On Saturday, June 4, 2016, the Indiana Elks Association (IEA) installed Tony Vester as state president. Vester, a former resident of Indianapolis who currently resides in Brazil, is a member of Brazil Elks Lodge 762. He and his wife Kim will represent 16,050 Elks members in 60 Lodges in the state of Indiana.
Vester's executive board includes President-Elect Donald Raderstorf (Logansport 66); Directors: Randy Snellenberger (Sullivan 911), Michael Jack (Greenfield 1720), James Sigler (Union City 1534), and Jeff Mullendore (Columbia City 1417). Other officers include Secretary Charles Gray (Columbus 521), Treasurer Roger Kraese (Bloomington 446), Chaplain Brandon McKinney (Brazil 762), Inner Guard Carsten Lemkau (Crawfordsville 483), Tiler John Robinson (Brazil 762), and Sgt. At Arms Danny Wallace (Greencastle 1077).
The Elks organization was founded in New York City on February 16, 1868, under the name "Jolly Corks" by 15 actors, entertainers and others associated with the theater. In ensuing years, membership expanded to other professions. This Fraternal Order was founded
To promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American Patriotism and cultivate good fellowship."
The Indiana Elks Association State Major Project is Cancer Research. This project has developed over the years as a funding source to help fight the various dreaded cancer diseases that strike hundreds of Indiana Hoosiers each year.
"The State of Indiana is indeed fortunate to have two major cancer research facilities which are located at Purdue University and Indiana University," stated a press release from the Elks. "At our State Convention in June 2016, the Indiana Elks Cancer Research Program at both Purdue University and Indiana University were each presented a check for $130,000."
Combined contributions to both institutions now total in excess of $9 Million. A nationwide "Elks Hoop Shoot" event begins in each of the local Elks Lodges. Boys and girls from 8 to 13 years of age compete at local, state, regional and national events. Two National Champions have their names permanently inscribed in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Elks National Foundation annually awards 500 four-year scholarships to the highest-rated applicants in the nation. Competition is open to any high school senior in the United States; they need not be related to an Elks member; current college students may not apply; they must be a citizen of the US on the date the application is signed, permanent legal resident status does not
qualify; and, male and female students compete separately. Over $2.5 Million was awarded this year nationwide. In addition, Indiana Elks annually give at least $80,000 in scholarship assistance to the youth in Indiana, along with numerous Lodges that give local scholarships.
Visit the Elks website www.elks.org and click on "Learn more about the Elks" on the homepage.