Member Profile March 2015

Bend Elks Lodge #1371 - Member Profile March 2015

Cara Austin

Cara Austin was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Her Mother was a single parent who worked at Mountain Bell Telephone Co. and her father liked to travel and play the guitar. Cara’s mother worked at Mt. Bell for 40 years, until she retired and her father became the right-hand man to the Governor.

Cheyenne was a small town, a perfect place to grow up. Cara was surrounded by family and lots of cousins. She learned to play guitar with her father and uncle and went camping and fishing with her cousins. She was an avid Denver Broncos fan and wore the nickname of the team “Orange Crush”. Bend Elks Lodge #1371 - Member Profile March 2015 crush

Cara graduated high school in Cheyenne and got her first job as a Manager at Grandma’s Pickle Parlor. Grandma’s Pickle Parlor sold pull-tab tickets and from the proceeds supported the non-profit organization of Women’s Safe House and Sexual Assault Services. Cara became a jack-of-all trades, she sold tickets, sat on the Finance Committee, volunteer coordinator of the crisis line, secretary, supervised the shelter, filed court papers, obtained grants, and transported women and children to the shelter.Bend Elks Lodge #1371 - Member Profile March 2015 daughter

In 1993, Cara’s daughter, Taylor Jade, was born. After 10 years of running the Shelter, she left for a 9 to 5 job working at Blue Cross, Blue Shield. She worked there for 6 years doing claims research and then worked at a grocery distribution center driving forklifts for 5 years.

Bend Elks Lodge #1371 - Member Profile March 2015 car In 2011 Cara visited a friend in Redmond. Since her daughter was off on her own, Cara decided to move here. She sold her house and furniture and took only what she could fit in the back of her car.

She stayed with a friend and went to truck driving school in Redmond. Bend Elks Lodge #1371 - Member Profile March 2015 truck She obtained her commercial drivers license and was hired by a truck driving company in California.

She drove trucks in all 48 states for a year and then decided to do something else. She then got a job at Schwan’s in truck maintenance. She did the pre-trip inspections and loading, then became a driver and sales for Central Oregon. Cara is very good at re-inventing herself. She now works for Consumer Cellular in technical support.

Cara very recently moved to Bend, close to the Elks Lodge. She and her roommate were walking past the Elks Lodge and decided to knock at the door to check it out. Some of the Elk members invited them in as guests and introduced themselves. Cara and her roommate had a great time; they filled out membership applications and became members. She was initiated in February and received her perfect attendance pin in March. Cara immediately started working at our Thursday night Bingo as a floorwalker and also at the Bingo sales desk. She has graciously accepted the position of Lecturing Knight for 2015-2016 and will be sworn in this month.

How fortunate we are that she knocked on our door.