Elks National President Thomas S. Brazier, of the Santa Cruz
California Elks Lodge, will preside over business sessions at the convention
center. Nevada Elks President Dietrick Boskie, of Reno, and past Nevada Elks
President Ted Balash, who is serving as chairman of the local Nevada Elks
Support Committee, will also be in attendance.
The five-day convention will also highlight the past-year’s
activities of the Elks Veterans Program, which involves of Elks members
visiting patients, at least monthly, in more than 300 Veterans Administration
Medical Centers throughout the United States. The Elks conduct recreational and
therapeutic activities for the veterans at an annual expenditure of $42
million. The Elks have adopted the motto, “So long as there are Veterans, the
Order of Elks will never forget them.”
The top boy and girl winners in the Elks Most Valuable
Student Scholarship Program will also be honored; each will receive a college
scholarship of $60,000. The Elks award college scholarships, totaling $3.74
million, to high school students across the nation every year. The winners of
the Elks Hoop Shoot Free Throw Competition, the largest of its kind in America,
will also be present. More than 1.5 million boys and girls participated in Elks
Hoop Shoot Contests at local Elks Lodges during the past year.
The Elks National Convention will end July 18 with the
installation of a new National President.
There are 1,992 Elks Lodges, across the country, with a
total membership of more than 825,000. Elks members must be American men and
women who are at least 21 years of age. There are some 4,500 Elks Members in
Nevada’s 14 Elks Lodges. The major project of the Nevada Elks Association is
Safe Haven, which provides funding for a statewide emergency shelter care
program for abused and neglected children.
Reno is a favorite convention city for the Elks, and the
organization has contracted to return for its National Convention in 2017. Elks
Delegates will be headquartered at the Grand Sierra Resort, with the Atlantis,
Peppermill, Silver Legacy and John Ascuaga’s
Nugget hosting room blocks as well. The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors
Authority estimates the economic impact of the 2013 Annual Convention of the
Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks to be more than $21.8 million.