which was inaugurated by the Elks of the State of New Jersey. We as successors of our founders have carried on this great humanitarian work. We try to direct the lives of handicapped children away from the drab existence of being left out, which had been their lot, and into the channels where love, happiness, and contentment are found.

The Elks of New Jersey are dedicated to the objectives of service as described in our slogan, "helping handicapped children to help themselves," and as stated in our articles of incorporation, to wit:

"....For handicapped children under the age of nineteen, who are lame or who have lost, totally or partially, or who do not or who have never enjoyed the use of their limb or limbs, or by reason of some other physical disability, have lost , totally or partially , or who do not or who have never enjoyed the use of their limb or limbs, or who are otherwise physically infirm or mentally retarded."

Please use the following e-mail addresses for more information:

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Director Elks Camp Moore
Todd Thompson

ECM Emergency Contact Phone Numbers
Winter: 609-651-6209

Summer: 973-835-1542


I’m Glad Somebody Helps


We, as Elks, have continually taken a great deal of pride in talking about our Special Children’s Committee’s works. However deeds are always better than words therefore we must practice what we preach. We can do this best by seeing to it that any handicapped child needing help in any community in our state is cared for by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Our aim is to help them become self-sustaining and useful citizens so that in the future they may enjoy a happy and normal life.

Our work means sacrifices of time, patience, understanding, love of neighbor, and a deep respect of our beloved Order. Surely, if each one would keep those thoughts in mind and continually strive to improve the work we have been doing, then it is reasonable to assume that special needs children will continue to utter the words of our beautiful slogan: "I’m glad somebody cares."

The Elk Lodges of New Jersey provide advice and assistance for the caring of Special Needs Children of every race, color, and creed. Scholarships are awarded to Special Needs high school seniors. Each year the Elks select four Special Ambassadors and four Alternate Ambassadors, each representing an Area of our State. They are honored at Lodge, District and State events. The Elks maintain clinics, hiring competent nurses, therapists, pediatricians, psychologists, teachers, etc. to help restore children with disabilities. Equipment, such as crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, etc. are furnished. Elk's Camp Moore provides Special Needs Children outdoor camping experience that would otherwise not be available.


Click here for more information for Elks Camp Moore


Meet Todd Thompson, Camp Moore Director...


Todd Thompson is the new Director of New Jersey Elks' Camp Moore.  He graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree and holds a variety of certifications including First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor from the American Red Cross, Crisis Management Instructor, and an American Camp Association accreditation.

His goal is to continue to provide our consumers, their families, and our communities with opportunities that promote self-improvement, decision-making and growth and is dedicated to supporting Camp Moore's goal of "putting a smile on the face of a person with special needs."

He has fifteen years of experience in developing educational, recreational and therapeutic programs, activities, and respite for both children and adults with special needs.    He is eager to start this new season at Camp Moore and welcomes the opportunity to meet with everyone to answer any questions or concerns you may have.  You can contact Todd by emailing him at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or you can call him at:  (609) 651-6209 or the summer phone number at camp is (973) 835-1542.

Each year the New Jersey State Elks Special Children’s Committee awards two $10,000 scholarships to graduating seniors (one female, one male)  for the purpose of assisting students with disabilities in obtaining a college education. This year we are pleased to announce an additional two $4000 runner-up scholarships. Scholarship aid in the form of payment of tuition in an amount not to exceed $2,500 annually for the winner  ($1000 annually for the runner-up) for up to four years is offered each year upon verification that said student has an excellent scholastic standing, general worthiness, financial need, and a physical and/or developmental disability including learning disabilities.

Scholarship award applications are sent to High School Guidance Counselors throughout the State of New Jersey. If you are interested or know of a senior with disabilities who may be interested, please contact State head-quarters @ 732-326-1300 for an application. Please note that Applications from the jurisdictional territory of a Lodge are considered to be sponsored by that Lodge.

View/print the scholarship application

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The applications should be returned to our State Office, 

NJ State Elks S.C.C.
665 Rahway Ave
PO Box 1596
Woodbridge, NJ 07095




Scholarship aid in the form of payment of tuition in an amount not to exceed $2,500 annually for the winner  ($1000 annually for the runner-up) for up to four years is offered each year upon verification that said student has an excellent scholastic standing, general worthiness, financial need, and a physical and/or developmental disability including learning disabilities.

