ROCKLAND -- The Maine Elks Association (MEA) held its 77th Annual State Convention at the Rockland Elks Lodge on May 5-7, 2006. The convention was attended by over 400 members and guests, who honored Lodges and individual members at their awards banquets. Opening the convention ceremony was State President Elmer Berry of the Lewiston Elks Lodge, who thanked all of the members for their hard work and dedication throughout the past year.
First on the agenda was Maine Children's Cancer Program (MCCP), one of the State Association's two major projects. Chairman of the MCCP Board of Directors, Robert Graves presented Roger Sicard of Saco with the "Allison's Gift" Leadership Award, and the "Allison's Gift" Stewardship Award to Richard and Nancy Drouin of Sanford in recognition of their dedication and commitment to serving the children in the Maine Children's Cancer Program.
MCCP Committee Director, Donald Richard then presented the Sanford Elks Lodge #1470 with the MCCP Outstanding Contributor Award. This award recognized the Lodge raising the highest amount of money for the Maine Children's Cancer Program. The MCCP committee for this Lodge had raised over $105,000 Dollars for the program, and consistently raises in excess of $80,000 each year for MCCP.
Other awards that were presented included "Most Improved Lodge" for donations which went to the Bangor Elks Lodge #244, and the most consistent contributor to the Portland Elks Lodge #188. The "Tall Elk" Awards, which are given to individuals for their outstanding support of the MCCP program, were presented to Robert Godin (Skowhegan-Madison), Roger Normandeau (Sanford), and Amos McCallum (Biddeford-Saco). MCCP Director Richard also received the Tall Elk Award from Maine Elks Association President Elmer Berry. The name for these awards come from the saying "You never stand as tall, as to when you stoop to help a child," referring to the Elks support of children with cancer.
In addition to the above awards, "Elliot the Elk & Friends" Director William Deshaies (Farmington) presented awards to the top three Lodges in fundraising through this program. These awards were presented to the: Farmington Elks Lodge #2430 (3rd Place), Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge #2531 (2nd Place), and the Gardiner Elks Lodge #1293 (1st Place).
The MCCP Private Sector Awards were presented by Director Robert Godin of the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge to the Augusta Elks Lodge #964 and the Waterville Elks Lodge #905.
The Youth Activities Awards were presented by MEA Director Alfred Widdecombe of Rockland. Awards for Best Youth Program went to the Brunswick Elks Lodge #2043, Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge #2713 (Pittsfield), and the Rumford Elks Lodge #862.
The Elks Drug Awareness Awards were presented by Director Frank Ricker of the Sanford Elks Lodge. The Awards for Best Drug Awareness Program went to the: York Elks Lodge #2788 (<300 Members), Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge #2713 (301-500), Millinocket Lodge (501-700), Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge #2531 (701-1000), and the Augusta Lodges (>1000 Members).
Public Relations Awards were presented by State Public Relations Director Wayne Cotterly of the Lewiston Lodge. The awards for Best Public Relations Program went to: Central District: Rumford Lodge, Northern District: Sebasticook Valley, Coastal District: Wells . The Public Relations "Chairman of the Year" went to Donald Dow and Ken Hennessy of the Sebasticook Valley Lodge. A special award called the "Ambassador of Elkdom" Award was presented to Debbie Briggs of the Rumford Elks Lodge. This award is the highest honor that can be given to a Maine Elk for work in the area of Public Relations.
Veterans & National Service Awards were presented to the Millinocket Elks Lodge #1521, Waterville Elks Lodge #905, and the Brunswick Elks Lodge #2043, for their work in the area of veteran support.
Elks National Foundation Awards were presented by Director Jack Clines of the York Lodge. These awards were presented for the highest per-member contributions to the Elks National Foundation. Awards went to: Wells Lodge (<300 Members), Sebasticook Valley Lodge (301-500), Lewiston Lodge (501-700), Skowhegan-Madison Lodge (701-1100), and Augusta Lodge (1100-1500 Members). Most Improved Lodge went to the Old Town Elks Lodge and Most Consistent went to the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge. The ENF Chairman of the Year award was presented to Richard Libby of the Wells Elks Lodge. The Wells Lodge achieved a total of over $152 dollars per member donated to the foundation. Wells finished in second place in the nation.
