(Aug. 9, 2019) Three pillars of Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645 were honored during a dedication ceremony of the group’s banquet hall on 137th Street, Sunday.
Husband and wife, Carroll and Toni Wagner, and James “Jim” Flaig had their names memorialized as the Elks Lodge renamed the room the “Flaig/Wagner Banquet Hall.”
The Wagners moved from Baltimore to Ocean City in 1979.
Carroll has been a chartered member of the Ocean City Elks Lodge since 1982. He served as an exalted ruler for the lodge from 1993-95 and deputy grand exalted ruler from 1996-97.
He worked as a teacher and went on to become a regional superintendent, a vice principal and principal for various schools and school districts from 1951-1989.
Toni would accept a position in the Ladies Auxiliary and become the head of the Ways and Means Committee, holding the position for 12 years. She has been a member of the Elks Lodge for 14 years.
Toni has been a long-time member of the Ocean City Beautification Committee and is the project coordinator of the Reflections of Life project at the convention center on 40th Street. She was also responsible for purchasing a beach accessible wheelchair for the resort and is in the process of purchasing another one.
Flaig, a lifetime member, has been the Elks treasurer for over 20 years. He was instrumental in bringing slot machines to Worcester County and has organized several golf tournaments.
He sold his machine shop, which would become the current location for Elks Lodge #2645. Flaig also owned and operated Leisure Time Associates Real Estate company for 42 years, managing 100 condominiums and several employees.
In 2012, he was nominated for the Charitable Soul award for his contributions to the community.
Sunday’s dedication ceremony began with Exalted Ruler Kevin Matthews discussing the many roles and accomplishments of the three honorees before turning the floor to anyone who wanted to share stories or comments about them.
Former Ocean City Mayor and Senator, Jim Mathias, now director of Government Relations for the University of Maryland of the Eastern Shore, was invited to say a few words during the ceremony.
“Each and every one of you are the brick and mortar that make the Elks Lodge and Ocean City as great as it is,” Matthias said. “As [the resort] was growing and developing, it was Tony and Carroll and Jim … that made us into an All-American City.”
First Lady Eileen Loftus spoke in place of her husband, John, president of the Maryland, D.C. and Delaware State Association.
“[John] wanted me to express to Carroll and Toni and to Jim to say thank you so much for all that you have done for this lodge,” Loftus said. “Carroll and Tony, you have been beside us since we became Elks and we met you at the state association. You have been a mentor to John. And John is now, thanks to Carol’s leadership … the second state president from the Ocean City Lodge.
“This hall definitely deserves to be dedicated to the three up here. You all have done so much for Ocean City,” she continued. “And we thank you, and we love you, very much.”
The three honorees could hardly hold back their tears as they thanked everyone for supporting them and providing them with such an honor.
“All of you who are here today, we thank you seriously from our hearts,” Toni Wagner said after the plaque was presented.
“We have such strong feelings about how much it took, how many people – God bless those who aren’t here – who’ve done this to get us where we are,” Carroll Wagner said. “We are without a doubt one of the greatest Elks associations in the country. We also want to thank you for how well you treat us and how nice it is to be here.”
“I am humbled,” Flaig added. “I appreciate it and I thank you [all] for being here. My family – I’ve got five children, their husbands and lots of grandchildren here. Thank you all for being here.”