Upon a student being notified of his or her selection as a recipient of a Scholarship Award, the student shall immediately notify this committee by letter of his or her acceptance of the Award and the name and address of the college which the student will be entering.  Payment of an annual tuition fee or the sum not to exceed $2,500 ($1000 for the runner-up), toward the annual tuition shall be made by the committee to the college in such installments as provided by the Rules and Regulation of the particular college concerned.  It will be required that the college keeps this committee informed of the progress and scholastic standing of the student.

The New Jersey State Elks Special Children’s Scholarship Committee will not pay tuition fees for more than four (4) years of college without special consent and agreement.  This agreement and consent may be given in special circumstances at the discretion of the committee. 

Applicants MUST be a bona fide resident of the state of New Jersey and must be a senior attending a New Jersey High School at the time of submitting this application.  The New Jersey State Elks Scholarship Committee may discontinue scholarship aid under this program at any time.  Permission must be given to take and use any picture(s) of the applicant for any purpose that the said Committee may deem advisable and likewise make use of any pertinent information concerning the application. 

Applications must be completed in its entirety.  The check list on the last page must be adhered to and all applications must be signed by the student applying and his or her parents or guardians.


The following information on the start of the New Jersey State Elks Association Handicapped Children Committee is presented as originally published in 1931. While not "Politically Correct" by todays editorial standards, it does present the sentiments of PGER Joseph Buch and the efforts that brought this important committee into being here in the State of New Jersey.
The Start of Crippled Children Work
in New Jersey

Written in 1931

"Gee, I almost wish I only had one leg" said a little fellow who was sound in body and limb, as he stood on the crowded wharf at Trenton and witnessed the departure of the first outing for crippled children in New Jersey on August 7, 1922. Many women among the hundreds on the wharf had tears in their eyes as the watched the steamer Dolphin, decks crowed with more than 700 crippled little boys and girls, pull out into the Delaware River and head for Burlington Island State Park, the picnic spot selected.

The Trenton State Gazette said editorially of the affair the next morning:
"If all the nice things said by the people of Trenton about the Elks and their crippled kiddies outing could be gathered together and printed in one, it would make a good sized and glorious monument to the energetic generosity of this aggregation of good fellows."

Like so many projects that had a small beginning, the story of the reclamation of crippled children in New Jersey is one that reads like a romance. For several years prior to 1922 Joseph G. Buch (Pronounced Book), of Trenton, had been interested as an individual in caring for some neighborhood crippled children. He soon realized that his best efforts were feeble when compared with the great need.

When elected President of the New Jersey State Elks Association in 1922, Mr. Buch envisioned a crippled children's rehabilitation program for the Elks Lodges of New Jersey. On his recommendation made at the annual meeting of the State Association in July, 1922, at which he was elected President, the first Monday in August was later designated as an 'Annual Crippled Children's Outing Day.'

The crippled children's outing on August 7, 1922 (MR. Buch's birthday anniversary) was sponsored by Trenton Lodge #105. At this late date it is learned from former Officers of the Lodge that the entire expense of the outing ( probably more than $1500.00) was borne personally by Mr. Buch. When questioned about it he said:

"I never intended that for publication. it is only the sort of thing thousands of real Elks are doing in all parts of the country. I used to give a birthday picnic to some of my friends at a cost of several hundred dollars. I began to reflect what a waste this was compared to an outing or picnic for crippled children. I was fairly prosperous in a business way and out of gratitude to humanity in general. I decided to take up the rehabilitation of crippled children as a life hobby, if it may be called that"

And a "hobby" it has ever since been with "Joe" Buch. In 1922-23, while President of the New Jersey State Elks' Association, he circularized every Elks Lodge in the United States on the subject of crippled children. He traveled up and down and across the State of New Jersey time and again preaching the doctrine of "helping crippled children to help themselves" until it was taken up by the State Elks' Association and now has the cooperation of other civic and fraternal organizations as well as that of the State of New Jersey itself.

At the outset Mr. Buch himself scarcely envisioned the all embracing program that has now developed. It was not at first realized what a vast amount of work was involved. Many Elk Lodges were slow in taking it up, but finally came the conviction that here was a humanitarian service which the Elks were qualified to lead, and which their obligation prompted them to carry on.

During his year as President of the State Elks' Association Mr. Buch visited all of the New Jersey Lodges and said to them, in substance:

"A fraternal Order can live and grow only through service. This is offered us in the work for crippled children. From my own limited connection with it I can assure that by reclaiming these little unfortunates and making them happy, the hearts of us all will be softened."

It is impossible to get from Mr. Buch's own lips the story of his struggles, discouragement's, disappointments and the rebuffs he met with from time to time in promoting his crippled children's program.

