Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2013

The 12 Days of ENF

By 2013 Most Valuable Student scholar and Elks Scholar Advisory Board member Nate Baker 
Nate Baker, 2013 MVS scholar sponsored by Tyrone, Pa., Lodge No. 212, is the freshman representative on the Elks Scholar Advisory Board and new to college life. Throughout his first year of college, we’ll be following Nate through monthly blog posts. Check back each month to see what new adventures Nate encounters during this first year at Cornell!

Finals are done, grades are in, and the semester is over. If you've been keeping up with me, my extracurricular endeavors, sports, two jobs, social life, and, oh yeah, that Cornell curriculum have been keeping me more than busy. Coming home was bittersweet. I said goodbye to all the incredible experiences and opportunities up on the hill, but welcomed my family, girlfriend, my new kitten, old friends, and the Christmas season back into my life. So, for my last post of 2013, I thought I'd leave readers with something a bit lighter.

Without further…

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Viera, Fla., Lodge No. 2817

While elves in Santa’s workshop build toys, Santa’s elves from Viera, Fla., Lodge No. 2817 spread Christmas spirit to community members in need. Using an Elks National Foundation Promise Grant, the Viera Elks partnered with Grandparents Raising Grandchildren to hold a Christmas party for 52 children and their grandparents. The party—full of food, face painting, crafts and fellowship—was fun for all ages.


The children had the chance to meet the Elks’ special guest—Santa Claus! After telling Santa their Christmas lists, each child received a gift. Their grandparents’ Christmas wishes came true too—they received meals to take home, family time, and new friends in the Elks.

“My granddaughters and I would like to thank you for everything,” says a grandmother who benefitted from the Promise Grant. “If we didn’t receive help from the Elks, my granddaughters wouldn’t have had any gifts this Christmas.”

The Elks National Foundation awards $2,000 Promise Grants to the…

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Putnam, Conn., Lodge No. 574

From roasted turkey to fruitcake, Christmas is often celebrated by sharing meals with loved ones. Elks look out for those in need to ensure that all community members have enough to eat while celebrating the season.

Using an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant, Elks from Putnam, Conn., Lodge No. 574, purchased, packed and delivered meals to 93 families, providing them with fresh food and the best Christmas gift of all—the knowledge they have the support of the Elks.


This Beacon Grant project allows the Lodge to connect with other community organizations. To determine those in need, Elks partnered with the Housing Authority and local schools. Elks also work closely with a Putnam grocery store, which provides the food and helps prepare it for delivery.

“We served 390 people turkey, sides, fresh veggies, fruit, dessert and more,” says ENF Grant Project Manager Lysa Molnar. “Our community partners rely on the Elks to help those in need each year.”

Through Be…

Meet the ENF Staff

Kate Keating Edsey Development Manager
How long have you worked at the ENF?
I’ve been with the ENF for just over 5 years.
What projects are you/your department working on right now?
We’re in the middle of planning for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which means a lot of meetings and budgeting. In addition to planning for the Development department, I’m also managing the logistics for upcoming ENF events. The biggest thing on my to-do list right now is planning for the ENF presence at the 2014 Elks National Convention—visit our new and improved ENF booth in New Orleans!

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?
Working with the ENF Fundraising Chairs is the best thing about my role at the ENF. The passion and commitment these volunteers have for the ENF and their community is inspiring.
Describe your average day at the ENF.
I don’t think there is an average day at ENF! Typically my day is spent “changing hats” between checking in every morning with my Fundraising team colleague, Lindsay …

Elks Community Builder of the Week

De Soto, Mo., Lodge No. 689

What’s Santa’s favorite breakfast cereal? Frosted Flakes!

Using an Elks National Foundation Promise Grant, Elks from De Soto, Mo., Lodge No. 689 hosted Christmas breakfast for community members with special needs. Even though Frosted Flakes wasn’t on the menu, Santa still came to celebrate, play games, and give gifts to each guest.

The breakfast allowed the Lodge to connect with those in need in the community and share the gift of friendship.

“We were able to increase awareness about the good things the Lodge does for the community throughout the year thanks to the Promise Grant,” says ENF Grant Project Manager Mike Thurmond.

The Elks National Foundation awards $2,000 Promise Grants to the first 500 Lodges that pledge to host an event that helps build the character and competence of local youth. To find out more about Promise Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.

