Announcing the 2017 CIP Volunteer of the Year!

It’s that time of year again—time to recognize a hardworking, passionate Elk as the Community Investments Program Volunteer of the Year! With hundreds of grant project managers industriously using CIP grants, competition is always fierce. We’re happy to announce that the 2017 CIP Volunteer of the Year is Hopkins, Minn., Lodge No. 2221's very own Gretchen Peterson!

Gretchen is a jack-of-all-trades who has been instrumental in securing CIP grant funding for her Lodge since 2012, including all five grant opportunities for two years running.

From packing supply bags for homeless teens through the Teaming Up for Teens Impact Grant project, to running a veteran’s Christmas project, stocking food at a food pantry with the help of local youth, and putting together Welcome Home Kits for veterans in need, Gretchen puts in the hard work to make a difference. She truly knows how to harness the power of CIP grants to make Hopkins an even better place and cultivate community awareness of her Lodge. Click here to learn even more about how Gretchen has used Welcome Home Kits to help veterans in her community.

We'll be celebrating Gretchen and her accomplishments at the Elks National Convention in Reno this July.

The Elks National Foundation allocated $12.53 million this year to fund the Community Investments Program. Lodges meet local needs through Beacon, Gratitude, Promise, Anniversary and Impact Grants. These grants offer Lodges opportunities to serve the community in ways that will raise the Lodge’s profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things. To learn more about the Community Investments Program, please visit