NEWRY – The Maine Elks Association honored several youths from across the state of Maine as part of the annual state convention. The youths had taken part in several contests, and the state winners were presented their awards at a banquet attended by more than 300 Elks members, guests and families.

The Americanism Essay Contest was open to fifth-graders, who wrote a 150-word essay on “What Does Freedom Mean to Me.” Americanism Chairman Richie Philbrick presented the awards.

The state winners were Caitlin Forbes of Rumford and Devin Schmitt of Wells, who read their essays. Both received a standing ovation. District winners were Adam Dupuis of Rumford, Corinne Smrz of Rockland, Ashley Bailey and Elliot Moores of Houlton.

There were three Elks Drug Awareness contests: a coloring contest open to third-graders, a poster contest open to fourth-graders and an essay contest for fifth-graders. Presenting the awards was Drug Awareness Chairman Frank Ricker.

Coloring contest winners were Joshua Turbide of Dixfield and Dani Wolland of Presque Isle; poster contest, Ryan Bourret of Rumford and Hayley LaChance of Augusta; essay contest, Luke Budreau of Presque Isle and Rachel Peterson of Augusta.

For more information on the Elks, visit, or visit the local Elks Lodge.

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