May Newsletter Article for Toledo-Sylvania Elks Lodge #53

ENFLogoJPGElks National Foundation and YOU!

I am a recent transfer to Elks #53, and have long been impressed with your commitment to charity, and so I was elated when Keven asked me to coordinate this year’s ENF Committee as well as the Most Valuable Student Scholarship Committee.

The ENF Committee has hit the ground running, with April 20 as the deadline for the first grant application – and we have applied for a $1,000 Freedom Grant Spark, which will aim at supporting local veterans.

Your ENF Committee this year is Terry R Harrison, Dottie Huls, Mary Ann Henricks, Matthew Miller (one of our newest members!), and myself.  We will spend the year sharing all the good the Elks do with the $41.2 million dollars of disbursements just this last year – from the Community Investments to Scholarships to assisting the Veterans Service Commission.  We will also plan local lodge fundraising projects.  So if you also have a heart for helping our community, we will need your help throughout the year.  Talk to anyone on the committee.

The MVS Committee will get going a bit later in the year, when in Fall high school seniors apply for the Most Valuable Student scholarships with the help of their school counselors. Around Nov-Dec, each Lodge has a set of Judges who rank applications, in our case from the Toledo metro area.  When I was a member of the Oklahoma City Lodge #417, serving on the MVS Committee was one of the most joy-filled and easiest ways to serve the Lodge, with an online portal for judging applications, few if any in-person meetings, and with the ability to be a faithful committee member even after I had taken a job and moved to the Toledo area.  I remember reading those applications and feeling great about the future leaders of our community.  Please come talk with me if you want to know more or would like to volunteer as one of our local MVS Judges.  We need diversity, not just former teachers like myself.TopMVSWinners_23

Speaking of MVS Scholarships, this year’s top place winners have been announced:  Diya Jha, who was sponsored by Frederick, Md., Lodge No. 684, and Agam Igwe, sponsored by Towson, Md., Lodge No. 469, both earned the top $50,000 scholarships. The $40,000 second-place winners are Becca Mizrachy, sponsored by Boca Raton, Fla., Lodge No. 2166, and William (Joshua) Jones, sponsored by Marshall, Texas, Lodge No. 683. The third-place winners of $30,000 are Sophie Kloppenburg, sponsored by Mount Vernon, Ind., Lodge No. 277, and Aaron Tran, sponsored by Hollister, Calif., Lodge No. 1436.

For 2023-24, the Elks National Foundation allocated nearly $2.9 million to fund the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, which includes 502 four-year scholarships ranging from $4,000 to $50,000. The Top 20 finalists attended the MVS Leadership Weekend April 13-16, 2023 in Chicago where they interviewed for the six top scholarships.  For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, visit:


-Matt Meinke, ENF Fundraising Chair and MVS Scholarship Chair