The Maine Elks Association (MEA) recently honored several youths from across the State of Maine as part of their 80th Annual State Convention held at the Augusta Elks Lodge. 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 "What Freedom Means to Me?" 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 Robert Drisko.
Several hundred students participated in the program across the State of Maine. The state winners were Sarah Poulin representing the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge and Hannah Stoutamyer representing the Presque Isle Elks Lodge. Those in attendance had the opportunity to hear each winners inspirational message as they each read their essays. The state winners each received a plaque with their essay engraved upon it, along with a monetary award of $100 dollars.
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 "Be Smart...Don't Start." 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: Michael Hufford representing the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge and Kalyla Hanson representing the Presque Isle Elks Lodge. The poster contest winners were: Josh King representing the Augusta Elks Lodge and Rebekah Handley representing the York Elks Lodge. The winners of the essay contest were: Austin O., representing the Rumford Elks Lodge, and Jasmyn Leigh Murray representing the Millinocket Elks Lodge.
The Maine Elks Association is a non-profit organization consisting of 22 Lodges and over 12,000 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 elks.org, maineelks.org or visit your local Elks Lodge.