KENMORE, N.Y. — The Elks are known for doing charitable work, but the Ken-Ton Elks Lodge recently became the recipient of a charitable gift thanks to an artist who painted a patriotic mural for all passers-by to see.
In the heart of Ken-Ton sits the Elks Lodge #1942 at the intersection of Elmwood Ave. and Woodward Ave. The members of the Elks wanted a mural painted on their two-story building for some time but said they had neither the artist nor the funds to make it happen. That is until artist Greg Gogz offered his talent, time, and resources.
"They'd been looking for a muralist for a while. And I found out they do a lot of stuff for the vets, so I wanted to show my support," said Gogz.
Murals painted by Gogz can be found all around Western New York. He painted one for Steve's Clam Bar on Hertel Avenue and another featuring Michael Jordan and children's cartoon characters at a gym in Machias. Some of his commissioned works and personal paintings are edgy and featuring adult content. But the mural he agreed to paint for the Ken-Ton Elks - an American flag blowing in the wind - is a work of art that he hoped would bring pride to all who drive by.
Over the course of two days, Gogz turned an empty side of a barn at the lodge, in a majestic display of patriotism.
"His friend put a projector on the ground at dusk and then Greg got on all sorts of ladders and just spray painted away," said Ken-Ton Elks Chaplain Diane Wacker. "We... we were in awe, completely in awe. You could hear a pin drop out here everybody watching this kid."
Through Greg's generous donation, he showed he's not only a Good Neighbor, but he also embodies the Elks' mission of charity and giving.
"We're forever grateful for him. It's people like him that we need in Elkdom," said Ken-Ton Elks secretary Richard Donn. "I can't make predictions, but he'll be an Elk someday because that's the way it is. It's giving of yourself."
And for every car that passes by the mural at 2805 Elmwood Avenue, Gogz and the Elks members hope folks will slow down and think.
"It's like a badge of honor for them. That vets get to drive by and see this flag and feel appreciated," said Gogz.
We've added this beautiful mural to our Map 2 Public Art page. Click here to see dozens of displays of public art across Western New York.
To learn more about the Ken-Ton Elks Lodge #1942 and the Elks mission, click here.
To see more works by artist Greg Gogz, go to his Instagram page here.
To nominate a Good Neighbor to be featured on Channel 2, email Melissa.Holmes@wgrz.com . See Good Neighbors featured in the past in the links below.