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CIP It Up!

by Meaghan Morris
Lodge Grants Programs Coordinator
On August 2, CIPsters (or CIPerstars, depending on who you’re asking) Doug, Katie, and I headed out to Elgin, Ill., Lodge No. 737 to aid in their Step It Up project, a program run with the help of Beacon and Promise grants. This program was designed to provide children in need with brand-new sneakers before they head back to school, as shoes can be on the backburner when families in need are faced with allocating resources toward school supplies and books for the new year.

As someone who owns a whopping total of eight pairs of shoes—which is a generous estimation, mind you—I imagined this project to be impactful in their community with a couple hundred shoes maximum. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the sheer magnitude of the almost 2,000 pairs of shoes the Elks provided.

They had high tops, and they had slip-ons. They had light-up and sequined sneakers of all different colors and designs. They had hundreds of shoes from girl…
Recent posts

Hey Doug!

by Doug Wise
Lodge Grants Programs Coordinator

My name is Doug Wise, and I am the newest Programs Coordinator to join the Community Investments Program office.

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in December 2012 with a degree in History and moved to Chicago in the summer of 2016. I have spent the last few years working in restaurant management and am very excited for the change of pace in my new position. The opportunity to work for an organization that seeks to enable people to achieve philanthropic endeavors is one that I was delighted to take.

The first few weeks working at the ENF have felt like taking a condensed course in Elks Studies. I have learned about the Community Investments Program, scholarships, Hoop Shoot, Communications, and Grand Lodge history. As a part of the Community Investments Program, I have become familiar with each type of grant that we offer and the ways that Lodges are putting them to work. My fellow newcomer Katie Graves and I are very lu…

Katie Gets Acquainted with the ENF

by Katie Graves
Lodge Grants Programs Coordinator
Hello! My name is Katie Graves, and I am excited to be one of the new Programs Coordinators in the Community Investments Program office.

I graduated from Valparaiso University with a degree in English and Secondary Education with a minor in Social Work in December 2018. I spent the next six months building and growing my small online vintage clothing business, working retail at a Swedish furniture store (any guesses?), and searching for a purposeful job that I could fall in love with that would also allow me to move from southeastern Wisconsin to Chicago. When I landed the Programs Coordinator position at the Elks National Foundation, I was ecstatic to begin this journey both professionally and personally. I was moving to my dream city, and I was going to be doing a job with purpose focused on helping passionate groups of wonderful Elks do good in their communities with CIP grants.

I became a part of the ENF family at an exciting time of…

Full-On Fidelity Club

by Ashley Hart
Donor Services Coordinator
My first visit to St. Louis was full of firsts. It was the first time I was persuaded to ride to the top of the Arch, where I experienced extreme nausea and claustrophobia as I peered out of a tiny window to view the expansive Mississippi River and St. Louis landscape. It was the first time I rode a Bird electric scooter, flying 13 MPH down Washington Avenue trying to catch a breeze with 90 percent humidity. It was my first time inside Busch Stadium where we had our Donor Event; the only thing missing was the Cardinals! And best of all, it was my first time at the Elks National Convention, where I was proud to celebrate the Elks’ first membership gain in 39 years.

If you were anywhere near the ENF Booth, you may have heard a bell toll. Over the weekend, we went #FullOnFidelityClub and signed up more than 60 Elks for our monthly giving program—honoring those who made their commitment by ringing the bell (as seen in the photo to the left) and pa…

Meeting Elks in St. Louis

by Meaghan Morris
Lodge Grants Programs Coordinator
Since my first day working at the Elks National Foundation, St. Louis was on everyone’s minds, conversations and agendas. The buzz was palpable– it was as if St. Louis itself was our coworker, an integral part of our organization that sat in on our meetings, that joined us for lunch, that brandished a braggadocious air while describing the myriad of possibilities under its arch. “We have the best museum in the country!” St. Louis itself would tempt, “We have a National Park! We won the Stanley Cup! And all within a half mile of the downtown that will host the thousands of eager Elks who will convene for the 155th National Elks Convention.”

So, when I found out I would be joining this Elks-capade, I was beyond excited. A tad timorous – sure – but definitely excited.

After arriving in St. Louis (finally!), my jittery enthusiasm only grew. My colleagues and I shared a taxi from the airport to downtown, where we were greeted by red flags …

SAB in STL

by John Kavula
Elks Scholar Fellow
Less than a month after I started working at the ENF, I was in San Antonio with 150 of our scholars for the 150 for 150 Service and Celebration Weekend. That was my first time at a national convention. With all the excitement of the celebration, I knew that it was a unique event and not something to expect every year. This year, I was looking forward to going to St. Louis to see a different side of convention with a much smaller group of people: the members of our Scholar Advisory Board. After being a part of the SAB’s annual meeting, I can say one thing for sure: grab your shades because the future for Elks scholars is bright!
All of our scholars are obviously amazing, not only for their academic prowess, but their service to their communities. The members of the SAB stand out among the thousands of Elks scholars for one important reason: their dedication to engaging other Elks scholars. Staffing the Board’s meeting in St. Louis, I heard their ideas …