All Mocking Aside...

By 2013 Most Valuable Student scholar and Elks Scholar Advisory Board member Nate Baker 
Nate Baker, 2013 MVS scholar sponsored by Tyrone, Pa., Lodge No. 212, is the freshman representative on the Elks Scholar Advisory Board and new to college life. Throughout his first year of college, we’ll be following Nate through monthly blog posts. Check back each month to see what new adventures Nate encounters during this first year at Cornell!

I like to act like someone I’m not. Someone quite possibly guilty of a horrible crime. Arguing with overzealous attorneys is my idea of a good time. If I were to get selected for jury duty, I’d probably be pretty pleased. I'm not some weird, punishment-loving person (well, I do go to Cornell...), I just love mock trial!

Over the past month, I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit reading affidavits, revising direct examinations, and listening to opening/closing statements. I’ve been in a suit so much that you’d think I was a walking Brooks Broth…

Meet the ENF Staff

Anne Stretz Programs Relationship Associate
Scholarships
How long have you worked at the ENF?
I’ve worked at the ENF for just over four years.

What projects are you/your department working on right now?

The Most Valuable Student scholarship application deadline is fast approaching on December 6, so Ashley and I are very busy fielding calls and emails from applicants. When the phone stops ringing, we are spending time educating Scholarship Chairs about our new MVS Judging Dashboard. I’ve also been connecting Elks scholars with their local Lodges and communicating with scholars in Bloomington, Indiana, Corvallis, Oregon, and right here in Chicago about volunteer opportunities and meet-ups happening at their local Elks Lodge.

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?
Every day I continue to be more and more impressed by Elks scholars. As I read their applications when they are just starting on their college journey, they amaze me! But then, they continue to impress me throughout coll…

Meet the ENF Staff

Paula Lukos Donor Services Coordinator
How long have you worked at the ENF?
Going on 14 years this January 2014.

What projects are you/your department working on right now?
Processing donations in a timely and accurate manner, and working on mailings.

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?
Working with wonderful and hardworking co-workers.

Describe your average day at the ENF.
Most of the day is spent processing donations that come in. From creating and researching accounts to posting the money to the accounts and having it all balance.

What are you thankful for this month?
To have a job that I truly enjoy.

What’s one thing about you that might surprise people?I can do impressions—Donald Duck and James Cagney are a couple.

If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
The person I would like to meet most would be Abraham Lincoln. He was a self-taught man—hardworking, honest, insightful and wise. I believe many of his characteristics are admirable and should be emulated…

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Newport, Vt., Lodge No. 2155
This year, community members in need from Orleans, Vt. have so much to be thankful for. They’re thankful for support from friends and family, food and fellowship on holidays, and—because of the Elks—a stronger community.

Using an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant, Newport, Vt., Lodge No. 2155 partnered with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Derby, Vt. and the Area Agency on Aging to hold a Thanksgiving dinner at the Lodge for more than 500 people in need.

Elks invited local groups to come together and ensure a successful dinner. Local businesses grew or donated most of the food. This included potatoes—farmed in Stanstead, Quebec—and pies, baked by the culinary class at North Country High School.

Elks cooked the Thanksgiving meal for their guests and delivered more than 175 meals to homebound community members. Boy Scouts served the turkey dinner, local bands entertained the crowd, and guests enjoyed the company of the Elks and the community.

“The comm…

One Scholarship, Lots of Impact

By 2011 Most Valuable Student scholar Dunae Crenwelge
Dunae Crenwelge, a 2011 Most Valuable Student scholar sponsored by Kerrville, Texas, Lodge No. 2081, had the opportunity to connect with Elks members at the Texas State Elks Convention on October 19, 2013. Dunae attended the convention with her MVS Named Scholarship Donors Shan and Mike Clark. Read her recap of the experience.

Last weekend, I found myself speaking in front of a crowd of Elks about how my Most Valuable Student scholarship has helped me throughout my collegiate career.

