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Gresham Elks honors Betty Chisum and others

The Gresham Elks Lodge named local businesswoman Betty Chisum as the Distinguished Citizen of the Year, and honored other community members and a group of scholarship winners at a recent banquet.

Chisum received the Distinguished Citizenship award for her work in the community and the lodge. Chisum, a member of Gresham Elks for 15 years, is involved with the Gresham Chamber of Commerce, Gresham Historical Society, Soroptimist International of Gresham, SnowCap Community Charities and has owned and operated her own business.

Cory Williamson was named Volunteer of the Year. Williamson, a local businesswoman, assisted the lodge in managing dining and banquet activities.

Lois Hunt was named Officer of the Year for her work with the lodge bingo program and the veterans bingo program once a month at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Portland. Hunt has also been involved with the Backpack Buddies program for the last four years, which provides nutritional assistance to elementary students.

Billie Piercy was named The Elk of the Year.

A member of the lodge for seven years, Piercy has been lodge secretary, Officer of the Year in 2012 and lodge newsletter editor for the past four years, winning first place in the state newsletter competition.

The event, on Saturday, March 12, also honored previously announced high school scholarship winners.

This year two students, Grace Ramstad, Centennial High School and Austin Gardner, Gresham High School, each earned $1,500 scholarships. In addition to her many accomplishments, Ramstad was recently named Centennial’s first princess on the Portland Rose Festival Court. Ramstad’s application continued through Elks national scholarship program and she has already been awarded an additional $6,100.

A science project of Gardner’s will compete in the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May.

Sandi Johnsen, Gresham High School, and Cedar Mackaness, Corbett High School, each received $1,000. Noemi Martinez, Reynolds High and Zach Lustig, Barlow High School, each earned $500 awards. Cheyenne Gordon, Gresham High, received $1,000 from the Lodge’s Sally Lamm Scholarship.

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