CARRABASSETT VALLEY — The Maine Elks Association held its 81st annual State Convention at Sugarloaf USA from April 30 to May 2.
The convention was attended by more than 300 members and guests, who honored lodges and individual members at their awards banquets. Opening the convention this year was State President Michael Powers of the Houlton Elks Lodge 835, who thanked all of the members for their hard work and dedication throughout the past year.
The Elks National Foundation Committee presented its awards for work in support of the charitable arm of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. The awards were presented by Director Albert Ingraham of the Wells Lodge. The Most Improved Lodge went to the Millinocket Elks Lodge; Most Consistent Lodge, Houlton Elks Lodge; Walter Morrison “Give Me A Dollar” Award, Waterville Elks Lodge; ENF Chairman of the Year Award, David Vandine of the Millinocket Elks Lodge.
The Elks Veterans/National Service Committee awards were presented by Director Thomas Elliott of the Brunswick Elks Lodge. The awards were presented to the Millinocket, Brunswick and Augusta Elks Lodges for their support of veterans in each of the three districts.
Youth Activity Awards for best Youth Program in each district went to the Presque Isle Elks Lodge, Lewiston Elks Lodge and the Sanford Elks Lodge. These were presented by Youth Activities Director Alfred Widdecombe of the Rockland Elks Lodge.
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: York Elks Lodge 2788, Rumford Elks Lodge 862, Millinocket Elks Lodge 1521 and Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge 2531.
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, Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge; Northern District, Millinocket Elks Lodge; Coastal District, Rockland Elks Lodge. The Public Relations Chairman of the Year went to Michael Lange of the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge 2531.
The Lodge Activity Awards, including the Community Service and Image Contest, the Lodge Bulletin Contest and the Elks Memorial Service Contest were all won by the Lewiston Elks Lodge 371.
The All-American Lodge Awards were presented to Lewiston Elks Lodge and Augusta Elks Lodge.
The Ritual Coach of the Year Award was presented by State Ritualistic Director Bruce Brunelle of Sanford to James Lincoln of the Houlton Elks Lodge 835.
Awards were also presented to recognize work performed during the past year for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, one of the State Association’s two major projects. The awards were presented by MCCP Committee Director Donald Richard of the Rumford Elks Lodge.
The most consistent contributor award was presented to the Portland Elks Lodge 188 and the Outstanding Contributor Award for the highest amount of money raised during the past year went to the Sanford Elks Lodge 1470. The MCCP committee for this lodge had raised more than $96,000 for the program, and consistently raises in excess of $85,000 each year.
In addition, service awards were presented to the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge, Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge and the Biddeford-Saco Elks Lodge for their fundraising efforts in the private sector. Awards were also presented to the Houlton, York and Augusta Elks Lodge for their support of the Elliott and Friends fundraising program.
Awards for best Americanism Program were presented by State Director Richie Philbrick of the Rumford Elks Lodge. First place went to the Rumford Elks Lodge, second to the Lewiston Elks Lodge and third place went to the Sanford Elks Lodge.
Exalted Ruler of the Year Awards were presented by the association Vice Presidents for their respective districts. The Coastal District Exalted Ruler of the Year was presented to Rodney Bauer of the Brunswick Elks Lodge; Northern District, Kyle Smart of the Old Town Elks Lodge; Central District, Susan Horsman of the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge.
Several special awards were also presented at the convention. The Outstanding Chairman Award was presented to Wayne Cotterly of the Lewiston Elks Lodge; Officer of the Year Award was presented to John Nicholson of the Millinocket Elks Lodge; and Elizabeth J. Sicard Memorial Spouse of the Year Award was presented to Tina May Nicholson of the Millinocket Elks Lodge.
Receiving the President’s special recognition was Donald and Joyce Richard for their work on behalf of the Maine Children’s Cancer Program and State Convention Committee. The President’s Extra-Mile Award went to Melissa Butters of the Ellsworth Elks Lodge. MEA First Lady Alfreda “Freddy” Powers presented Past Grand Lodge Inner Guard Andy Constantine with an appreciation award for his assistance during the visit of the Elks National President, the Grand Exalted Ruler.
The Elk of the Year Award for the State of Maine was presented to Dwayne Guy of the Rockland Elks Lodge. Guy serves as a member of the State Convention Committee, Maine Children’s Cancer Program Committee, Elks National Home Committee and Elks Memorial Service Coordinator.
The Maine Elks Association is a nonprofit organization consisting of 22 lodges and nearly 12,000 members. For more information, visit maineelks.org or visit a local Elks Lodge.