I’m a 2011 recipient of the Emma Whaley Byars Memorial Most Valuable Student Scholarship sponsored by Michael and Shan Clark. Over the course of five semesters at Texas A&M University, this scholarship has really proved its value.
I was asked to speak at the 2013 Texas Elks State Convention by Danny Holman, TESA Youth Activities Chairman, who said that the Elks don’t often have the opportunity to hear from scholars so near the conclusion of their…

Meet the ENF Staff

Jon Flaherty Donor Services Associate
How long have you worked at the ENF?
I’ve been at the ENF for a little more than 4 years. I started out as the Donor Services Assistant in July of 2009, and since then moved into my current role as the Donor Services Associate.

What projects are you/your department working on right now?
The Donor Services Department is working on our end of the month procedures. Once our team processes all of the donations we receive within one month, we work on updating our online reports for ENF chairs like the Lodge Per-Capita totals, the Chair Challenge standings, the online record of donations report, and many others. We also print and mail reports out to ENF Chairs, PGERs, and State Sponsors.

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?
I work closely with processing ENF donations, and I enjoy seeing just how generous Elks truly are and how they continue to be year after year. It’s a great reminder that there are people out there who do care about making our…

Meet the ENF Staff

Lydia Raabe Communications Assistant
How long have you worked at the ENF?
I started just over a year ago as a temp in Donor Services and have been the Communications Assistant since March.
What projects are you/your department working on right now?
We’re celebrating Veterans Remembrance Month by sharing how Elks use Community Investments Program grants to serve veterans year-round. I especially enjoy reading how Elks have helped student vets, since many of them are my age. Their commitment to education and their communities is inspiring!

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?
I enjoy working closely with our Programs Department to share ENF successes through the ENF website, social media pages and mailings. I also work closely with the Development Department to put together ENFrontline, the monthly newsletter for ENF Chairs. Every day, I get to see how hard Elks volunteers work to support the ENF and serve their communities.

Describe your average day at the ENF.
My morning consists …

Meet the ENF Staff

Henriette Pruger Donor Services Coordinator
How long have you been working at the ENF?
I am an oldie. I have been here for close to 32 years. I have never been someone who likes change. I like stability. It may not be an active position. As long as contributions come in, we will continue to process them. The funds we receive help pay for college scholarships, veteran projects and drug awareness. They not only help fellow Elk members, but they also help the community.

What projects are you/your department working on right now?
At the moment, we are just trying to keep up. Donor Services’ work demand has increased lately and we need to keep on top of it. The new thing I am doing is submitting gift batches. We are short a person and I am helping out. I am the person you call on in times of emergency. I have always been reliable. In addition to these duties, we will be shortly doing weekly recognition. Life is never dull at the Foundation.

What are you doing to celebrate ENF month?
I am doing…

Meet the ENF Staff

Debbie Kahler Doles Assistant Director
How long have you worked at the ENF? I celebrated my ninth anniversary on October 18.
What projects are you/your department working on right now? The Programs Department is always a hotbed of activity!
The Hoop Shoot season is in full swing! Youth Programs Associate Colleen Muszynski and I just returned from Dallas where we got to witness two of our 2013 Hoop Shoot National Finalists go pro for the night. Nikyla Green and Quin Anderson showed off their free throw shooting prowess during the Dallas Mavericks’ halftime show on October 25. How many 11 year olds can say they’ve shot baskets center court at an NBA game?! Thanks to the passion and determination of a few Texas Elks, two kids have a lot to brag about at school today. And, nearly 18,000 people know more about the Elks and the Elks Hoop Shoot. Priceless.
For the seventh year in a row, ENF Month also means we welcome a new class of Impact Grant recipients. After eight weeks of review and select…

Meet the ENF Staff

Kristen Scaletta Communications Manager
How long have you worked at the ENF?
I started in August 2008, so I’ve worked here for just more than five years.

What projects are you/your department working on right now?
We just finished tweeting the funded Impact Grant projects during the selection meetings this week. With ENF month promotion well under way, we are also already preparing for Veterans Remembrance Month. Stay tuned for more fun ways to stay connected throughout November!

What are you doing to celebrate ENF Month?

I am following all of the ENF’s Facebook updates, especially the daily trivia. Every morning, I look forward to reading comments and seeing photos posted by our supporters and volunteers.

