Elvis Presley’s influence is worldwide and never-ending.
If you need proof, just look at the hundreds of Elvis fan clubs across the globe. These groups, made up of fans of every age, celebrate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and honor his memory with charitable donations.
Each year, fan clubs hold special events, raise money and donate to thousands of organizations – both in their own hometowns and in Memphis – and donate the money in Elvis’ name. They’re simply following the excellent example set by Elvis himself.
In celebration of Make a Difference Day on Saturday, October 24, here are just a few of the fan clubs who are doing great charitable work.
Tupelo Elvis Fan Club
The fan club in Elvis’ hometown seems to work endlessly at raising money for good causes.
The group spearheaded the effort to get an Elvis Presley specialty license plate in Mississippi, and the money raised from that – as well as many other efforts – help fund their donations.
The Tupelo Elvis Fan Club donates $10,000 in yearly scholarships for Mississippi high school seniors, and they also donate $10,000 a year to the North Mississippi Regional Rehab Center.
The group has pledged to give $13,000 a year for 10 years to the Tupelo Aquatic Center, a new facility that is located near the Elvis Presley Birthplace. And speaking of the birthplace, the fan club gives $5,000 a year to the Elvis Presley Birthplace Foundation to fund a child enrichment program.
The group also donates to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, a hospital Elvis always supported. Overall, this one club donates $40,000 annually to charitable organizations.
Taking Care of Presley Memorial Fan Club
Fans may know this group by its annual event, the Elvis FANtasy Festival. The 23rd annual festival recently took place in Portage, Indiana. The group recent partnered with an Elvis festival organizer, but for 20 years, it was run entirely as a volunteer project of the fan club.
The group donates to the Porter County Special Olympics. While totals are not in from this year’s event, last year’s raised $14,640.
We Remember Elvis Fan Club
This Pittsburg, Pennsylvania-based fan club focuses its efforts on helping folks get healthy.
The group, which started in 1982, started by donating money to a children’s hospital in Pittsburg. Now, the group donates to food banks, the West Penn Burn Center, the West Penn Children’s Fund, the Teddy Bear Crusade in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation, Scottish Rite Hospital, Julia’s Turkeys and the Elvis Presley Trauma Center in Memphis.
In 1989, the club asked the doctors at the West Penn Burn Center what they needed so they could donate it. The doctors asked for education, so the fan club established and continues to help fund the Elvis Aaron Presley Visiting Fellowship, which teaches doctors, nurses and other medical personnel the latest in treating burns.
Each year, the fan club matches its donation to the Elvis Presley Trauma Center in Memphis with the year. For example, in 2000, they donated $2,000, and in 2001, they donated $2,001, and so on.
The group also gives to the burn center’s camp for kids who have been patients in the burn unit.
Fan Club President Priscilla Parker said all of this hard work is the best way to celebrate Elvis.
“Elvis was such a generous person,”she said. “The best way to keep his memory alive and follow in his footsteps is to give to others. We’re picking up where he left off.”
Take a look at all of the fan clubs’ charitable donations.
If you’d like to participate in charitable giving, consider participating in Graceland’s Poinsettia Campaign. Each year, fans donate money to the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, and a beautiful poinsettia goes on display at Graceland during the holiday season in their honor. The 2015 Poinsettia Campaign will kick off soon, so watch Graceland.com for details.