AUGUSTA -- For the fourth year in a row, the Maine Elks Association held a special event for disabled and disadvantaged children called "Youthfest." The event was held on August 28, 2004, at the Augusta Elks Lodge. The purpose of the event is to provide children with special needs with an opportunity to have a day of fun, at no cost to their families!
It was a hot day, but over 180 children and family members attended the event, many from organizations that support children, including the Maine Children's Cancer Program, Big Brother/Big Sister of Kennebec Valley, March of Dimes, John F. Murphy Homes of Auburn, Spurwink School, as well as others. Also attending were several children of military families who have a parent serving on active duty overseas. The activities at the event were provided by members of the Maine Elks Association, Massachusetts Elks Association, and Maine State Emblem Clubs.
Throughout the event, the children were treated to food, music, games, pony rides, face painting, moon bounce amusements, a soccer shoot, hoop shoot, field games, educational booths, as well as many other activities. The children were also entertained by the "Crazy Clownz", "Smokey Bear", "Sparkey" the Fire Dog, "McGruff" the Crime Dog, "Lewie" the Mascot from the Lewiston Mainiac's Hockey Team, as well as the Elks own mascot "Elliott" the Elk. Feature entertainers this year were Slugger the Seadog and well-known children's performer, Rick Charette.
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 not only provides support for organizations such as MCCP, but provides many other programs in areas such as Americanism, Scholarships, Drug Awareness, and Veterans/National Service. For more information on the Elks, visit www.maineelks.org, or visit your local Elks Lodge.