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A Night With the Scholars

By Lois Kundel
Davenport, Iowa, Lodge No. 298


An Elks National Foundation recognition night–what a great way to thank and recognize our ENF donors and also highlight the great work of the Foundation! I had heard, more than once, that our Lodge members hear “ENF” all the time, but most of them probably don’t even know what the letters stand for or understand what the Foundation does or is all about.

In brainstorming this event, I tried to come up with a way to make the night more memorable and real for our donors, a way for them connect with the who, what, why and how of their donations.

About that same time and as scholarship chair, I was notified that one of our Most Valuable Student scholarship applicants was awarded a $4,000 MVS scholarship. The light bulb went on and my brain engaged–invite our scholarship recipient to the recognition event–that would be a great way to help make the connection. I contacted the Foundation and with their help we had four Elks scholars in attendance–two MVS scholars, a Legacy Award recipient and an Emergency Educational Grant recipient.

Kaitlyn Roling, Carly Ryder, Grace Spires and Sam Dunklau
The scholars, Kaitlyn Roling, Carly Ryder, Grace Spires and Sam Dunklau, were excited to join us and to meet our Lodge members. From the time I connected with them, they were eager to be a part of and participate in the event. After arriving at our Lodge, they were friendly, engaged and sociable. Each of them enjoyed a complimentary dinner and then spoke, telling those in attendance a little bit about themselves and their goals and then thanked the donors for their support of the Elks National Foundation. They enjoyed meeting each other and even offered to help with future Lodge events.

Our members couldn’t get over how talented and personable the students were and they were so thankful to meet the scholars. They are still talking about “a night with the scholars” and how nice it was to meet “the kids.”
Me at a Youth Recognition Night earlier this year.

Scholarships are a way to help future generations. My husband, Harlan and I love the Elks, their mission and purpose. We are especially impressed with the Foundation’s management and stewardship of our funds. For an organization to spend less than eight percent on fundamental expenses, in our opinion that speaks volumes about the organization.

Harlan and I believe in supporting our youth. When we learned about the MVS Named Scholarship Program, we chose to make that commitment and name a scholarship. Our night with the scholars was such a delightful evening. I would encourage my fellow Elks to reach out to the scholars in their areas. Engage them, bring them to your Lodges and ask them to help with your programs. They are family and our future.

By Lois Kundel
Davenport, Iowa, Lodge No. 298



In 2016-17, the Elks National Foundation appropriated $4.20 million to fund the ENF scholarship program, which provides college scholarships, ensuring a bright future for our nation’s youth. As important parts of the Elks family, Elks scholars have many social and service opportunities to connect with the Elks and each other. For more information about our scholarship programs, and for ways Lodges can get involved with Elks scholars, visit elks.org/enf/scholars.
 

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