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Showing posts from February, 2011

Academics, activities and achievements. Oh my!

By Anne Shields, Programs Relationship Associate

“Do you have any boxes under your desk?”
“No–why?”
“A whole lot of MVS scholarship applications were just delivered and I need a place to put them.”

If you were to stop by my desk this week, you might have overheard this conversation several times. Programs Assistant Brianne Menges and I have been wading through boxes upon boxes of Most Valuable Student National Finalists applications that are pouring in from across the country.

Our adjoining office space looks more like a UPS warehouse than a workspace, but we don’t mind. See, we’re charged with receiving the 500 Most Valuable Student National Finalist applications and entering the students’ data into our system. All this has to be done in a short time frame as the state judging ended on February 16, and we must have the information entered by February 25—just in time to notify the anxious applicants. 
I know that this might not sound like an ideal day at the office, bu…

Pantry Partners for Success

By Debbie Doles, Assistant Director

As Jim mentioned in his February 18 post, we’ve been trying to work in side visits to our Community Investments Program grant recipients whenever we’re out in the field. We had another opportunity to do so last week during a planned trip to the Region 7 Hoop Shoot contest in Las Vegas, Nev.

Our Programs Associate Mary Morgan and I left the cold confines of Chicago on Wednesday, February 16, and flew to a much warmer Las Vegas. We rented a car and drove two hours northeast to visit with one of our superstar Impact Grant Lodges—St. George ‘Dixie’ Lodge No. 1743 and its “Pantry Partners for Success” project.

Mary arranged all the details with the Impact Grant “Pantry Partners for Success” project managers Wayne Preston and Betty Archambault. Before we headed to the high school to see the pantry in action, our first stop on Thursday morning was to the Elks Lodge for a quick tour.

We received a warm ‘Dixie’ Elks greeting outside the Lodge from Wayne a…

Elks Community Builder of the Week

El Cajon, Calif., Lodge No. 1812
El Cajon, Calif., Lodge No. 1812 uses its Impact Grant to provide free music education to local youth. Elks work with the East County Youth Symphony to ensure that every child who wants to learn has an instrument. They also fundraise for the orchestra, and organize, publicize, and host all the symphony’s concerts. That’s the sound of a beautiful partnership!

Digging DIG

By ENF Director Jim O'Kelley  We’ve been trying to work in side visits to our Community Investments Program grant recipients whenever we’re out in the field. So, last week, during my brief (late Tuesday afternoon to Thursday morning) trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for a budget meeting with our Board of Trustees, I shoehorned a visit to Murrell’s Inlet Lodge No. 2797’s Impact Grant project.
The Lodge received a $10,000 Impact Grant in October 2010 to partner with the Georgetown Disabilities Board on a gardening program for adults with severe disabilities. The centerpiece of the program is a greenhouse that the Elks built. Each week, about 15 Lodge members volunteer at the greenhouse at classes that teach gardening skills to the clients. The gardening program will culminate with the clients bringing their produce to a farmers market.
My window for the visit was small. The Board meeting was scheduled to end at 3:15 p.m., at the Marina Inn at Grand Dunes in Myrtle Beach, and I…

Elks Community Builder of the Week

BREAKING NEWS! The ENF Board of Trustees has doubled the funding for the Community Investments Program to $4.6 million from $2.3 million. This increase in funding will allow Lodges to do even more to strengthen their communities. Every week from now until the new fiscal year begins in April, we will highlight a Lodge that has used a Community Investments Program grant to make a meaningful difference in its community.

Long Beach, Wash., Lodge No. 1937