Greeting fellow Elks,
I have spent a while as the new Fraternal Committee Chairman trying to learn what the fraternal committee is all about. It turns out that there are several contests are under the purview of this committee. However, make no mistake it is not the contest committee. The reason the Fraternal Committee has these contests is to showcase how Elks exemplify our cardinal principals: Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity. In addition to showing the community what we do these contests provide the officers of the Lodge with a structure and ideas to better achieve our goals.
Last meeting, I spoke of the big contest, known as the All-American Lodge contest or Contest A. This contest, which originated in the early 80’s includes earning points for most of the contests, many other Lodge activities, and charitable work throughout the year. I always encourage E.R.s to use the All-American Lodge/Contest A form as a checklist throughout the year. Just as a reminder, get the completed form to your District Deputy by April 1, 2023, so that they can be forwarded to me and passed up the fraternal chain.
This October I want to share with an idea that we use at Houlton Lodge #835. It turns out that almost all schools, high schools included, have a student of the month program. It also turns out that the Elks have a student of the month program. The details of the program can be found at elks.org on the Grand Lodge Activities Committee page. What Houlton Lodge has done is to contact the principal of Houlton High School (HHS) and come to an agreement that we would sponsor the HHS student of the month program. We are just helping them utilize a program they run anyway and who better than the school itself to chose appropriate students. We provide the monthly certificates (available on elks.org) and small gift cards to each student chosen. As a Lodge we are getting our name and mission into the schools and hence out into the community. Its really a win-win situation for the Lodge and the school. During Youth Week in May, we also invite each student of the month to the Lodge for a complementary meal celebrating the accomplishments of the youth in our community. This gives you two items to check off on the All-American/Contest A, a youth week program and a student of the month program.
Thank you, and if you have any questions let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org