A local couple is on a mission to bring Moose to Maricopa – and they’re not talking about the large-antlered, north-woods mammal.
Julie and Stan Hayes, tenured members of Moose International from Lodge No. 6 in Crawfordsville, Ind., moved to Maricopa in 2022 and are starting a local chapter.
“Maricopa is growing in leaps and bounds,” Stan said. “So why can’t the Moose?”
Moose International is dedicated to bringing communities together with opportunities to socialize, philanthropize and memorialize life. With more than 1,600 lodges throughout all 50 states, the Moose provide valuable services to children, teens and seniors by donating time and money.
Julie and Stan Hayes joined the organization in 2020, looking for a sense of community and purpose. As they navigated the pandemic, loss and personal struggles, they quickly found a home among the Moose.
“They just touched my heart,” Julie said. “I’m always going to be a Moose member.”
From volunteering at food banks to enjoying cocktails and card games, opportunities to get involved with the community are seemingly endless, they said.
To become a Moose, there is a $20 application fee and annual dues that have yet to be determined. Once Maricopa Moose is officially established, members will discuss the yearly price.
“We’ve been kicking around the idea of $60 a year,” Stan said. “$38 of that goes to Moose International and then anything beyond that stays local for our own use.”
Members are invited to attend biweekly Moose meetings and get involved in the city.
“This is all voluntary,” Stan said. “Everyone involved has a sense of caring and a sense of pride.”
As the Hayes are just getting started, they are hoping to spread the word and gain interest in the Maricopa Moose.
The duo is active on Facebook and recently held a rally in their own backyard to attract new members.
“We had a wonderful turnout,” Julie said. “We started the day with seven members, and by the end of the rally we had 17 members.”
Today, the Maricopa Moose is 22 members. The group must reach a minimum of 35 members to be initiated into the official Order of the Moose.
Once the couple reaches that goal, they can begin applying for food, liquor and gaming licenses.
Until then, Maricopa members meet twice a month in the library or various conference rooms to discuss upcoming events.
Stan and Julie have big goals, with hopes of opening a lodge in Maricopa – complete with kitchen, bar, and social quarter.
“We want everyone to feel comfortable,” Stan said. “It’s really just a place where people can let their hair down a little bit.
“Come first as a guest, second time as a friend and third time as a member.”
For more information, visit Moose International or email Julie Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.