Skip to main content

From Dollars to Dunks

by Youth Programs Associate Billy Donnelly

The past year has been quite a ride. I have spent it working at the Elks National Foundation as the Development Coordinator. This position allowed me to do many things that will have a lasting impact on my life. I have met and worked with some of the most amazing people in the world in the ENF office. I’ve worked with some of the best volunteers any organization could ask for.

Earlier this summer, I joined Lodge No. 1316 in Chicago and attended the 2015 Elks National Convention. I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done over the past year. However, I must look forward to the future—and my future is with the Elks Hoop Shoot. I could not be more excited for the opportunity to be the new Youth Programs Associate at the ENF. Though much will change, much will remain the same. I will still be able to work with the best staff and the best volunteers available. I am still looking forward to a fun week at the Convention in Houston next summer. I am still planning on volunteering at Lodge 1316’s Hoop Shoot and Soccer Shoot. But now, I will be truly fulfilling my passion. Youth programs have been the main focus of my professional career and volunteer opportunities. I believe programs like the Elks Hoop Shoot install values and lessons in children that are a necessity. The lessons learned from something as simple as shooting free throws will help the contestants develop into the future leaders of our country. It is very important that the youth of our country have the opportunity to have fun and compete in a safe environment.

The Elks Hoop Shoot allows them the opportunity to connect with others and their community, strengthening bonds and building relationships. This will allow them to opportunity to succeed in their future endeavors. The Elks Hoop Shoot has always been my favorite ENF program. In fact, I participated in it as a youth myself. I have a brief memory of the event, but recently asked my mother about it. She replied “Well you weren’t very good, and you didn’t make it very far.” My experiences with the Hoop Shoot and other youth programs have stayed with me my entire life. I am looking forward to taking what I have learned from these programs in the past and applying them to the Hoop Shoot of today.

I will work my hardest to ensure that every child has the opportunity to Compete, Connect, and Succeed, and has a lot of fun while doing so!

Billy Donnelly
Youth Programs Associate


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 2015-16, the ENF allocated $924,070 to fund this program, which includes the exciting addition of a Hoop Shoot app for contestants. For videos, news from the court, and more information about the Hoop Shoot, visit www.elks.org/hoopshoot.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Because They're Elks

by Cecily Froerer
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar
My name is Cecily Froerer. I’m a junior at Utah State University where I’m studying Communicative Disorders and minoring in American Sign Language. Four years ago, I was a high school senior with two goals. First, obtain a college degree. Second, do so without any form of student loans. The second was a seemingly unattainable goal.

By some stroke of luck, I found myself in my high school’s office when two men from the local Elks Lodge shared information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship. As I continued about my week, I kept thinking about that scholarship. It was stuck in my mind. Eventually, I applied. Maybe, I would be able to get a little money for college from this. I couldn’t have dreamed what was about to happen.

The next year was a whirlwind of surprises. I watched as my scholarship application passed through the Lodge, to the district, and on to the state level! I was incredibly grateful, but I was also fairly confi…

Just the Beginning

by Maryann Dernlan 
Senior Associate, Program Relations

For the Love of Nonprofits

by Nathan Kriha
Donor Services Coordinator
One of the most consistent passions in my life has been a love for nonprofits—especially ones that focus on education and the development of impoverished communities. This love can be traced all the way back to my high school days when my mother (quite forcibly) suggested I teach a kindergarten religious education course with her.
After my introductory class, I thought that this decision would easily be one of the biggest regrets of my life: The children would scream, cry, launch their crayons into space, tear up their books, and cry a little more. While I was initially stunned by this preliminary lesson, I witnessed my mother corral these angsty students and gradually create a heartwarming and quite soothing environment. At this moment I realized the true influence that a teacher can have on their students, and I became captivated with the study of successful teaching methods.
This interest persisted into my coursework at the University of Notr…