DANVILLE — After 107 years, the Danville Moose Family Center will be smoke-free.
Members are volunteering this week to clean and paint the inside of the center to prepare for its reopening at 10 a.m. Aug. 19, said center administrator Jeff Swartz.
Four Moose mounts, two that hang in the social quarters and two displayed in the dining room, are also being cleaned out. Harris Taxidermy is doing the work.
Members started Saturday to clean the building in compliance with a Loyal Order of Moose International decree that clubs be non-smoking facilities by Jan. 1, 2020, said Mario Tulino, junior governor.
He was standing on scaffolding while painting primer on the alcove of the social quarters of the fraternal and service organization, at 458 Mill St., while Judy McCormick and Don Grubb applied primer to columns there. McCormick serves as secretary-treasurer of the Women of the Moose and Grubb is a Moose member.
"I'm a Vietnam veteran donating my time," said Grubb.
Tulino said the club decided to do the work before bowling season begins right after Labor Day. The club has bowling alleys in the basement which will be cleaned this winter, Swartz said.
Swartz said the non-smoking order came following a vote at the international convention in June.
He said the ceiling in the social quarters will be painted white, the walls will be gray and the alcoves will be red. They hadn't decided Monday on the color of the walls in the dining room.
"I think this will be a good thing for us," Tulino said.
Swartz, who has been the administrator for 20 years, said he has heard very few negative comments and has gotten many positive comments about the change. "My wife won't come in here," he said, referring to the social area where the bar is.
Larry McCormick said quite a few volunteers showed up during the weekend to help. He and his wife are retired. He said he has held all offices in the club, including governor, junior governor and treasurer, and is taking a year off from holding a position.
"By what we cleaned off the walls, it definitely needs cleaning," Swartz said.
Besides the social area and dining room, volunteers will be cleaning and painting the hallway and offices. Swartz estimated they will improve about 5,000 square feet.
The second and third floors are used for storage.
He expects the volunteer total to number 40 by the time they are done.
The Moose supports community organizations through its small games of chance. They include the Danville T-Railers, Little League, the annual kids' fishing derby, the Thomas Beaver Free Library, the Montour County Historical Society, Danville Area High School football and baseball teams, as well as national organizations including Make-A-Wish Foundation and Magical Memories.
The center donates to Mooseheart, the Moose school where 250 children attend near Chicago, and to Moose Haven, a community near Jacksonville, Fla., for elderly Moose members.
Swartz said the Danville organization has about 900 men and 400 women members over the age of 21. The center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. to members and members' guests. Anyone interested in joining can stop in at the center.
The Moose will hold a Founders Day open to the public Oct. 27.
The club also holds programs open to the public, including the Danville Area Community Center purse bingo and a Christmas program for kids.
According to the Moose International website, there are 1,600 lodges with nearly 650,000 male members in 49 states, four Canadian providences and in Great Britain and Bermuda.