Aaron Cimer

As a 2019 Legacy Awards scholar and member of Toms River, N.J., Lodge No. 1875, Aaron Cimer understands the importance of community. “Receiving the 2019 Legacy Awards scholarship meant that I was part of a large, diverse community of fellow volunteers who shared similar passions and,” says Cimer. “I was welcomed with open arms and provided with countless resources and opportunities to engage with not only my local community but communities all over the world.”

However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cimer was unable to help his local community when they needed it most.

“I remember sitting at home and continuously watching the news on the pandemic and outbreaks in my hometown,” says Cimer. “The feeling of sitting there and not being able to serve my community when they needed me the most was truly heartbreaking.”

After months of searching for ways to get involved, Cimer was given an opportunity to be a COVID-19 vaccine clinic volunteer with the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps. This role made it possible for Cimer to serve his community by scheduling vaccine appointments for those who had difficulty using technology or who did not own the necessary technology to book appointments.

Not only did this volunteering experience allow Cimer to help his community—it also allowed Cimer to find the drive behind his passion.

“I’ve always had a passion for medicine but was unsure of what the drive was behind this passion,” says Cimer. “Through this volunteer experience, along with countless others, I have learned that fostering a physician-patient relationship and being a voice for your patients is the drive behind that passion.”

A 2023 graduate of the University of Virginia, Cimer recognizes the impact the Elks community has had on his life.

“The experiences I have been involved in at the University of Virginia and the impact I have had on my community would not have been possible without the support of the Elks National Foundation,” says Cimer. “As a person with multiple generations of family members being involved in the Elks, I can say with confidence that the Elks have raised me with the empathy and compassion that embody me today.”

With the Weigel scholarship, Cimer will attend the University of Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine to study emergency medicine.

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