Friday, May 31, 2013

Elks Scholar of the Week

James Keckley
2013 Legacy Awards Recipient
Sponsored by Joplin, Mo., Lodge No. 501

James hits the all the right notes! Next year, he’ll be attending St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. to study opera. See what he has to say about his Legacy Award:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Elks Community Builder of the Week

 Union, N.J., Lodge No. 1583

Life’s a picnic when shared with the Elks. With the help of an Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant, Union, N.J., Lodge No. 1583 collaborated with the Lodge’s Veterans’ Committee to host a picnic for veterans living at two local VA hospitals.

The picnic allowed the veterans to spend the day in the sun and the fresh air. As some Elks cooked fresh hamburgers and steak sandwiches, others provided good company. The Elks ensured that the veterans left with everything they needed—a full stomach, new friends, clothing, and coupons for the hospital commissary.

“The veterans were able to sit, talk and eat on this beautiful day,” says Project Manager Danielle Reed. “It was great the Lodge, the Veterans’ Committee and the VA hospital could work together to make this a special day. We had a wonderful time serving those who served our country.”

Did your Lodge meet the National President’s per-member-giving goal in 2012-13? There is still time to apply for a Gratitude Grant! Applications are due online May 31. Click here to get started today.

The Elks National Foundation helps Lodges serve their communities by offering $2,000 Gratitude Grants. Lodges are eligible to apply for Gratitude Grants after meeting the National President’s per-member goal for giving to the Foundation. To find out more about Gratitude Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Elks Scholar of the Week

Nick Balardi
2013 Most Valuable Student scholar
Sponsored by Chico, Calif., Lodge No. 423


Nick shouts from the mountaintop how thankful he is for the Elks and his MVS scholarship.

“I’m so impressed by the Elks and their activities,” exclaims Nick. “It’s such a great organization with members who truly want to make their communities better in every way.”

Nick knows the value of fresh air and good exercise—he’ll be studying biology and nutrition next year.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Elks Community Builder of the Week

 Naval (Port Angeles), Wash., Lodge No. 353

Thanks to the Elks, the Loggers of Crescent High School in Joyce, Wash. are bringing home the gold! Using an Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant, the Elks of Naval (Port Angeles), Wash., Lodge No. 353 built a long jump pit for the local high school.

Because Crescent High School has limited funding, its athletic program has suffered. With this upgrade, track and field athletes have a safe, effective place to practice and compete. The Elks also constructed a cover for the pit to ensure that it will be available for athletes in the future, despite the harsh Northwest weather.


“The new long jump pit will create a safer environment for athletes from Crescent and from visiting schools,” says Project Manager Sherrie Riggs. “So many athletes in the community will use the long jump pit. The Elks and the school really took pride in this project.”

Did your Lodge meet the National President’s per-member-giving goal in 2012-13? There is still time to apply for a Gratitude Grant! Applications are due online May 31. Click here to get started today.

The Elks National Foundation helps Lodges serve their communities by offering $2,000 Gratitude Grants. Lodges are eligible to apply for Gratitude Grants after meeting the National President’s per-member goal for giving to the Foundation. To find out more about Gratitude Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Coshocton, Ohio, Lodge No. 376

The future of stronger communities begins with youth, and Coshocton, Ohio is off to a great start. Using an Elks National Foundation Promise Grant, Coshocton, Ohio, Lodge No. 376 held events to motivate local youth to be active in the community.

Meals for Many
To encourage sportsmanship among youth, the Elks prepared spaghetti dinners for sports teams from two local high schools before their competitions. These students left knowing they have the support of the Elks as they continue to serve their community in the future. 

“The students learned about the Elks from these dinners,” says Project Manager Marilyn Griffis. “The dinners helped community members realize how the Elks benefit the community.”

A Big Splash
Elks want local youth to have a bright future. The Coshocton Elks partnered with a youth ministry organization to hold a Drug Awareness pool party for more than 100 local kids. At the party, Elks taught the children about the importance of living a drug-free life. To ensure a safe and fun pool party, Elks also taught the youth about water safety.

