South Dakota charities received donations of $85,000 last year from the Elks National Foundation. Dispersements from the Foundation (ENF) were made as grants to South Dakota Elks lodges as well as outright donations of $35,000 to Lifescape (previously Crippled Children’s Hospital and School) and $25,000 to the Children’s Home Society.

Harlan Huetson of Sioux Falls and a member of Yankton Elks Lodge reported to the S.D. Elks Association at their recent convention that the ENF had also provided $12,000 in college or vocational education grants in S.D.; as well as ENF Legacy scholarships for children or grandchildren of Elks members.

Dollars expended for college and vocational education scholarships by the Elks National Foundation are exceeded only by those issued by the federal government.

Veterans service programs in S.D. also received $9,000 from the Elks National Foundation. This Elks charitable endeavor also sponsors drug awareness programs and the boys and girls ages nine to 13 Elks Hoop Shoot held in Elks lodges each December.

Huetson reported that Elks in S.D. in 2018 donated $33,000 to the Elks National Foundation. Only the interest income earned on this endowment is expended for Elks charitable endeavors.

With donations of $33,000 by Elks last year, the 10 Elks lodges and their communities received $85,000 in return from the ENF, a return of $2.56 on each dollar donated. Huetson encouraged his fellow Elks to continue to donate to the ENF. He explained, “Last year Elks all over America donated $7 million to the Elks National Foundation and received $36.9 million in return from the Foundation.”

Elks lodges must meet a per capita goal each year in order to apply for specific grants from the ENF. Yankton Elks Lodge met their goal last year and recently received a five-year grant of $2,500 for each of five years, on condition the lodge achieves their goal the next four years. The local Elks lodge is working with the Yankton school district to provide underprivileged children with warm clothing. Each child will receive a hat, gloves, coat, snow pants and boots this winter.

Ted P. Mickelson is chairman of the Elks National Foundation for Yankton Elks Lodge. He hopes all Elks will plan to make their ENF donations this year so that these many charitable endeavors, such as the winter weather clothing donation, may be continued.

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