Barboursville Moose Lodge hosts organization's top leader
HUNTINGTON -- Community service is the main reason Richard Marcum and his wife, Jenny Bunch, joined the Barboursville Moose Lodge.
And it's the reason James F. Henderson Sr., supreme governor of the Loyal Order of Moose, stopped by the Moose Lodge off U.S. 60 on Saturday.
"I'm here to say 'thank you' to the people for all their hard work," Henderson said Saturday morning. "I've visited 290 lodges across the country. I hope that when my time is up I can get to 400." The fraternal club founded in 1888 has more than 1,600 lodges across the United States, he said.
He called the Moose an international organization of men and women dedicated to caring for the young and old, bringing communities closer together and celebrating life through local service. The organization's two biggest programs are Mooseheart, a school for children in the Chicago area, and Moosehaven, a retirement community outside Jacksonville, Fla.
"I've spent a lot of time on the road this year," Henderson said. "I enjoy going to lodges, meeting people and congratulating them for their community service. I think I've only been home 15 days since I took the post. It's a good thing I'm retired."
Henderson lives in Mesa, Ariz., with his wife, Joyce. They have eight children, 25 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He was elected to the position of Supreme Governor of the Loyal Order of the Moose last July.
Charles "Bob" Zhea, governor of the Barboursville Moose Lodge, said the local lodge was formed a dozen years ago and currently has 580 men and 350 women involved in charitable activities.
"We donate money to the international endowment fund, primarily for Mooseheart," Zhea said. "We support the Special Olympics. We've also gotten involved with several local food banks. We contribute to the Ice Bowl and Disc Golf as well as local sports programs like the Little League, softball and soccer."
Last fall, the club donated a computer to the Huntington Police Department to help keep track of sexual predators, Zhea said.
"It's all about community service for us," Marcum said. "We've donated money to local charities including the Barboursville Veterans Home and The Healing Place. We also help fund several local community food banks."
Bunch, who works with the Women of the Moose, said the local group also has raised funds for Hospice and Branches, a local domestic violence shelter. "We've donated money, food and supplies," she said. "It's an outlet to give back to our local community."