SOUTH PORTLAND – The 84th Annual Maine Elks Association (MEA) convention was held at the Merry Manor Inn in South Portland May 3-5 where new officers were elected and awards were presented to individual lodges, members and student contest winners.
Dwayne Guy of the Rockland Lodge will serve as state president for the next year.
Guy has been an Elks Lodge member for 24 years and served as exalted ruler or lodge president three times and district deputy for the Maine Coastal District in 2011-12. He and his wife, Barbara, have been very active in the fraternal organization’s major charity: the Maine Children’s Cancer Program (MCCP).
Guy received the Tall Elk Award for his work for MCCP and he and his wife were honored as the MCCP Couple of the Year, both in 2007. The Rockland man is also a past MEA Elk of the Year, Officer of the year and Honorary Life Member of his lodge.
One of the highlights of the convention was the presentation of a check for $186,026 to MCCP Board President Mike Turcotte from outgoing State President John Nicholson. This brought the Maine Elks Association’s total contributions to the program to more than $3.4 million.
MEA Scholarship Chairman Donald Dow of the Sebasticook Valley Lodge also announced that more than $173,000 in scholarships would be awarded to students in Maine this year through various Elks programs and individual lodge contributions.
The Skowhegan-Madison Lodge sponsored the two top student Americanism essay contest winners: Chelsey Ray of Mill Stream School in Norridgewock and Emilee Christine Fortier of Carrabec Community School in North Anson. The essay theme was “What does the National Anthem mean to me?”
There were three Drug Awareness Program contests and awards were presented to a boy and girl in each category:
Essay winners: Girl – Kaitlyn Bowden, York Lodge; Boy – Troy Folmer, Ellsworth Lodge
Poster winners: Girl – Haley Leavitt, Rumford Lodge; Boy – Tyson S. Matthews, York Lodge
Coloring winners: Girl – Lilyanna Grace Enright, York Lodge; Boy – Eathan Woods, Rumford Lodge
The All-American Lodge awards, based on the membership size, went to the Lewiston, Farmington and Waterville lodges. This is one of the most prestigious honors, and given to lodges that excel in community service, youth activities, support of veterans programs and charitable causes.
Another major honor, the Community Service and Image Award, went to the Rumford Lodge.
Other lodges awards presented were:
Best Public Relations Program
North District: Old Town
Central District: Skowhegan-Madison
Coastal District: Sanford
Lodge Bulletin Contest
Division 1: Rumford
Division 2: Bath
Division 3: No winner
Division 4: Skowhegan-Madison
Drug Awareness Program
Best Lodge Drug Awareness Director: Patricia Buteau, Ellsworth Lodge
Best Program (under 300 members): Ellsworth
Best Program: (301 – 500 members): Presque Isle
Best Program: (501 – 700 members): Millinocket
Best Program (701 – 1,100): Skowhegan-Madison
Elks National Foundation Awards
Most Consistent Performance: Houlton
Chairman’s Challenge: Millinocket
Walter Morrison “Give Me a Dollar” Award: Sanford
Highest Per-Capita (under 300 members) Ellsworth
Highest Per-Capita (301 – 500 members) Farmington
Highest Per-Capita (501 – 700 members) Millinocket
Highest Per-Capita (701 – 1,100 members) Skowhegan-Madison
Individual awards presented were:
MEA Rowland “Duke” Morgan Elk of the Year Award
Michael Powers, Houlton Lodge
MEA Justin Ingersoll Citizen of the Year Award
Claris Ranger, Farmington Lodge
J. Richard Yankura Ritual Coach of the Year Award
Philip O’Brion, Farmington Lodge
Maroon Nemer Outstanding Chairman of the Year
Bill Bachofner, Rockland Lodge
Michael D. Lange, Skowhegan-Madison Lodge
MEA Vice-President’s Award – Outstanding Exalted Ruler
Coastal District: John Desjardins, Biddeford-Saco
Central District: Duane “Kip” Clark, Farmington
North District: David VanDine, Millinocket