Skip to main content

Meet the ENF Staff

Debbie Kahler Doles
Assistant Director
Debbie (right) joins Colleen, Quin and Nikyla on the
sidelines before the Mavericks' game.

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 selection, we’re gearing up for the big Impact Grant announcement on October 30. Keep an eye on our website for the exciting details.

The 2014 scholarships contests are under way, as well. The Most Valuable Student applications are due to Lodges by December 6 and Legacy Awards are due January 31. We’re in the throes of preparing for a new component of the MVS top winners selection: a Leadership Weekend. In late April, the top 10 male and top 10 female national finalists will come to Chicago to participate in a weekend of activities geared toward establishing relationships with each other and the Elks. In addition, each of the finalists will be interviewed by a panel of national judges.


Huddle up! Every morning, Debbie (right) leads the 
Programs team huddle to go over the day's plays projects.
What are you doing to celebrate ENF Month?
We celebrate our programs every month of the year, but during ENF Month, each week features a different program and its successes. We’ll end the month with the Elks Drug Awareness Program, given its close ties to Red Ribbon Week, which is October 23 to 31.

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?
That we are constantly evolving. For example, when I started at the Foundation in 2004, grants to Lodges was just an idea that had been kicked around for a few years. In 2005, the Community Investments Program was launched as a $350,000 program. Now, it’s an $8.5 million program with four different grant components.  

I do adore working with the Elks, too! Such a dedicated army of volunteers always at the ready to build stronger communities.

Describe your average day at the ENF.
My days involve a lot of emails and meetings. Many of our programs are cyclical, so we are always in the process of planning for the next big thing, be it scholarship deadlines or announcements, grant offerings or deadlines, or Hoop Shoot contests.

What’s one thing about you that might surprise people?
I love the Chicago Blackhawks!

What TV show do you never miss?
Right now, it’s HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. But, I really look forward to Modern Family every week, too.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Serving by the Blue Ridge Mountains

by Gabriella Haire 2015 Most Valuable Student Scholar
My name is Gabriella Haire and I am a junior studying biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota. Beyond dreaming up medical innovations, I enjoy volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, training for cross country ski races, and exploring new cities one ice cream shop at a time.

Following a typical track practice in March 2015, I received an atypical email. It was an invitation to the Elks Most Valuable Student Leadership Weekend and the promise of an Elks National Foundation scholarship. I was elated as I celebrated in the locker room, but I didn’t fully realize how that email and the Leadership Weekend were just the beginning of my relationship with the Elks.
After a physics lecture in November 2015, I received an email confirming my acceptance to the Winter Elks Scholar Service Trip in Oakland, California. I was eager to connect with Elks scholars for a whole week, rather than just a weekend. As it turned out, a week w…

What I'll Remember Most

by Cullen Edens
2016 Most Valuable Student Scholar Cullen, along with 19 other scholars, came together to serve the San Antonio community in the name of the Elks from June 26 to June 29. These 20 scholars then joined 130 of their fellow scholars for the 150 for 150 Service and Celebration Weekend, where all 150 scholars worked together to serve the city of San Antonio from June 29 through July 2. 



My name is Cullen Edens and I am a junior at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma where I am majoring in Accounting. When I was selected as an Elks Most Valuable Student scholar, I simply thought I would collect my award and move on with my college education. I had no idea the impact that the Elks National Foundation would have on my life.
In late June, I traveled to San Antonio not knowing that this service trip would transform the way I viewed the communities around me. Arriving at Trinity University, I met 19 other Elks scholars from across the country from Maine to California. We instan…

Elks National Convention: Take One

by Taylor Odisho
Communications Assistant
It’s taken an entire week to fully digest everything I experienced at my first Elks National Convention, and I think I can finally do justice in putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, in sharing them.

I started working as the Communications Assistant at the Elks National Foundation in October of last year. In just nine months, I’ve been exposed to stories, people and moments, and I’ve been working hard to convey these interactions in an honest, interesting light that resonates with our audience.

But it wasn’t until I shook hands with “Crazy Richard” Clayton and his wife; sat down with Nester Tan, a platinum donor with the ENF; or spoke with many of the Elks I’ve been writing about these past several months that everything finally clicked.

There’s a scientific way to say this, but I’m a writer, so I’ll use words. You can study a topic for hours and hours, but you’ll never be able to memorize what you’re reading until you can connect it to …