Don Gotcher is our Club Manager and a member of Bend Elks Lodge #1371 since 2000. He married his high school sweetheart, Mary McClure, in 1962. Don and Mary have been married for 52 years. They have three children, 2 sons (both Elk members) and a daughter. Two of their children live in Bend and one in California. Don was the owner of J. Michaels Custom Furniture and Upholstery in Bend from 1992 until 2006 when he closed the business.
Don was sponsored by Bill Hughes and was initiated in 2000. That same year he was appointed as Inner Guard and in the following years he served as Chaplain, Lecturing Knight, Loyal Knight and Leading Knight. He was elected to Exalted Ruler in 2004-05, 2006-06 and 2007-08. He is the only Exalted Ruler to serve for 3 years.
Don was very active in the old Lodge located on Greenwood in addition to serving as an officer every year. He was one of the 3 teams that did all the cooking at the Lodge. The menu at the time was burgers and fish & chips. He was also chairman of the Hoop-Shoot Committee. Don served on the Building Committee, which took charge of selling the old Lodge and locating a new building site. The Building Committee also supervised the design and construction of the new Lodge, now located on Boyd Acres Road.
March 2005 was the first Lodge Meeting in the new building. Darlene Johannessen was the first Exalted Ruler at the new building and she asked Don to perform the first initiation ceremony.
In August 2007, Don became a member of the Steering Committee with Dudley Williams and Dave Kelley. This group took over running the Lodge during its early troubled times. By 2010, the Lodge was successfully running on its own and the Steering Committee was disbanded.
In 2009, Don became the Club Manager and is still serving today.