"Some persons did not quickly grasp the great importance and value of it to humanity," he says. "Success is now in sight and that should make us forget everything else."

Joseph G. Buch is Chairman of the New Jersey State Elks' Crippled Children's Committee, Chairman of the New Jersey State Crippled Children's Commission, member of the New Jersey State rehabilitation Commission, and a member of President Hoover's White House Conference on child health and protection. He has addressed meetings in nearly one-half of the States on the subject of rehabilitation of crippled children, but he refuses to accept any special praise except as one of a group made of members of the crippled Children's Committee of the New Jersey State Elks' Association.

"The other members of the committee are entitled to just as much of the credit as I am," he said " I make suggestions and recommendations, and the others on the committee do the work"

Joseph G. Buch, Trenton NO. 105 served as Grand Exalted Ruler for the Fraternal Year 1940 -1941

Leaders in the Work

Every great movement must have leaders. Ideas are stillborn until life is breathed into them from a human soul. Usually there is an initial leader and according to his strength and earnestness others develop, until there gradually grows up an ever widening group of leaders ready to keep alive the work. This is what happened in New Jersey. These leaders are mentioned, not so much to credit their achievements, for this they do not want, but to identify them with the work. They are a part of it and a story told of a work without mention of those who created it, is a dull and lifeless echo. Those outside who wish advice and suggestions or have help to offer to a cause, establish contact through the men who have made it vital and so there is shown herewith the names of these leaders.

1931 New Jersey State Elks' Crippled Children's Committee
Chairman Joseph G. Buch
Honorary Chairman A. Harry Moore
Secretary Dr. Harris K. Cohan
Treasurer Harry Bacharach
Advisor Dr. Carl R. Keppler
Members William H. Kelly, Joseph A. Brophy, John H. Fate, William Delhagen, Joseph Salz, Frank J. Dunnion, Eugene F. Sheridan, John H. Case


The Somerville Lodge B.P.O. Elks #1068 initiated a program for Crippled children in 1925. The children were transported to Newark for treatment under the direction of Dr. Henry H. Kessler. As the caseload increased in the area, Somerville and Bound Brook Lodges joined together to establish a clinic at Somerset Hospital in Somerville, directed by Dr. Elmer Weigel. Both Lodges furnished the necessary equipment to the hospital for the treatment of the children. This program was later discontinued when Polio cases dropped to a low level in the area.

In 1950 a part time clinic for the treatment of physically handicapped children was located in the John Manville Research Center. With the approval of the Somerville Board of Education, a clinic was established in 1951 in the basement of the elementary school on West High Street, Somerville. Treatments were given to the physically handicapped children, and a speech therapy program was initiated. The expansion of the program throughout the area resulted in the lodges of Bound Brook, Plainfield, Dunellen and Manville joining with Somerville to form a Board of Directors. A class for the orthopedic handicapped was established in 1960 with the approval of the New Jersey State Board of Education.

A major improvement in both services and facilities was accomplished on March 19, 1978 when a building located adjacent to the Somerville Elks Lodge on Route 22 was dedicated and turned over to the Board of Directors. This was made possible through the generosity of many contributors and the dedication of the Somerville lodge who erected the building and donated it to the Somerset Handicapped Children's Treatment Center.

The Center achieved another milestone when it moved into a magnificent new structure in July 1991, and subsequently dedicated in September, 1991. It is adjacent to the Somerville Elks Lodge's new building on Union Avenue in Bridgewater.


The Somerset Handicapped Children's Treatment Center has been an Elks service project for over twenty-five years. It is an outgrowth of the Elks benevolence to handicapped children.

It is the desire of the Somerset Handicapped Children's Treatment Center to meet the needs of all special children from birth to 21 years of age to help them function independently, improve their developmental growth and to help them overcome their handicap.

To make available to the residents of Somerset County and the surrounding areas a facility for handicapped children at a nominal fee.


To make these services available to all eligible children without regard for race, religion, national origin or economic status, when properly referred by an area physician.

To provide rehabilitation services according to the professional standards of the New Jersey Department of Health - Paternal & Child Health Services.


Physical therapists work with patients disabled by handicaps, illness, or neurological disorders under the direction of the Medical Director.

Physical therapy's goal is to help patients reach maximum levels within their capabilities so they can lead useful, productive lives.

At the Treatment Center, children receive therapeutic exercises. These include, strengthening exercises for weakened muscles, coordination and balance exercises and ambulating exercises with braces and/or crutches.

The program also involves instructing patients and families in the procedures for continuing the care at home.

