Back to Online Exhibit

Building Better Kids

By: Becky Seitel

Like many children of the Holocaust, Riva Hirsch was robbed of her childhood more than six decades ago by Adolf Hitler.

Today, she spends time working with the Elks Lodge of Mountain Brook to help promote the education and social development of Alabama’s youth.

Riva is well-known throughout the state for her dedication to raising money for the Elks Youth Camp. Located on Lake Martin in Tallassee, Alabama, the Elks Youth Camp offers activities and programs for young people between ages eight and thirteen. The youngsters receive an opportunity to experience different surroundings while learning valuable lessons about life. The programs are designed to help build character while showing how important it is to work with others.

In 2006, Riva single-handedly sold more Cadillac raffle tickets than any other Alabama member. This was just one of the reasons she was named Alabama Elk of the Year, becoming the first woman to receive that honor in the history of the Mountain Brook Lodge.

“Since we came to America in 1962, people have been wonderful to my husband and me,” Riva says. “Being a part of the Elks Association gives me an opportunity to give something back to this country by giving our youth such a great opportunity to build character … and have fun!”

Riva is pictured with Hayden Cater.