Elks honor 2 students, invest in the community


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At the Titusville Elks Lodge 2113, Loyal Knight Catherine Simkins presents Titusville High School senior Destinee Bailey with a $1,000 scholarship.

SENIOR LIFE Walter Kiely

When Catherine Simkins, Loyal Knight, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) Lodge 2113 in Titusville, wanted to find area youth to nominate for scholarship awards, she knew where to go. She went straight to social media — Facebook to be precise.

There would be one recipient from Astronaut and another from Titusville high schools. Each would be awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

“It is a rigorous evaluation process at local, state and national levels,” Simkins said.

This is part of a larger effort.

“Each year, the Elks National Foundation provides more than $3.65 million in scholarships,” the organization’s website states.

Simkins posted on local Facebook pages and two applicants were chosen: Savannah Cantrell, a senior at Astronaut High School, and Destinee Bailey, a senior at Titusville High School.

A news release reads, “Elks (BPOE) Lodge 2113, presented $1,000 scholarships to two deserving high school seniors at their annual installation of officers, March 31, 2018.”

In addition to her full academic schedule, Cantrell’s credentials include being president of the local Anchor Club, (subsidiary of Pilot Club) organizing trips to the Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation and spearheading a clothing drive for homeless children. She has begun courses at the University of Florida to become a pediatric oncologist.

Besides her full class schedule, Bailey has varsity letters in orchestra, chorus and the gifted students program. She also has been a volunteer grief counselor at St. Francis Hospice, working with children who are coping with the death of a parent. Bailey plans to attend Florida State University to study for a career in social work.

The scholarships highlight the Elks’ emphasis on helping youth. Its other emphasis is on veterans.

The Elks Army of Hope assists families with a father or mother called to active duty in the military.

There also is the Elks Welcome Home initiative, which reaches out to homeless veterans.

“Who are the Elks?” the organization’s website asks.

It answers,”They are people who invest in community.”

People such as members of Lodge 2113 in Titusville.

For more information about the Elks, go to elks.org.