PORTLAND -- On Monday, November 8, 2004, the Grand Exalted Ruler (National President) of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, James M. McQuillan and his wife Karen arrived at the Portland Jetport for their official four day visit to the State of Maine. Greeting them at the airport were Past Grand Exalted Ruler Amos McCallum of Saco, Maine Elks State President Luis Morales of West Rockport, and several other state and Grand Lodge dignitaries. The McQuillans are from Ogallala, Nebraska, and are traveling across the country to meet with local officials and to promote the charitable works of the Order.
Shortly after arrival, the McQuillan's 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 20 years, the Maine Elks have donated over $1 Million Dollars to the program. Following his tour, GER James McQuillan and his wife stated that they were deeply touched by the care that is provided to children with cancer, and that they were very proud of the support that the Maine Elks have given to the program. "The support of this [MCCP] program is a primary example of how our organization can live up to its motto of Elks Care--Elks Share," said McQuillan.
On Tuesday, the McQuillan's were taken on a tour of southern Maine, with sightseeing stops at Walker Point in Kennebunkport, summer home of President George H.W. Bush, and Portland Head Light. That afternoon, they toured downtown Portland, and visited the Portland Museum of Art. That evening, the McQuillan's traveled to Saco, where they were honored at a banquet held at the new Biddeford-Saco Elks Lodge #1597. Construction of the Lodge was recently completed, and GER James McQuillan presided over a special Lodge dedication ceremony.
Following the banquet, McQuillan remarked on how enjoyable his visit was to the State of Maine, and that it would be long remembered. He commented on the importance of the charitable work that the Maine Elks do for the MCCP program, and encouraged them to continue their efforts on behalf of children with cancer. McQuillan also remarked that there was still a need for donations for the Elks Florida Relief Fund, a fund set up by the Elks to provide disaster assistance to victims of the hurricanes which hit Florida during this past year. The Maine Elks quickly responded by donating $1010 dollars to the cause. In response, GER McQuillan offered to sign their membership cards, an Elk tradition that began several years ago.
On Wednesday, November 10, 2004, the GER and his wife traveled to Augusta, where he met with Maine State Governor John E. Baldacci. GER McQuillan spoke to the Governor about the good works that the Elks do across the country, and within the State of Maine. The Governor responded that he was quite familiar with the organization, and that at one point, had been a member. McQuillan, seizing the opportunity, quickly pulled an application for re-instatement from his pocket, and offered it to the Governor. The Governor thanked McQuillan for the offer, and in return offered him a copy of a book on Maine history, which he signed. Following his meeting with the Governor, McQuillan toured parts of the State House and the Maine State Museum before traveling to the Augusta Elks Lodge #964 for a luncheon. Following the luncheon, the McQuillans then traveled to Freeport, where they had the opportunity to do some shopping at L.L. Bean before arriving back in Portland.
On Thursday, GER McQuillan and his wife Karen boarded a flight to New Jersey for their next stop on their tour across America. At the conclusion of his visit, McQuillan remarked that this was the best visit he and his wife had experienced so far, and would never forget the hospitality that the couple received from the Elk members and the people of the State of Maine.
The Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks is a fraternal organization made up of nearly 1.1 million men and women from across the United States. The organization provides services to local communities through programs that support our nation's youth and its veterans. For more information on the Elks, visit www.elks.org , www.maineelks.org, or visit your local Elks Lodge site at www.millinocketelks.com/.
|Left to Right: Past Grand Exalted Ruler Amos McCallum of Saco, Barbara McCallum of Saco, Karen McQuillan of Ogallala, Nebraska, Maine Governor John Baldacci, Elks Grand Exalted Ruler James M. McQuillan of Ogallala, Nebraska, Dorothy Morales and Maine Elks State President Luis Morales both of West Rockport.|