NAUGATUCK — As a 30-year member of Naugatuck Elks Lodge 967, Kevin Dowling doesn’t volunteer for recognition, but he’ll be honored for his efforts just the same.
Dowling, a 66-year-old lifelong Naugatuck resident, is the lodge’s 2020 Elk of the Year. The Elks will honor him during a dinner March 7 at the lodge, 758 Rubber Ave.
Dowling said he didn’t expect the honor and described it as humbling, especially since past Elk of the Year honorees select the award recipient.
“It really puts me in really good company,” said Dowling, who was elected Leading Knight, an officer of the lodge, last week.
Dowling, who is married with two children and two grandchildren, joined the lodge 30 years ago at the suggestion of a couple of friends, who are members.
“I’m glad I did it,” Dowling said. “It’s a great place to make new friends and get involved with new people.”
From helping to organize bus trips to painting, cleaning and cooking, Dowling has volunteered in many ways at the lodge over the years. He and his wife, Margaret, help prepare and serve Thursday night meals at the lodge.
Dowling, a retired nursing supervisor for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, also organized the lodge’s Connecticut Lottery scratch ticket raffles for a couple of years. The raffles, which took Dowling on the road to surrounding towns to sell tickets, raised money to benefit programs and activities sponsored by the lodge.
“That was a lot of fun and we met a lot of people,” Dowling said.
The Elk of the Year dinner starts with a social hour from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by a ceremony and dinner. Tickets are $30 each. For tickets, call Margaret Dowling at 203-228-4361.
The proceeds from the dinner will go back to the lodge to support its community activities.
Dowling said the Elks have been a part of the community for over 100 years and have helped civic, veterans and youth sports organizations through donations and other means. He encouraged people who want to help and be more a part of the community to join the Elks.
“It’s a great organization to be involved in,” he said.