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Officials: Albert Lea Moose Lodge is not closing

Published 9:40am Thursday, October 25, 2012

ALBERT LEA — Despite rumors to the contrary, the Albert Lea Moose Lodge is not closing.

Lodge officials said Wednesday that Moose members and even some local businesses have donated more than $10,000 in the last two weeks. The donations are about one-fifth of the $50,000 debt in rent and vendor bills the Moose hopes to raise.

“We’re extremely humbled by the amount of people who have stepped up and said we’re not going to let this lodge close,” said Albert Lea Moose Lodge Gov. Frank Kohl.

At the end of September, Moose leaders mailed a letter to members advising them of the debt, explaining how the organization got there and encouraged a renewed commitment. That heightened the closing rumors, but it also garnered help.

“To have in two weeks raised $10,000 is phenomenal,” said local Moose administrator Curtis Smith.

Kohl said the depressed economy and a shift away from support for fraternal organizations contributed to the financial issues. Kohl said the lodge has about 700 members, much less than what it once was.

On Nov. 29, Moose leaders will host a burger basket fundraiser with music and karaoke. Kohl said the group wants to raise the remaining $40,000 before December.

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