GREENCASTLE -- What started as a couple of local club officers sitting around talking became a model for national fraternal organizations.
Elks officer Danny Wallace and Moose administrator Tim Spurlock were talking in 2008 about how the clubs could come together for a common cause.
"Every club had it's own thing they did," Wallace said.
That was when Wallace, a Putnam County Sheriff's deputy, came up with a model from a former Sheriff's Department tradition.
"For about 15 years, we used to put on a sheriff's ball. Instead of a sheriff's ball, let's just make it an all clubs ball," Wallace said.
With the seed planted in their heads, Wallace and Spurlock got the Elks and Eagles involved, and then approached some other local clubs. The Greencastle Eagles, Greencastle VFW post and both the Greencastle and Cloverdale American Legion posts all agreed to come on board.
The six clubs decided to raise money for Riley Children's Hospital.
With the support of all the clubs and a committee composed of members of each organization, the 2008 All Clubs Benefit for Riley Kids was planned in about two months.
It was an overwhelming success. Wallace said the hope was to raise between $1,000 and $2,000. They ended up raising $8,000.
Last year's event followed, and things got even better. With a full year to plan, they were able to raise nearly $14,000 for Riley and the Ronald McDonald House.
The event was so successful, in fact, that the clubs were able to sponsor a suite in the Ronald McDonald House for the last year.
With two years behind them, the clubs are looking for another successful event this year. The event is set for Nov. 13 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Greencastle Moose, 212 W. Franklin St.
Admission is $10 per person and will also feature an option dinner for $5 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are available by contacting any of the clubs.
This year's benefit will feature the music of the Blue River Band, door prizes and a silent auction. The auction will feature items donated by the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, among others. Food and drink will also be available for purchase.
Wallace said all proceeds from the event will go directly to supporting Ronald McDonald House and Riley Hospital. The hope is to raise at least $10,000 so the club can once again sponsor a room at the Ronald McDonald House while still having the other half of the money left to donate to Riley.
"I think there are very few people in the community that haven't been connected to Riley kids. It affects us all," Wallace said.
Another special aspect of the event is that it has caught the attention of some of the national officers of the involved fraternal organizations. Wallace said the clubs have been talking about doing some cooperative fundraising at the national level.
"The ironic thing is, they talked about how everyone could get together, and we'd already done it," he said. "What we'd done locally is now going to be national with everybody getting together for a fundraiser."
Wallace said he also hopes events such as this make people realize the good done by these organizations. While they are clubs and some people view them as private bars or restaurants, Wallace said that view disregards a lot of what the organizations do.
"These clubs do a lot of good for our community," Wallace said. "They make money, but they have to give something like 60 percent of their money away to keep their non-profit status. That money helps the community."
Anyone who would like to help with the event may contact Wallace at 301-6218. He also hopes to see another good crowd at the Nov. 13 event.
"The last two years, the house has been packed, and I hope to keep it that way," he said.