The University of Miami has been a magical place for 2009 Legacy Award recipient Rob Rankin, sponsored by Marathon, Fla., Lodge No. 21. Rob is involved in Muggle Quidditch from the local to the national level.
Muggle Quidditch is a real-life version of the wizard game, similar to basketball, played J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series, where a muggle is the term used for a non-wizard person. The main objective is for a player to get the golden snitch.
While some people might view quidditch as just another sport, Rob sees more to the game.
“Harry Potter got kids away from the television and computers and interested in reading,” says Rob, “I think quidditch takes it one step further and helps kids want to get outside, to exercise and play sports.”
Rob founded the Florida Quidditch Association, Inc. to organize a league for quidditch teams in his state. He has also played an instrumental role on the International Quidditch Association’s League Management Council. Although it’s been a huge commitment, Rob found his involvement in these two organizations to be rewarding.
“It’s cool to look back and realize how many lives I’ve touched through the Florida Quidditch Association, Inc.,” says Rob.
Recently, Rob decided to scale back his leadership involvement with the quidditch associations to focus on other pursuits. He volunteers on weekends with the University of Miami Volunteer LINK and is pursuing a double major in Philosophy and Biology. Last summer, Rob worked at the Florida Elks Youth Camp as a camp counselor.
Rob is thankful for the role that the Elks have played in his life—from helping him and his father adjust to a new city to providing him with a scholarship so he could attend the University of Miami.
“Being an Elks scholar means being a part of a community,” says Rob. “My college experience means more because I know that I’m here thanks to the support of my father and all of the other Elks who donate.” With the support of the Elks and his leadership experience, we know that Rob’s future will be as magical as Hogwarts.
In 2011-12, the Elks National Foundation allocated $1 million to fund scholarships for the children and grandchildren of Elks. If you know an Elk child who is a high school senior, encourage them to visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars for information, including eligibility and deadlines.