Skip to main content

Meet-Up in Madtown


by Sherie Sasso Scholarship Chair at Madison, Wis., Lodge No 410

This is my fourth year as Scholarship Chair at Madison, Wis., Lodge No. 410. We have about 25 high schools in our area, and we generally receive 40 to 50 applications each year. We have a team of three or four individuals who judge the applications.


From the beginning, I have always been extremely impressed by the quality of the applicants. They are all very bright scholars who maintain excellent grades while also participating in community service and school activities. Most are leaders in their classrooms and on their sports teams. In addition, many hold part-time jobs. It is incredibly difficult to evaluate each application and determine which of the applicants will move on to the District level. We wish we could give scholarships to all of the students because they have all worked so hard.

I was very happy when Elks Scholar Fellow Jenna Johnson contacted me about hosting an Elks Scholar Meet-Up at our Lodge. I was surprised to learn that 26 Elks scholars currently attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Twelve of them were able to attend our scholar meet-up. Except for a couple of casual contacts, none of the students had met each other, and the thing that brought them together was their Elks scholarship.

By the end of dinner, they were all chatting and laughing among themselves— exchanging emails and phone numbers, and really enjoying their get together. It
occurred to me that they actually have more in common than their Elks scholarship. They are all very similar people: extremely bright, extremely motivated and instilled with a natural love of learning. I’m so glad we were able to bring them together at the Lodge and I hope we stay in touch with each other.

Meeting these exceptional students has strengthened my belief in the ENF scholarship program and I am excited to review this year’s applications. Thank you, ENF!

Comments

Labels

Show more

Popular posts from this blog

Hope in the Time of Coronavirus

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation What a difference a few weeks make. As I’m sure is the case with you, COVID-19 has upended things around here.

I’d like to take a few minutes to update you on how the pandemic has affected our staff and programs. I’ll start with the staff.

On Monday, there were 18 of us in the office. Yesterday, only five. Everyone else is working remotely from home. We’re all communicating with one another using wonderful technology. And the people at home have access to the network via work-issued laptops, as well as their work phones and email. Contacting us should be seamless for you. 

The skeleton crew in the office should shrink to four at some point this week. We are here to deal with the aspects of our work that do not lend themselves to working remotely.

You can help us further reduce our numbers. If you are a Lodge officer or ENF Fundraising Chair who has been sitting on a stack of donations, please send those in today. The faster we c…

What is Zoom?

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation

Every crisis seems to have its breakout star. This one has two, so far—Dr. Fauci and Zoom.
If you’re not familiar, Zoom is a remote video-conferencing tool with a free basic package. In these days of social distancing and sheltering in place, Zoom is also a godsend. At the O’Kelley household today, we had three concurrent Zoom meetings going on at one point—Meghan, me, and Jane with her Panda Room preschool pals.
In our new teleworking reality, the ENF staff has been using Zoom through Microsoft Teams for check-ins, standing meetings and impromptu discussions. These conferences have helped us stay connected and feel like we’re part of a team despite our isolation.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw on Facebook that Boonton, N.J., Lodge No. 1405 had installed its new class of officers through a virtual Lodge meeting and installation ceremony on Zoom. That post stuck with me as an example of some solid problem solving in this new environ…

Katie Gets Acquainted with the ENF

by Katie Graves
Lodge Grants Programs Coordinator
Hello! My name is Katie Graves, and I am excited to be one of the new Programs Coordinators in the Community Investments Program office.

I graduated from Valparaiso University with a degree in English and Secondary Education with a minor in Social Work in December 2018. I spent the next six months building and growing my small online vintage clothing business, working retail at a Swedish furniture store (any guesses?), and searching for a purposeful job that I could fall in love with that would also allow me to move from southeastern Wisconsin to Chicago. When I landed the Programs Coordinator position at the Elks National Foundation, I was ecstatic to begin this journey both professionally and personally. I was moving to my dream city, and I was going to be doing a job with purpose focused on helping passionate groups of wonderful Elks do good in their communities with CIP grants.

I became a part of the ENF family at an exciting time of…