The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks believe that we can build stronger communities by focusing on where our communities begin...our kids. As anyone know, our children are our future and it is imperative that we provide all the tools, education, and support to help our kids carry our nation forward.
In May, the Berea Elks hosted our annual Youth Appreciation Banquet where we could take some time to recognize the kids that have made great achievements in their young lives while encouraging them to continue reach high while ever practicing the virtues of charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity.
This year we were able to honor winners of our Americanism Essay Contest where five of our six winners went on to also win at the district level and one of those five even went on to place 3rd overall in the State of Ohio! A truly amazing performance by these wonderful students. Pictured above (from left to right) are Lilly Higgins (8th Grader at Olmsted Falls MS and State Winner), Kelly Strang (7th Grader at Olmsted Falls MS), Elise Grant (8th Grader at Olmsted Falls MS), Breckyn Daniel (6th Grader at Ford Int.), and Elizabeth Calvis (6th Grader at Ford Int.). These winners were joined by their respective teachers who carry our greatest appreciation for the work they do everyday.
We were also very excited to honor Ryan Castelli, a graduating senior from Avon Lake High School as a recipient of the Most Valuable Student Scholarship provided by the Elks National Foundation. Ryan will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Elks for the next four years. Ryan is an Eagle Scout as well and is pursuing a degree in Information Technology. Ryan is joined in the photo by our lodge’s scholarship chair, Dr. Leonne Hudson.
Finally, for many of us that have been able to get to know Jaiden Caracci, it was truly a special moment to recognize Jaiden at this banquet for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Jaiden is simply a fantastic kid that worked hard for many years to achieve this rank which is the pinnacle for any scout.
We were especially pleased to host the families, friends, teachers, and mentors that have guided these wonderful kids through their young lives.
It was pretty clear that the future of our country is in good hands after spending just a few minutes with the young, bright, and energetic kids. Many thanks to all the chairpersons and volunteers who helped make this a successful event.