River Grove Moose Lodge administrator believes in serving others
Steven J. Edwards has been the administrator for River Park Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 2578 in River Grove for the majority of his 20 years a member of the organization | David Pollard~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 2, 2013 6:24AM
RIVER GROVE — Being of service to others is what Steven Edwards is all about and has been doing it for 20 years.
He’s the administrator at River Park Loyal Order of Moose, Lodge 2578, located at 8601 W. Fullerton Ave. in River Grove. He’s had the position since 1999.
While working construction he became involved in the organization because some of the people he worked with were members.
“A lot of them were buddies of mine and we’d sit around and watch sports, play horseshoes,” he said. “It was a camaraderie thing.”
In 1999 due to lack of funds the Portage Park lodge he belonged to and several others merged with the lodge in River Grove. He became the temporary administrator, which later turned into the position he holds today.
As administrator, Edward’s job is to make sure all the bills are paid and up to date. He also coordinates when the lodge will be used by outside organizations.
He said the only reason he hasn’t turned over the job to another member is because he says no one wants the job.
“Nobody else wants to step in,” he said. “My wife complains when I’m not at home.”
He said she backs down when he threatens to quit, but his office seems to be a home away from home. He spends about six days a week at the lodge and the door to his office is covered with family photos.
His small office is just north of the bar.
A Chicago Bears football jersey is hung on the wall behind his desk and the shelves on the walls of the office are filled with moose-like items -- dolls, pictures and items from past lodge meetings and events. For the first 15 years he did the job for free, but now he draws a small salary in compensation for the work he does.
But he admits the service the lodge provides to the community is why he remains active. They sponsor the local Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops, and allow other organizations to use their facility free of charge for fundraisers. But the Mooseheart program is something he and his fellow members work hard to maintain.
It’s a school and home, located in Aurora, for youth who have nowhere else to go and no support system. Their lodge and others have fundraisers to maintain it and provide the youth that live there with an education up to the high school level and even some assistance with their college education.
Edwards, 61, grew up without a father in his life and remembers how hard his mother had to work to provide for him and his brother and sisters on a waitress’ salary. He has taken his children to Mooseheart to make sure they remain grateful for what they have.
He said doing for others and making sure the local lodge runs smoothly is what he believes being a Moose is all about.
“It gives me satisfaction,” he said. “It’s my way of giving back.”