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TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR THE BENJAMIN BANNEKER ELK LODGE ON THE JOYOUS OCCASION OF ITS ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY AND TO EXPRESS THE APPRECIATION OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE FOR THE LODGE'S MANY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE BETTERMENT OF ITS COMMUNITY.
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina Senate are pleased to learn that the Benjamin Banneker Elk Lodge will celebrate a century of dedicated service to the Greenville community; and
Whereas, founded in 1922, the Benjamin Banneker Elk Lodge is a local branch of a state, national, and international lodge organization network known as the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World; and
Whereas, a nonprofit organization, the lodge has a long history and record of contributions to the Greenville minority community; and
Whereas, these contributions are extensive and include oratorical competitions for college-bound students that award $1,500 scholarships to local winners. Local winners continue to state, regional, and national contests to earn larger scholarships, with a $10,000 scholarship going to the national winner. These competitions introduce students to effective public-speaking skills on topics relative to issues affecting minority communities. The lodges award more than $70,000 annually in scholarship funds. Some of the nation's most notable scholars and community leaders have been recipients of these scholarships; and
Whereas, in addition to academic awards, the Benjamin Banneker Elk Lodge grants scholarships to talented performers in the arts at local, state, and national competitions. Students pursuing vocational or technical careers also are supported through the Benjamin Banneker Elk Lodge competitions at the local, state, and national levels; and
Whereas, further, financial assistance is annually provided to a family for special-needs children's supportive services, support is given through the Elk lodge network for civil liberty protection, veterans are recognized as the lodge helps them navigate the Veterans Administration's bureaucracy to assure that they receive much-needed benefits, and meals are funded for the West Greenville homeless population at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once a year, the lodge sponsors a community barbeque for the Birnie Street and West Greenville communities, providing an opportunity for neighbors to come together and discuss issues in a relaxed setting. Worthy organizations also receive funds through a focused giving campaign of more than 1,500 lodges and temples; and
Whereas, the South Carolina Senate appreciates the outstandingly effective outreach of the Benjamin Banneker Elk Lodge, an effort that meets vital needs in the community, and the members celebrate with the lodge the significant milestone of a century of service. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate:
That the members of the South Carolina Senate, by this resolution, recognize and honor the Benjamin Banneker Elk Lodge on the joyous occasion of its one hundredth anniversary and express the appreciation of the South Carolina Senate for the lodge's many contributions to the betterment of its community.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to the Benjamin Banneker Elk Lodge.
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