MIAMI- Miami Elks Lodge #1320 has secured funding and opened applications for its annual Christmas Basket Project serving local veterans and families.

"I am very excited this year to announce the $3,500 grant I applied for was approved for (the) 2017 Christmas Basket Project," said Miami Elks Lodge #1320 Trustee, Shelly Thomas, Grant Chair. "The Miami Elks Lodge #1320 has been delivering Christmas Baskets for over 10 years."

Thomas added that in the past the Elks have relied on donations from area businesses and fundraisers to fund the project.

Baskets this year will include items for a complete Christmas dinner, including a whole chicken, stuffing, potatoes, and more. Toys for children in the home, along with other items will also be provided to ensure area veterans and children will have everything they need for a wonderful Christmas.

Baskets are usually made available for pick up the Saturday before Christmas, but deliveries are also made by lodge members and volunteers to the homes of elderly and disabled applicants or those otherwise without the means to pick them up.

"We are looking forward to being able to help more than ever, and are very excited to provide area children a Christmas to remember, helping out Santa," said Thomas.

Applications are available at the Elks Lodge, 401 South Main Street in Miami. For questions, Ottawa County residents may contact the lodge at 918-542-4898.