Personnel are certified by the New Jersey State Department of Education. Medical clinics are held once a month.


Since 1961, the swimming program has been a co-operative effort between the Somerset Handicapped Children's Treatment Center, the Evening Membership Department of the Somerville Civic League, and the Somerville Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The children receive instruction in swimming and water safety from instructors supplied by the Red Cross. The women of the Civic League dress the children and act as their "buddies" in the water.


Speech evaluations are provided at the clinic to identify communication problems. After evaluation, a program of therapy is on an individual basis and is usually supplemented with a home program under the direction of the therapist.

Therapy is available for all areas of speech - articulation, language development, fluency and voice.


Along with the varied programs operated by the Center, many of the children are sponsored by their individual Lodges to attend Elks Camp Moore, a summer camp owned and operated by the New Jersey State Elks Handicapped Children's Committee.

The camp, located in Haskell, New Jersey has been operating since 1971, and has become one of the finest camps i'n the country specializing in providing enjoyment to these special children.


Occupational therapy helps the handicapped individual develop and maintain skills necessary to function effectively in his environment through direct participation in purposeful goaloriented activities.

Personnel are certified by the New Jersey State Department of Education.

Goals Are:

To maintain or improve motor functioning.

To improve the level of academic function of Learning Disabled Children.

To improve psyche-social development.

To help achieve a maximum level of independence in activities of daily living.

To provide instruction in the use of functional and adaptive equipment and devices where applicable.


Somerset County Special Child Health Services Case Management Unit is housed in the Treatment Center. It is sponsored by the Department of Health in Trenton and is one of the 21 satellite programs in the State of New Jersey. This program is a comprehensive program designed to provide a network of services to meet the health needs of children with developmental disabilities.


The Special Children's Playground is another addition of considerable significance for the enjoyment of physically challenged children. Its construction was the realization of a dream come true. It was the consequence of considerable planning and the benefaction of a number of Elks Lodges and other generous organizations. The playground was dedicated on June 12, 1993, and named as a tribute to Evelyn Barnes, RN, Director of the Treatment Center for her many years of devoted service to the Center.




Somerville Lodge
Middlesex Lodge
Manville-Hillsborough Lodge
Bound Brook Lodge
Plainfield Lodge
Flemington Lodge
Princeton Lodge
B.P.O. Elks #1068
B.P.O. Elks #2301
B.P.O. Elks #2119
B.P.O. Elks #1388
B.P.O. Elks # 885
B.P.O. Elks #1928
B.P.O. Elks #2129


Chairman Louis Possemato PSP Bound Brook #1388
Vice Chairman Joseph DeScenza Middlesex #2301
Secretary Joel Wolff Flemington #1928
Treasurer Norman McKinney Somerville #1068
Member John Koopman Somerville #1068
Member Bob Canavan Middlesex #2301
Member Barbara Romano Bound Brook #1388
Member Gregg Liptak Manville-Hillsborough #2119
Member Alfred Nowak Manville- Hillsborough #2119
Member Richard Phillips Plainfield #885
Member Pia Grant Plainfield #885
Member Millard Horner Princeton #2129
Member Tom Tosco Flemington #1928
Advisory Committee William Healey Middlesex #2301
Advisory Committee Charlie Whalen Manville-Hillsborough #2119
Advisory Committee Vernon Noble Plainfield #885



Somerset Handicapped Children's Treatment Center
Cheryl Bennett, Director
P.O. Box 6824
377 Union Avenue
Bridgewater, New Jersey 08807

PHONE: 908-725-2366
FAX: 908-725-3945





To offer an out-patient program of professional rehabilitation therapy and related services, administered under sound medical supervision and on a referral from a physician.



The Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Center is a private non-profit organization that operates programs for multiply disabled students and adult clients. The elementary and high schools serve students from the ages of three to twenty one who have been placed, on a tuition basis, by a school district in cooperation with the student’s parent. A variety of educational and therapeutic experiences are provided as well as job coaching and adaptive and augmented computers all based upon the students’ individual education plan. The Adult Training Center is for clients from twenty one and up who are disabled and or medically fragile. In addition to the Elks, funding for this program comes from Medicaid and the Division of Developmentally Disabilities. All three facilities are located in Clifton, New Jersey.


The Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Center was established in 1947 as a treatment center for children with special needs. The CP Center, a pioneer in the rehabilitation field for children with special needs, continues to provide service to over 250 families. The diversity of programs are fashioned to meet the needs of each individual with developmental disabilities.

