AUGUSTA -- On May 7, 2005, the Maine Elks Association (MEA) honored several youths from across the State of Maine as part of their 76th Annual State Convention held in Augusta. The youths were recognized as state winners of contests sponsored by the association. The awards were presented at a special banquet, attended by over 300 members, guests, and families of the recipients.
The first awards presented were for the Americanism Essay Contest. This contest was open to 5th Graders, who wrote a 200 word essay on "What Old Glory Means to Me." The Elks nationwide promote this contest to encourage our nations youth to share in the love for our country by showing and promoting the ideals that make this country great. Presenting the awards was MEA Americanism Director Richie Philbrick.
Over 900 students participated in the program across the State of Maine. The state winners were Nick Chase sponsored by the Houlton Lodge and Bradley Chelberg, sponsored by the Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge. Other district winners included Lynsie Dupuis (Rumford Elks Lodge), Shane Starks (Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge), Spencer Bourassa (Sanford Elks Lodge), and Chris Weiss (Brunswick Elks Lodge). Those in attendance had the opportunity to hear the inspirational message of Chelberg when he read his essay. The two state winners receive 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 "Why Illegal Drugs Can Ruin Your Life." 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: Kevin Kingsbury (Augusta Elks Lodge), and Liberty McKnight (Rockland Elks Lodge). The poster contest winners were: Tayla Martin (Millinocket Elks Lodge) and Chris Frazier (Augusta Elks Lodge), and the winners of the essay contest were: Aren Lebrun (Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge) and BJ A. Clark (Skowhegan-Madison 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.
|[Americanism Essay Winner] L-R: Sebasticook Valley Elks Exalted Ruler (Lodge President) Donald Dow, Bradley Chelberg, and MEA State President Luis Morales of Rockland|
|[Drug Awareness Essay Winners] L-R: Skowhegan-Madison Elks Drug Awareness Chairman Roberta Alley, BJ A. Clark, Aren Lebrun, and MEA State President Luis Morales of Rockland|
|[Coloring Contest Winner] L-R: Augusta Elks Drug Awareness Chairman Brenda Perry, Kevin Kingsbury, and MEA State President Luis Morales of Rockland|
|[Coloring Contest Winner] L-R: Rockland Elks Exalted Ruler (Lodge President) Dwayne Guy, Liberty Mcknight, and MEA State President Luis Morales of Rockland|
|[Poster Contest Winner] L-R: Augusta Elks Drug Awareness Chairman Brenda Perry, Chris Frazier, and MEA State President Luis Morales of Rockland|
|[Poster Contest Winner] L-R: Millinocket Elks Exalted Ruler (Lodge President) David Vandine, Tayla Martin, and MEA State President Luis Morales of Rockland|