By Mark B Thomas
The Elks Drug Awareness Program was started in 1983. With the full support of members it expanded to the point that in 1986 the Elks Grand Lodge passed a resolution at their 1986 National Convention that all lodges have a Drug Awareness Committee. This idea was welcomed by the Reagan Administration and the theme of the nationwide non-abuse task force’s first campaign was “Just Say No”. This year as we recognize the 30th anniversary of the campaign, and in tribute to Nancy Reagan, Elks have again adopted the theme, “Just Say No”.
One way the Elks try to get information out to children, parents, and teachers is through the website elkskidszone.org. This website has information pamphlets, a trivia game and information about contest sponsored by each local lodge.The local lodge contests include:
1.) A poster contest for children in grades 3-5. Posters are judged on how well they pertain to the theme. They can be submitted on 8 ½ x 11 or as large as 11 x 24. So grab your crayons, markers, or colored pencils and see what you can do. All posters must be original works of the student but parents, teachers or friends can assist with ideas to get started.
2.) An essay contest for children in grades 6-8. The essay is to be no more than 250 words. It can be typed, computer generated, handwritten or hand printed. As with the poster contest, neatness counts! Parents, teachers and friends can help with suggestions.
3.) The third contest is a video contest for students in grades 9-12. The video can be done by one student or a group of students. The video must be at least two minutes and no more than five minutes in length.
In all cases all entries should be identified with the student’s name, address, phone number, grade level, name of school or organization where the entry originated. All contest entries should be submitted to: BPOE Drug Awareness Program, Allegheny Elks Lodge 339, P.O. Box 6904, Pittsburgh, PA. 15212 no later than December 31, 2016.
With heroin overdoses and prescription drug abuse deaths becoming a daily occurrence as reported by our local news broadcast, Allegheny Lodge 339, the only Elks Lodge within the City of Pittsburgh, wants and needs to make an effort to educate the youth of Pittsburgh.
If you would like any further information please contact the Drug Awareness Chairperson at firstname.lastname@example.org.