Elks Aidmore Inc. is located in Conyers, Georgia on 141 rolling acres. The property was originally a part of the estate of Colleen Moore, a star of the silent screen in the 1930’s. During the premiere of “Gone With The Wind”, it is reported Ms. Moore hosted a cast party on the third floor of what is now the Administration Building. During the 1940’s, 1950’s and early 1960’s, the property was owned by the Free Methodist Church, operating the Jolly Home, a program for orphaned children. In the late 1960’s the property was secured by the France Wood Wilson Foundation, who continued to operate a children’s program known as Plantation Manor.
In the 1930’s the Georgia Elks had responded to the distressing cries of Georgia’s crippled children and established the Crippled Children’s League. The Crippled Children’s League served physically handicapped children through outpatient service until 1954, when the first patient was admitted into the newly built Aidmore Hospital in Atlanta. Increased competition in the Atlanta area forced the closing of the hospital in 1976, with the hospital being sold to Emory University. The closing of the hospital left the Elks Lodges and Auxiliaries of Georgia looking for a new mission focusing on the current needs of children.
During this time, the Frances Wood Wilson Foundation was also going through changes. With a renewed emphasis on grant-making and related philanthropies, and no longer wanting to be involved in the day-to-day operations of a children’s program, the foundation began searching for a new owner of Plantation Manor. With the assistance of a mutual friend, trustees of Elks Aidmore and Plantation Manor were introduced. In 1977, the property was deeded to Elks Aidmore, with the provision that the program continue to serve children in need. The home was renamed Elks Aidmore Children’s Center.
Since 1977 Elks Aidmore has undergone many changes. In 1985, the name changed from Elks Aidmore Children’s Home to Elks Aidmore Children’s Center. In 1992, the program serving both a male and female population was closed. In 1993, the program reopened as a basic care program serving only female adolescents. In 1996, Elks Aidmore co-founded the Metropolitan Atlanta Alliance of Children. The program received national accreditation through the Council on Accreditation for Family and Children Services in 1996 and was reaccredited in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
What has not changed in the storied history of Elks Aidmore, is the commitment and dedication of the Georgia Elks and Auxiliaries to make a difference in the lives of children and youth throughout the state of Georgia.