NEWRY – The Maine Elks Association held its annual convention at the Sunday River Ski Resort from May 2 to 4, attended by several hundred members and guests who honored the outstanding lodges and individual members at an awards banquet.

State President Claris Ranger of the Farmington Elks Lodge opened the convention. First on the agenda was the Maine Children’s Cancer Program. Chairman Donald Richard of Farmington introduced Dan Couverette, whose daughter was a patient in the program. Couverette said he and his family were thankful to have such caring people in Maine. His daughter is on her way to recovery from cancer.

Area lodges received the following awards:

Elliot the Elk and Friends Chairman William Deshaies gave awards to the top three fund-raisers for the cancer program: York, Rumford and Farmington.

Youth activities awards were presented by state Chairman Robert Bernier of Farmington. Awards for Best Youth Program went to Rumford and Skowhegan-Madison. Youth Activities Chairman of the Year honors went to Debi Briggs and Richie Philbrick of the Rumford Elks Lodge.

Public relations awards were presented by Public Relations Director J. Michel Patry of the Lewiston Lodge: Best Public Relations Program, Rumford, Millinocket and Lewiston; Public Relations Chairman of the Year, Richie Philbrick.

A Central District Exalted Ruler (lodge president) of the Year Award was given to Jackielynn Farrell of the Lewiston Elks Lodge by her father, Vice President Elmer Berry.

The top awards, the All-American Lodge Awards, were presented by Inter-Lodge Relations Chairman Christopher Gendron of the Lewiston Lodge to Greater Ellsworth, Lewiston, Biddeford-Saco and Sanford.

Elks Spouse of the Year went to Cheryl Deshaies of Jay for her outstanding support of the Maine Elks Association, and the state Elk of the Year went to Thomas Elliot of the Brunswick Elks Lodge for his years of service to the association and the Veterans/National Service Committee.

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