The Cerebral Palsy Center is approved by the New Jersey Department of Education as a non-profit private school for children with multiple handicaps. The Center is also licensed by or affiliated with the following state and local agencies:

• New Jersey Department of Education •
• New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities •
• New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired •
• New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Service •
• New Jersey Department of Health •
• New Jersey Department of Human Services •

The CP Center elementary school is a private, non-profit school owned by the Passaic County Elks Special Children's Committee, Incorporated.

Passaic County Elks Board of Trustees administers the three C.P. Center facilities.  Referrals for possible placement within the program are accepted from public school districts, parents, hospitals, physicians, or approved local or state agencies.


Ages: Birth to 3 Years

Infants and toddlers with developmental delays are offered an interdisciplinary program. The "team" approach offers the most beneficial form of intervention as it integrates physical and occupational therapy, speech and language development, and the expertise of an early childhood educator. Parents are taught educational (cognitive) and therapeutic techniques to perform at home. Counseling and support services are offered to parents/guardians by the educator and social worker.

Ages: 3 to 5 Years

A full day program is offered to preschoolers who have been referred to the Center by their sending district Board of Education. Pre-readiness skills in reading and math are incorporated into the program which is geared toward increasing socialization and independence. Children have fun while they learn at their own pace.

An Instructional Guide is developed by the interdisciplinary team with emphasis on target areas for improvement. An early childhood educator, along with the physical and occupational therapist and speech/language therapist, provide the "team approach" for each child's maximum developmental growth.

Ages: 5 to 13 Years

Potential students with multiple handicaps are referred by their sending districts to the Center's full day program. Students are grouped according to age and functional abilities in ungraded classes. Instructional Guides are developed in concert with the student's Child Study Team. The plan is carried out by the "team" consisting of the special educator, physical, occupational, and the speech/language therapists for the maximum benefit of each student.

Ages: 14  to 21 Years

After elementary school students graduate to our high school located a few blocks away. There, the curriculum emphasis shifts to a more vocationally oriented program including classroom activities leading to "on the job" training, placed and supervised by our Job Coaches.

Ages: 21 to 55+

The Adult Medical Day Care Program incorporates independent living skills and socialization with work skills for employment training.

Adults with physical challenges and developmental disabilities receive medical, nursing and social services. Recreation and personal care services are also provided to group members. The goal of the program is to prepare program participants for residence in a group home, a supervised apartment, or other less-sheltered living arrangement.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (D.D.D.) and Medicaid provide funding for the program and referrals are accepted through D.D.D. for prospective participants. The program is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health


·                                 Behavior Management Program

·                                 Clinics: Orthotic; Equipment

·                                 Computer Access / Augmentative Communication Lab

·                                 Day Class With Full Academic And / Or Functional Program

·                                 Early Childhood Education

·                                 Educational and Therapeutic Assessments

·                                 Educational Field Trips

·                                 Extended School Year Program

·                                 Family Life Education

·                                 Gym / Adapted Physical Education Program

·                                 Health Education

·                                 Interdisciplinary Therapy

·                                 Medical Consultations: Pediatric Physiatry and Orthopedic

·                                 Music

·                                 Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician  

·                                 Nursing

·                                 Occupational Therapy

·                                 Parent Support Group

·                                 Pediatric Therapy

·                                 Physical Therapy

·                                 Preschool Handicapped Program

·                                 Sensory Stimulation

·                                 Social Work Services

·                                 Speech / Language Therapy




Honor the memory of a relative or friend by sending a memorial gift to the Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Center. The family of the honoree will be promptly notified of your thoughtfulness.


Make the birthday, anniversary, or special occasion of someone dear to you more special with a contribution in honor of their special day. A congratulatory message in your name will be sent promptly.


A bequest of funds or property to the Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Center will help continue services to children with disabilities.

Operates the Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Center and administers a program of financial assistance.

The Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Center is recognized as a charitable corporation by the Internal Revenue Services of the United States Treasury Department. At the present time all charitable bequests are totally exempt from all New Jersey State inheritance tax.

Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Center
1481 Main Avenue, Clifton, NJ 07011

(973) 772-2600, Click here for website




I give and bequeath to the Passaic County Elks Special Children’s Committee, Inc., a New Jersey, non-profit corporation, for the use of the Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Center, the sum of:

___________________________________ Dollars ($_______________.)



I give, bequeath, and advise to the Passaic County Elks Special Children's Committee, Inc. a New Jersey non-profit corporation, for the use of the Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Center all of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, real, personal, and mixed of whatever kind and whatsoever situate.