The Laurie Elks Lodge has been awarded an unprecedented fifth Impact Grant from Elks National Foundation (ENF).  What word can be used for a 6th Impact Grant?  OUTSTANDING! (the only Elks lodge in Missouri to receive an Impact Grant for 2018).  The Lodge has been granted $5,000 to continue its "School 1st Responder Program" which has been in place since January 2013 and now will be able to continue at least through the end of 2018.  In addition, the Lodge was able to “supersize” its Impact Grant by earning another ENF grant for $2,000 (Beacon Grant).   
The project has created a support structure to facilitate an immediate response to the needs of underprivileged elementary age students which in turn will serve to promote a healthier, more stable learning environment.  The elementary schools that will be served this year through this program are Stover, Versailles and Climax Springs.  The very most important aspect of the project is QUICK TO RESPOND and to be a resource for meeting the urgent needs that cannot be met through the "system."
Over the past five years, the program has provided a great variety of items and supplies to either an individual student, teacher, classroom or to the entire school.  The 1st Responders also provided funds to start an archery program at the Versailles elementary school and purchase books for the school library at Climax Springs Elementary.  The schools often do not have adequate funding to provide teachers with supplemental classroom supplies and help for individual students in need.  Some of the items purchased are:  shoes, clothing, eyeglasses, hygiene products, snacks, curriculum project materials and basic school supplies. Last year many requests were granted for alternative seating (bean bag chairs, area rugs), headphones, and iPads.
It was great news to hear that the ENF has continued to fund this program for another year.  Since this program began, the Lodge has provided “matching” funds for any donation received by our members.  Any donation is welcome.  To date, the 1st Responders have received $54,500 in grant funds and over $25,000 in other donations and have spent over $60,000.