The Ritual Coach of the Year Award was presented by State Ritualistic Director Philip O'Brion to Justin Ingersoll of the Bath Elks Lodge #934 for his long term commitment and dedication toward promoting excellence in the Elks ritual.
Americanism Awards were presented by Director Richie Philbrick of the Rumford Lodge. Awards were presented to the following Lodges for the best Americanism Programs: Rumford Elks Lodge (1st Place), Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge (2nd Place), and Lewiston Elks Lodge (3rd Place)
Exalted Ruler (Lodge President) of the Year Awards were presented by the association Vice-Presidents for their respective districts. The Coastal District Exalted Ruler (ER) of the Year was presented to David Dionne of the Brunswick Elks Lodge by Vice-President Bruce Brunelle, The Northern District "ER of the Year" was presented to Donald Dow of the Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge by Vice-President Greg Daniels, and the Central District "ER of the Year" award was given to Anthony Gause of the Augusta Elks Lodge by Vice-President Robert Drisko.
Several special awards were also presented at the convention. The "Outstanding Chairman" Award was presented to John Clines of the York Elks Lodge for his dedication and service to the association as Elks National Foundation Chairman. The State of Maine finished fourth in the nation in giving. "Officer of the Year" Award went to Robert Drisko of the Augusta Elks Lodge.
The top award that can be presented to a Lodge is called the All-American Lodge Award. These awards are given to the Lodge that proves to be outstanding in promoting all of the programs of the Elks. Lodge Activities Director Wayne Cotterly of the Lewiston Lodge presented these awards to: Wells Elks Lodge (<300 Members), Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge (301-500), Millinocket Elks Lodge (501-700), Sanford Elks Lodge (701-1100), and Augusta Elks Lodge (1101-1500 Members)
The Elizabeth J. Sicard Memorial "Spouse of the Year" Award was presented to Myra Drisko of the Augusta Elks Lodge for her ongoing support and dedication of the Elks and their programs.
Finally, the "Elk of the Year" Award for the State of Maine was presented to Donald Dow of the Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge for his outstanding service and dedication to the programs of the association and the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks. Dow had served as Exalted Ruler during the 2005-2006 fraternal year.
|Donald Dow of the Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge (Pittsfield) receives the Maine Elks Association Elk of the Year Award at the association’s annual State Convention held in Rockland, May 5-7, 2006.|
The Maine Elks Association also elected and installed its slate of officers for the 2006-2007 association year at their 77th Annual State Convention.
Installed as State President was Gregory Daniels of the Presque Isle Elks Lodge #1954. Daniels, in his opening remarks, congratulated outgoing President Elmer Berry of the Lewiston Elks Lodge #371 for his dedication to the principals of the Order and for a successful year. He also thanked the members for their support, and encouraged each Lodge to give 100% support to the programs of the Elks.
In his acceptance speech, Daniels indicated that his theme for the coming year would be "Today's Challenges-Tomorrow's Rewards," referring to the challenges facing our country, including Drug Abuse by our youth, Children with Cancer, and a declining support for our America's Veterans. He stated that he would do his best to meet those challenges through the programs of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks and the Maine Elks Association.
Installed as officers of the association for the 2006-2007 year were: State President: Gregory Daniels (Presque Isle), 1st Vice-President: Bruce Brunelle (Sanford), 2nd Vice-President: Robert Drisko (Augusta), 3rd Vice-President: Michael Powers (Houlton), Secretary: Philip O'Brion (Farmington), Treasurer: Roger Normandeau (Sanford), Chaplain: Donald Dow (Sebasticook Valley-Pittsfield), Tiler: Michael Lafrance (Presque Isle), Administrative Assistant: Claris Ranger (Farmington), and Sergeant-at Arms: William Givens (Presque Isle). Serving as installing officer was Past State President James Ferland of the Presque Isle Elks Lodge #1954.
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 maineelks.org, or visit your local Elks Lodge.
|Front (L-R) Michael Lafrance, Bruce Brunelle, Gregory Daniels, Robert Drisko, & Michael Powers. Back (L-R) Claris Ranger, Donald Dow, Philip O’Brion, Roger Normandeau, & William Givens.|