The festivities begin Friday night with the presentation of individual lodge awards for various achievements including their service to youth programs, veterans, the Elks National Foundation – the fraternal organization's major charity fund – and the MEA's major project - the Maine Children's Cancer Program (MCCP).
There will also be a special recognition and toast Friday night as the Elks celebrate having given $3 million dollars in donations to MCCP. The program, chaired for many years by Past State President Don Richard of the Rumford Lodge, was created to provide comprehensive services to Maine's children with cancer and their families. The program is based in Scarborough, but serves infants, children, and adolescents from across the state.
A subsidiary of Maine Medical Center, the program is linked to research centers throughout the country and beyond, to provide children with treatments in Maine. The MEA adopted the Maine Children’s Cancer Program as a major project in 1985.
On Saturday morning, delegates from the 22 Maine lodges will elect new officers for the association during the business portion of the meeting. On Saturday night, the Youth Scholarship Winners, Americanism Essay Contest Winners, and Drug Awareness Contest Winners will be presented, as well as this year’s check to the Maine Children's Cancer Program.
Another major event at this year’s convention is the presentation of the Grand Lodge of Elks Enrique “Kiki” Camerena Award to Lt. Thomas Reagan of the Bangor Police Department. This award has been established by the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks to recognize and honor law enforcement officers who have made a significant contribution in the field of drug prevention.
Reagan is the first Maine police officer to receive this prestigious honor. The Elks National Drug Awareness Director, Kent Gade, will make the presentation of the national award to Lt. Reagan on Saturday, May 5.
More information about the Maine Elks Association can be found by visiting www.maineelks.org.