PORTLAND -- On Sunday, November 4, 2007 the Grand Exalted Ruler (National President) of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, F. Louis Sulsberger and his wife Elizabeth arrived at the Portland International Jetport for their official four day visit to the State of Maine. Greeting them at the airport was Past Grand Exalted Ruler Amos McCallum of Saco, Maine Elks State President Bruce Brunelle of Sanford, and several other Grand Lodge and State dignitaries.
During their visit to Maine, the Sulsberger's had the opportunity to learn first hand about the history and the beauty of the State of Maine. Their travels included visits to the Maine State Museum in Augusta, the Longfellow Museum in Portland, the Maine Children's Cancer Program, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and scenic parts of Southern Maine. They also visited the Augusta and Sanford Elk Lodges, and had the opportunity to meet with Maine's Governor John E. Baldacci.
On November 6, 2007, Grand Exalted Ruler Sulsberger visited the Maine Children's Cancer Program in Scarborough, a major project of the Maine Elks Association. They received a guided tour of the facility, which provides integrated, comprehensive, clinical research-based medical care and psychosocial and practical support services to children with cancer from throughout the state of Maine. Over the past 22 years, the Maine Elks have donated over $2 Million Dollars to the program.
|Pictured above are L-R: Grand Exalted Ruler F. Louis Sulsberger, First Lady Elizabeth Sulsberger, Governor John E. Baldacci, MEA First Lady Lisa Brunelle, and MEA State President Bruce Brunelle at the Governor's office in Augusta.|
That evening, a banquet was held in honor of the Grand Exalted Ruler and his wife at the Sanford Elks Lodge #1470. During his address, Sulsberger spoke about the challenges facing the Elks today. He also spoke about the great heart of Elkdom; the Elks National Foundation. Following his address, Representatives from each of Maine's twenty-two Lodges presented the GER and his wife with gifts from the State of Maine. GER Sulsberger capped off the evening by signing each member's card, and providing them with a pin. Over One Thousand Dollars was raised at from card signing during their 4 day visit, which will be donated to the Elks National Foundation.
A resident of Flora, Illinois, Sulsberger says that "The Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks is an amazing organization that makes a difference in thousands of communities across the nation each day. I'm proud that the more than 1 million men and women who make up the Order of Elks are real leaders devoted to caring and sharing."
|Pictured above are L-R: Maine Elks Association State President Bruce Brunelle, Lisa Brunelle, Grand Exalted Ruler F. Louis Sulsberger, Elizabeth Sulsberger, Barbara McCallum, Past Grand Exalted Ruler Amos McCallum, and Maine Children's Cancer Program President Richard.|
Sulsberger has promised that as Grand Exalted Ruler, his key goals for the Elks are to champion community service; provide help and hope to the underprivileged and the disabled; encourage family involvement in the Elks at every level; provide for the needs of the nation's veterans; and increase sponsorship of youth activities and programs. "The work that the Elks do, nationally, at the state level, and locally, has touched so many lives for the better. When people learn about the millions of dollars we give away and our long hours of volunteering at VA medical centers, shelters, hospices, schools, and in the nation's communities, they can't help but be impressed. We're an organization that is immensely proud of the difference that we make."
To learn more about the Elks, visit www.elks.org or www.maineelks.org.