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Potsdam Chamber announces Commitment to Community Award winner

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POTSDAM – The Potsdam Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the recipient of its 2012 Commitment to the Community Award. The award reflects efforts of an individual or organization that enhance the quality of life, provide service to fellow citizens, or improve the business environment in Potsdam. The 2012 recipient is The Potsdam Elks Lodge No. 2074.

The Elks operate by the teachings of their motto, “The faults of our members are written on the sand, their virtues on the tablets of love and memory.” They practice charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity. For over 50 years, “the Potsdam Elks have exemplified the criteria of this award by their never-ending service to the local community, especially veterans and our youth.”

Some examples of their dedication and support of veterans has included coordinating visits to local veterans by Elks members along with the Clarkson ROTC on Veteran’s Day and participating in ceremonies on Memorial Day. They have also organized, collected, and sent care packages to deployed soldiers and raised awareness by sponsoring fundraisers for returning wounded soldiers.

The Elks remind us all of the importance ofsuch special days like Flag Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day by placing American flags throughout the village of Potsdam.

The Elks also firmly support local fire departments, law enforcement and emergency personnel.In 2011, they organized volunteers to create a human chain circling the downtown block of Potsdam in remembrance of 9/11.

In addition, this civic organization is strongly committed to nurturing all aspects of a young person’s life.They support youth by donating dictionaries to third grade students in Potsdam, Parishville-Hopkinton, Colton-Pierrepont, Canton and Norwood-Norfolk schools.

Every May, they hold a Recognition Day for local and area-wide students who excel in academics, music, sports and citizenship. Every year, high school students benefit from both their local scholarships and those they receive from the regional or national level. The Elks Club Memorial Scholarship is given to one or two seniors who are entering the military.

The Elks also has their own youth program “Horizons” whereby children participate in community service.

They foster involvement in youth athletics by hosting contests such as hoop, soccer and hockey shoots as well as a Punt, Passand Kick contest. They support area school and youth teams with fundraising barbecues or spaghetti dinners and financial donations to allow these teams, and sometimes their families, to travel to state and national playoffs or competitions.

The Potsdam Elks encourage youth to play and have fun. They send kids with special needs to summer camp. They assisted with a fundraiser and raised almost $9,000 toward the Ron Dillon Memorial Playground. The Potsdam Elks Lodge also offer a major kids play area of inflatable games during Potsdam’s annual Summer Festival. It has provided years of wonderful summer memories for many local kids and something to look forward to every summer.

Over $40,000 is annually given back in donations and scholarships to people of all ages in the community. The list of local, regional, state and national programs to which the Potsdam Elks have made donations is extensive and impressive.

The Elks willingness to respond and support other groups within the community makes them “truly worthy of this recognition.The Potsdam Elks Lodge is an integral part of the community volunteer network that makes Potsdam such a great place to live.”

The Potsdam Chamber invites the community to help them recognize The Potsdam Elks Lodge #2074 as their 2012 Commitment to the Community recipient.

The award will be presented at the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner Nov. 15 at Thatcher Hall, SUNY Potsdam.The dinner cost is $35.

A social mixer begins at 5:30 p.m. and will feature some simple appetizers as well as a cash bar. The buffet-style meal includes green salad, roast pork tenderloin with apple chutney, mashed potatoes with New Yorkcheddar cheese, vegetable accompaniment, roll, coffee/tea and dessert.

All paid dinner attendees will also be entered as participants in the chamber’s first Balloon Blast Prize Giveaway at the dinner.

“This is a fun new take on a traditional raffle”, Chamber Executive Director Marylee Ballou said. “We will also have music provided by the Caramelo Trio (Oscar Sarmiento, Beth Robinson, Steve Farina).”

To make reservations, or to learn more, please call the Chamber at 274-9000 or email potsdam@slic.com.

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