“The Elks were excited about the opportunity to talk with families,” says Griffis. “Now the community really sees the support that the Elks give to local youth.”

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.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Shooting Hoops with Scholars


By 2012 Most Valuable Student Scholar and Elks Scholar Advisory Board Member Karsten Coates

The Elks National Hoop Shoot is about so much more than basketball. The Hoop Shoot is about teaching kids what it means have goals and dedication, and it is a terrific vessel in uniting communities because it connects youth from across the U.S. When I went to this year’s Hoop Shoot National Finals in Springfield, Mass., I expected to see a bunch of kids that were good at basketball. Instead, I was greeted by a bunch of youth who were great at basketball.

The Hoop Shoot Finals took many of these kids on their first plane ride and taught them levels of maturity that I was surprised to find in 8- to 13-year-olds. The competitors treated each other as true friends off the court and many made plans to keep in touch.

More importantly, they were all humble and caring. While playing horse with one 8 year old, he stopped the game while I was losing and said that we could switch scores, taking pity on me even though I was more than twice his age and twice his height…he still won.

Then there were other kids who, dedicated to going to college, asked me to write down a list of scholarships that I had applied for—the Elks Most Valuable Student scholarship being one of them—so that they could apply when they got older.

SAB Members Macy Warburton,
Clara Ritger and Karsten Coates
Despite the differences in personalities and backgrounds, all of these kids were excellent at, yes, basketball. I didn’t think that watching person after person take free-throw shots would be a lot of fun, but when multiple competitors sank every shot, I sat on the edge of my seat knowing that a single missed shot could cost someone the competition.

The experience was memorable for me because it opened my eyes to how great an impact the Hoop Shoot has on the lives of its competitors and the communities that they live in.
 
Through the Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Program, the Elks National Foundation offers youth the opportunity to engage in healthy competition, connect with their families and community, and succeed both on and off the court. In 2013-14, the ENF allocated $692,750 to fund this program. For more information on the Hoop Shoot, visit www.elks.org/hoopshoot.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Jackson, Wyo., Lodge No. 1713
 
 
For Mother’s Day, Elks from Jackson, Wyo., Lodge No. 1713 took time to honor mothers living in the Jackson Hole Senior Center. Using an Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant, the Elks held Mother’s Day brunch for the seniors and their families. The brunch allowed the mothers spend time with their families and eat a filling meal without having to leave the facility.

The Elks prepared a steak and champagne brunch for their guests. The seniors enjoyed spending time with their families, other mothers living in the center, and the Elks.

After dinner, each mother received a carnation and a thank you from the Elks.

“All mothers were honored at our event,” says Project Manager Chuck Samples. “Extra carnations were given to women in the nursing facility and mothers who had no family at brunch celebrated with the Elks and their friends.”

The Elks National Foundation helps Lodges serve their communities by offering $2,000 Gratitude Grants. Lodges are eligible to apply for Gratitude Grants after meeting the National President’s per-member goal for giving to the Foundation. To find out more about Gratitude Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Elks Community Builder of the Week


Saugus-Everett, Mass., Lodge No. 642


Fire up the grill—it’s time for a barbeque! Elks from Saugus-Everett, Mass., Lodge No. 642 know that some community members need help feeding their families. Using an Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant, the Elks held a barbeque for families living in a local shelter, providing them with food and fellowship.

After a dinner on the grill, the Elks played hula hoop, limbo and musical chairs with their guests, and put their best foot forward on the dance floor during the “Cha-Cha Slide.”


To ensure that guests had enough to eat for the next week, each child left with a backpack filled with food and other treats.

“We are so thankful for the beautiful barbeque you threw for us,” expresses a shelter resident. “You make life easier for those in need.”

The Elks National Foundation helps Lodges serve their communities by offering $2,000 Gratitude Grants. Lodges are eligible to apply for Gratitude Grants after meeting the National President’s per-member goal for giving to the Foundation. To find out more about Gratitude Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.