Montana Elks reunite in Great Falls, spotlight scholarship programs

GREAT FALLS — The Montana Association Elks Mid-Winter Meeting is underway at the Great Falls Elks Club and continues Saturday.

The event consists of training seminars and workshops to help improve leadership skills among Elk club leaders across the state of Montana.

Montana currently has 26 Elks Lodges.

Elks National Manager Jim O’Kelley visited Great Falls to discuss all the Elks have been able to accomplish over the past year.

“One of the biggest things we were able to do was Covid,” he said. “Obviously, a pandemic is not good, and the Elks have been put in an unusual situation. A lot of our members join for social reasons or for heritage reasons, and socially we’ve been ostracized. gap due to Covid restrictions.

O’Kelly said that even though it was a sudden change and unfamiliar territory among the Elks, they were able to come together and still be able to offer grants in order to help his community.

“A big part of the need we found was food insecurity. Many places where our Elks lodges are located have suffered from security during the pandemic,” he explained. “But I’m happy to say we were able to pull through and can still get the grants and funding we need to help our community.”

Another of the highlights was the scholarship opportunities the Elks offer.

“We are among one of the best individual scholarships in the country,” said Gerald Penn, president of the Elks of Montana scholarship. Montana receives about $22,000 a year to distribute among its students; Nationally, the Elks give about $2.4 million in scholarships each year.

“The biggest scholarship program we have is called the Most Valuable Student Scholarship and students are judged locally by lodge, region, state and then national. Out of Montana, they get four slots to send for the National Fellowship,” O’Kelley said.

Over the past 10 years, three students from Montana have been selected among the top six scholars.

Click here to learn more about moose.

Comments are closed.