Pratt Elks Lodge Club makes special presentations to Fort Dodge Soldiers Home residents

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Taking part in a Pratt Elks Lodge Gratitude Grant ceremony are (from left) Ft. Dodge Soldiers Home Clinical Director Ron Friess; Ft. Dodge Soldiers Home Chrissy Rodriguez Administrative Assistant; Kenny Gates, Pratt Elks Leading Knight and Bev Aldrich, Pratt Elks membership chair. Recliners were also delivered and placed on another floor of the facility, not accessible due to COVID.

Four BPOE Pratt Elks Lodge #1451 members traveled to the Fort Dodge Soldiers Home Wednesday, September 8 near Dodge City to present three robotic cats and two Virtual Reality Headsets. These gifts, along with two recliners delivered by Ashley Furniture earlier in the week, were donated specifically to the dementia care unit.

"The Gratitude Grant project allowed us to purchase and these items," said Pratt Elks Lodge member Linda Stelzer. "It was a rewarding day as the residents really enjoyed the robotic cats."

The Pratt Elks received $2,500 through the Gratitude Grant project and decided to put the money towards the purchase of three robotic cats, two virtual reality headsets and two lounge recliners for the Fort Dodge Soldiers Home.

The robotic cats, which went into instant use, are life-like with the ability to purr, move their heads, and open and close their eyes while they are petted.

"The residents really enjoyed the interaction with the robotic cats," Stelzer said.

Stelzer said that she, Kenny Gates, Bev Aldrich and Brenda Riffey also enjoyed their time with the veterans and staff at Fort Dodge Soldiers Home as they made their presentations.