MEA State President
State President’s Message
The President for the Maine Elks Association for 2023 to 2024 is Sandi Anderson, PER from Waterville Lodge #905, Waterville, ME.
Sandi was second of four children, born in Sidney, NY, where her Father and Uncle were charter members of Sidney Lodge #2175. Her father was an engineer at a plastics company and Sandi’s first job was working with her dad at the auto body shop he ran on the side. By the time she was five she was taping and sanding cars for paint and in her teens she was doing all the body work and priming. When dad bought a service station, she continued with the body work and was getting experience on the mechanical side of auto mechanics when her family moved to Washington where she graduated from high school in Tacoma.
Her parents returned to New York where her father started a plastics blow molding company, and Sandi remained in Oregon working first real job was as a cashier for Fred Meyers. Sandi married and became a stay-at-home mom when she had her first child. Her family had expanded to four little ones, and living in Ridgefield, WA was only 25 miles from Mt. St Helens when it erupted on May 18th, 1980. Most of the ash went eastward so Sandi’s family was lucky.
When Sandi and her husband parted she packed her kids into a Ryder truck and moved back to New York. Her father had passed, and the new single mom and her mother were able to provide each other some support.
Over the ensuing years Sandi held many jobs in area businesses and manufacturers to keep her family safe and fed, including shoveling coal for New York State Electric & Gas. She also developed some new personal skills, such as creative tailoring to help fill in the gaps. This began as simply keeping her children clothed but eventually expanded into working for friends and neighbors for extra money.
She was working as a Teller when she was introduced to her future husband, Dave. She was originally hoping for a mature male influence for her youngest son, but after ten years on her own their relationship soon blossomed. They married and held their reception back at the Sidney Lodge. Work changes took the family to Berkshire, NY. Still working, Sandi went back to school in the evenings while Dave took care of the kids at home. Circumstances then converged, Sandi’s company was restructuring and offered Dave an early retirement. Sandi accepted a generous severance so they packed up the kids and moved to Maine, finally landing in Winslow.
Sandi and Dave looked into several organizations, looking for something to catch their interest. Groups like Harley Owners Group and United Bikers of Maine and an area pool league were fun, and they met many nice people, but nothing really grabbed them. Some friends from out of state visited the couple. Being Elks the guests invited Sandi and Dave to accompany them for a visit to the Waterville Elks lodge. The couple liked what they found. Dave pursued membership, proposed by their out of state friends, and Sandi joined the lodge ladies’ auxiliary. Sandi was recruited to help with the Waterville Lodge Bulletin and lodge PR, and she engaged with a few other activities. After only a few months with the lodge auxiliary Sandi knew she wanted to do more, and became a full Elks member.
Since becoming an Elk, Sandi hasn’t taken much of a break. She’s been a longstanding member of committees working several aspects of lodge Membership as well as in-house fundraising events. She has developed a passion for the Maine Childrens’ Cancer Program, providing support to Maine’s veterans community, and working with the lodge’s many children’s events and programs.
For the Maine Elks Association Sandi has served on a multitude of committees including New Lodge Development, Americanism, Memorial Service, and MCCP Owie Box. Sandi was Central District MCCP Chairman for the MEA and served as First Lady of the Maine Elks Association when husband Dave was President for fraternal year 2017-18. She’s been recognized for unceasing energy by receiving several GER Certificates through her home lodge, and was MEA President Don Piper’s Elizabeth J. Sicard Spouse of the Year Award recipient for 2016.
Sandi ascended through the Waterville chairs, including twice as Chaplain, four times as Esquire, served as Chairman of the lodge House Committee for two years and chaired their PER Association for two years.
Sandi was elected to President Anthony Gause’s suite as Second Vice President for 2020-21, and was installed as Association President on Sunday, May 7th, 2023 during the Maine Elks Association’s 96th annual convention held at the Hilton Garden Inn Riverwatch in Auburn, ME.