SOUTH PORTLAND -- The Maine Elks Association (MEA) recently honored several youths from across the State of Maine as part of their 78th Annual State Convention held at the Sheraton Hotel in South Portland, Maine. The youths were recognized as state winners of contests sponsored by the association. The awards were presented at a special banquet, attended by over 200 members, guests, and families of the recipients.
The first awards presented were for the Elks Americanism Essay Contest. This contest was open to 5th through 8th Graders who wrote a 200 word essay on "Why I am proud to be an American." The Elks nationwide promote this contest to encourage our nation’s youth to share in the love for our country by showing and promoting the ideals that make this country great. Presenting the awards were MEA Americanism Director Richie Philbrick and MEA State President Greg Daniels.
Over several hundred students participated in the program across the State of Maine. The state winners were Madeline Coffey (Bangor Elks Lodge), Nathan Dubois (Sanford Elks Lodge), Victoria Eon (Biddeford-Saco Elks Lodge), and Krysta Moulton (Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge). Those in attendance had the opportunity to hear the inspirational message of each winner when they read their essay. The state winners each received a plaque with their essay engraved upon it, along with a monetary award.
Next were the awards for the Elks Drug Awareness contests. There were three different contests-a coloring contest open to 3rd Graders, a poster contest open to 4th Graders, and an essay contest open to 5th Graders. The overall theme for each contest this year was "Drugs are Stupid." The Elks Drug Awareness contests are used to help educate parents, and to encourage the youth of our country to take a stand against the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and smoking. Presenting the awards was MEA Drug Awareness Director Frank Ricker.
The winners of the coloring contest were: Morgan Daoust (Rumford Elks Lodge) and Zack Boucher (Millinocket Elks Lodge). The poster contest winners were: Lily Muacatell (Old Town Elks Lodge) and Damean Newbury (Millinocket Elks Lodge), and the winners of the essay contest were: Macy Morrisonr (York Elks Lodge) and Patrick Saucier (Old Town Elks Lodge).
The Maine Elks Association is a non-profit organization consisting of 22 Lodges and over 11,000 members in the State of Maine. The association provides support programs in areas such as Americanism, Scholarships, Drug Awareness, and Veterans/National Service. For more information on the Elks, visit www.elks.org, or visit your local Elks Lodge.