AUGUSTA -- On November 8-11, 2004, James M. McQuillan, Grand Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks will be making his official visit to the State of Maine. Since his election in July, McQuillan, and his wife Karen, have serving as Ambassadors of the Elks throughout the country, visiting states as far away as Alaska, and promoting the charitable works of the Order.
A resident of Ogallala, Nebraska, McQuillan says "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 more than 1 million men and women who make up the Order of Elks are real leaders devoted to caring and sharing." McQuillan has promised that as Grand Exalted Ruler, the title for the Order's highest office, 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 our 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 we make," he said.
McQuillan and his wife will be traveling throughout Southern & Central Maine, along with Past Grand Exalted Ruler Amos A. McCallum of Saco, Maine Elks Association State President Luis Morales of West Rockport, and other Grand Lodge and State Association dignitaries. Shortly after their arrival, the McQuillans will visit the Maine Children's Cancer Program's (MCCP) facility in Scarborough, to see first hand the work that the Maine Elks have done in support of this program. MCCP is a major project of the Maine Elks Association, who have donated over $1.3 Million Dollars to the organization over the past 20 years. The program provides integrated, comprehensive, clinical research-based medical care and psychosocial and practical support services to children,with cancer from throughout the state of Maine. The program strives not only to cure cancer in as many children as possible but also to support families throughout their experience of living with childhood cancer.
On Tuesday, November 9, 2004, the McQuillans will continue to tour Southern Maine, and will be welcomed at the newly built Biddeford-Saco Elks Lodge #1597 in Saco, where McQuillan will take part in a special ceremony to dedicate the new Lodge building. Later that evening, both McQuillan and his wife will attend a banquet in their honor, where they will address the Elk members in attendance.
On the third day of their visit, the McQuillans will travel to Augusta, where they will have the opportunity to meet Maine Governor John Baldacci, and tour the capitol. They will also stop at the Augusta Elks Lodge #964 for a luncheon, and to meet with Elk members from throughout Central Maine. Following the luncheon, the McQuillans will continue their tour the Augusta area, before returning to Portland for their return trip home.
Grand Exalted Ruler James M. McQuillan was born and raised in Nebraska, where he lives with his wife Karen. The couple has six children and fourteen grandchildren. McQuillan has been a member of the Elks since 1966, and has served his Lodge, his Community, his State Association, and the Order with distinction.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America is one of the oldest and largest fraternal organizations in the country. Since its inception in 1868, the Order of Elks has grown to include over one million men and women in almost 2,200 communities. The Elks dedicate themselves to inspiring civic and national pride through their Americanism Program, support of our nation's youth through the Drug Awareness, Hoop Shoot, Soccer Shoot, and Scholarship programs, and support for our nation's veterans. For more information on the Elks, visit www.elks.org, or visit the Maine Elks Association website at www.maineelks.org.