CARRABASSETT VALLEY — The Maine Elks Association recently honored several youths from across the state as part of its 83rd annual State Convention held at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort. The awards were presented at a banquet, attended by more than 200 members, guests and families of the recipients.

The Elks Americanism Essay Contest was open to fifth through eighth graders who wrote a 200-word essay on “Why I am Proud to Pledge Allegiance to the Flag?” The Elks promote the contest nationwide to encourage youth to promote ideals that make this country great. Presenting the awards were MEA Americanism Director Scott Butters and MEA State President Wayne Cotterly.

State winners were Shiloh Eaton and Sonya Shepherd, both representing the Ellsworth Elks Lodge. Those in attendance had the opportunity to hear each winner’s inspirational message as they read their essays. The state winners each received a plaque with their essay engraved on it.

There were three different contests representing the Elks Drug Awareness: a coloring contest open to third graders, a poster contest open to fourth graders and an essay contest open to fifth graders. The theme for each contest was “I choose not to use.” The Elks Drug Awareness contests are used to help educate parents and to encourage youth to take a stand against the dangers of drugs, alcohol and smoking. Presenting these awards was MEA Drug Awareness Director J. Andrew Bolz of the Sanford Elks Lodge.

The winners of the coloring contest were: Brian Kenealy representing the York Elks Lodge and Brooklyn Tupper representing the Presque Isle Elks Lodge. The poster contest winners were: Danielle Spicer representing the York Elks Lodge and Spencer Hunnewell representing the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge. Winners of the essay contest were: Joseph Anderson, representing the Presque Isle Elks Lodge and Alexis Barbuto representing the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge.

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