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More than 5,000 Elks and their families will converge on Reno Tahoe USA, July 14-18, 2013, for the Annual Convention of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America.  
Delegates from all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Canal Zone will attend an opening session Sunday afternoon at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, as well as business sessions at the Convention Center Monday through Thursday. 
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.

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