Elks Support Of Youths Laudable

When it comes to promoting youth, the Ohio Valley stands out. From the George C. Stifel Awards in Ohio County to the People’s Bank Academic Awards handed out each year in our region, there’s no shortage of organizations and businesses that recognize youngsters for their achievements.

One group that goes a step or two further, though, is The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Wheeling Elks Lodge 28 each year honors students from Ohio and Marshall counties not only for their work in the classroom, but also their athletic achievements and their efforts to make our region a better place to live.

For 42 years, the Elks lodge has been supporting the area’s youth each month during the school year by naming an athlete and a student of the month.

The organization also sponsors athletic events for youngsters ages 7-14, including the annual Hoop Shoot, Soccer Shoot and the Junior Golf tournament. A new honor in recent years is the Sportsmanship award, for students who go above and beyond to be leaders and good teammates on the field of play.

The Elks also are heavily involved in scouting, and each year the organization recognizes the region’s latest group of Eagle Scouts.

Youngsters also get honored each year for their essays on Americanism, and there’s recognition given to those students who lead Drug Free clubs in schools.

Last week, the Wheeling Elks honored 70 students — mostly high school seniors — from Ohio and Marshall counties for their efforts during the 2018-19 school year. Three of those students went home with college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

One, Wheeling Central Catholic High School senior Angelo Gentile, received a scholarship, one of the sportsmanship awards and also was honored as a student of the month. Master of ceremonies Jeff Miller said he could not recall a student being recognized in three separate categories in the same year.

Miller emphasized why Elks Lodge 28 is so involved with area youth: “This is a labor of love for us. … We do it because we love the kids in our community, and this is how we can show our appreciation for all their hard work.”

Well, Mr. Miller, now’s the time for Lodge 28 members to be recognized. We especially commend members of the Youth Activities Committee. They and this year’s winners are listed on page 5 of this section of the newspaper.

Again, we simply say thank you. Your efforts are highly appreciated.

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