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?
The people! As part of the Communications Department, I have the privilege of working closely with members of every department. Because of this, every day I hear stories of Elks scholars getting more involved with their Elks family, Lodges…

Thanksgiving in Canada

By 2013 Most Valuable Student scholar and Elks Scholar Advisory Board member Nate Baker 
Nate Baker, 2013 MVS scholar sponsored by Tyrone, Pa., Lodge No. 212, is the freshman representative on the Elks Scholar Advisory Board and new to college life. Throughout his first year of college, we’ll be following Nate through monthly blog posts. Check back each month to see what new adventures Nate encounters during this first year at Cornell!

While just about everyone else fled campus this October to head home, I headed up to the “True North Strong and Free.” That’s right, O Canada! Montreal, to be exact. Equipped with my weak understanding of the French language, passport and bookbag, I boarded the bus for a seven hour international journey out of the infamous “Cornell bubble” and into the real world. The Big Red Marching Band was going to Canada!

After crossing the border, several sessions of mad-libs, watching the worst movie that anyone can find (Sharknado anyone?), and cramming 10 people…

Meet the ENF Staff

Ashley Brown Programs Coordinator Scholarships
How long have you worked at the ENF?
I have worked at the ENF since April 2013. That short time feels like it’s flown by quickly, but I’ve already learned so much and can’t wait to learn more!

What projects are you/your department working on right now?
We recently launched the 2014 Most Valuable Student and Legacy Awards scholarship competitions so we are working with scholarship chairs to help promote the contest while also answering questions from applicants. Along with our day to day responsibilities, we’re also working to prepare for the Leadership Weekend from April 25 to 27, 2014, where the top 20 Most Valuable Student finalists will be interviewing for top awards. There are a lot of exciting changes and our office has been busy!

What are you doing to celebrate ENF Month?
Besides reading the 25 Lodges in 25 Days, I also have been reading the thank yous and updates we receive from our scholars. They are all doing amazing things, both in …

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Pocatello, Idaho, Lodge No.674 The Elks from Pocatello, Idaho, Lodge No. 674 know the truth in the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Using Elks National Foundation Beacon and Gratitude Grants, the Lodge partnered with local food banks, the school district and family resource centers to start the Kid’s Closet to provide needed supplies for youth in need. The Lodge purchased and collected clothing and hygiene items, and packed and distributed the kits. With help from the Elks, local children of all ages received the supplies and support they needed.

Thanks to ENF grants, the Pocatello Elks have formed lasting relationships with other local organizations, reenergized membership, and publicized the Lodge to community members.

“The Kid’s Closet allows us to have a project we are proud of while showing community members what the Elks can do,” says Project Manager Sera White. “It gives people a reason to join our organization.”

The Elks National Foundation helps Lodges serve th…

Meet the ENF Staff

Sarah Louderman Programs Assistant Community Investments Program
How long have you worked at the ENF?
November will be two years. It’s gone by quickly, but I’ve learned so much.

What projects are you/your department working on right now?
I’m wrapping up as Donor Services Assistant and training for my new position as Programs Assistant working with the Community Investments Program. Programs is reviewing submitted Beacon and Gratitude Grant applications as well as Final Report Forms from completed grant projects. We’re also gearing up for the Impact Grant announcement at the end of ENF Month.

What are you doing to celebrate ENF Month?
I’m celebrating by reading 25 Lodges in 25 Days on the ENF website. It’s one of the best parts of ENF Month!

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?

My favorite part is hearing about how the Elks and the ENF have helped people. I’m always inspired by the dedicated volunteers and the creative ways they continue to help more people every year.

Describe y…

Meet the ENF Staff

Colleen Muszynski
Youth Programs Associate
How long have you worked at the ENF?
I’ve worked at the ENF since June 2012, so a little over a year.

What projects are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m working on learning my new role with the Hoop Shoot. Recently, I moved from a Programs Assistant position with the Community Investments Program to the Youth Associate position, which means I’ll be running the day-to-day aspects of everything Hoop Shoot. I’m really excited about this new opportunity! Local Hoop Shoot contests are starting soon, so I’m working to make sure we can gather information from these contests across the country to highlight Hoop Shoot successes as contestants move to Districts.

What are you doing to celebrate ENF Month?

I’m constantly checking the Foundation’s website and Facebook page to read newly posted features on all of our awesome programs. I especially like reading the 25 Lodges in 25 Days feature, I never miss a day!

What’s your favorite part of working a…