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One of the best evenings I’ve experienced in Sedona was spent at the Sedona Elks Lodge.

The Elks invited my husband and I to the annual Sweet Heart Dance and dinner Friday, Feb. 10, where the club honored two from the Sedona Red Rock News staff.

Sedona Elks Lodge Secretary Don Waggoner, center, presents Sedona Red Rock News photojournalist Tom Hood and feature writer Lu Stitt with a plaque for their work supporting the Lodge.Lodge Secretary Don Waggoner presented photojournalist Tom Hood and feature writer Lu Stitt with plaques for the work they’ve done at the newspaper to help the Lodge and those in need throughout the community.

While it was nice to see our staff honored for the hard work they put into support the community, it was the members and the atmosphere that made the evening really special.

We were welcomed with open arms by Waggoner, Vito Pantaleo and all of the other members in attendance.

They served us delicious steaks, kept our beverage glasses full and offered us all the luxuries of being their guests.

During dinner, I had the privileged of sitting next to a man named George, who has lived in Sedona since 1985.

He told me his Sedona story of how he made it out here and talked about changes he’s seen since he first arrived.

After everyone ate, couples begin filling the floor to dance with their sweethearts, and love lasting decades was evident as they swayed from side to side. They represented a future I hope to enjoy someday — still in love and happy to celebrate it with a few slow dances.

When we left, we were happy Waggoner invited us to share the evening where I learned a little Sedona history, and we learned a lesson in love.

The Elks Lodge hosts dinners year-round to raise money for the programs it supports. I encourage you to join them for an evening, and you just might learn something.

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