By Michelle Colesanti

The Brandon Elks are committed to supporting veterans and veterans support programs along with various other local charities.

The public is invited to join in the fun at the Elks second annual Hoe Down, which will be held on Saturday, January 17 at the Brandon Elks Lodge #2383, located at 800 Centennial Lodge Dr. in Brandon. The Hoe Down will take place from 4-8 p.m. in the lounge.

Special musical guest, Kim Betts & Gamble Creek Band will be featured. The band is a high energy country/rock dance band covering all the latest hits from Nashville. Betts is the daughter of famed guitarist Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers Band.

For only $20, guests get dinner, dancing, drink specials, YeeHaw Auction Table and the now famous Marshall Dillon Jail to take care of the outlaws. The ticket price includes a delicious BBQ Pork or Chicken dinner with all of the trimmings.

Dinner will take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and the band will play from 7-11 p.m.

“So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them” is the national motto.

Linda Reid, volunteer for Veterans & Youth Support Programs said, “Our lodge invites Veterans from the local James Haley VA Hospital to our lodge each month for a free dinner, and our VA committee has several events for the veterans throughout the year, including activities we sponsor at the hospital like arts and crafts, bingo, games, etc.”

According to Reid, Christmas gifts are delivered to the veterans at the hospital each year during the holidays. In addition, the Elks sponsor a free Thanksgiving dinner to local armed forces and their families each year. This past year over 250 were served.

Seats will be assigned when an advance ticket is purchased at the Brandon Elks, so get tickets early. For additional information, contact the Brandon Elks Lounge at 685-6469 after 4 p.m. or e-mail loliver13tampabay.r.com.