Elks honor citizens, volunteers
Gresham Elks Lodge 1805 held its annual awards banquet Saturday, March 9, to honor outstanding citizens and volunteers and award thousands of dollars in college scholarships to six high school seniors.
Citizen of the Year award, which is selected by the Elks exalted ruler, went to Cory Williamson, the mother of Mayor Shane Bemis. Williamson, a Gresham loan officer at Mortgage Express, sits on the city planning board and steers the committee that holds a large annual golf tournament.
She cooks for the homeless every week, often buying the food herself and purchasing coats, gloves and other necessities for those she serves.
Community dignitaries honored
The Elks also recognized the top local police and firefighters of the year, who are selected by members of their respective departments.
Gresham Police Department Ron Crump Officer of the Year Award: Officer Ryan Rasmussen.
City of Gresham Fire Department Firefighter of the Year Award: Eric Byrne.
Fairview Police Department Officer of the Year: Brad Robertson.
Troutdale Police Department Officer of the Year: Joe Storagee.
Sandy Police Department Officer of the Year: Kevin Moody.
Sandy Fire District Firefighter of the Year: Christian Fritz.
Students win scholarships
The Gresham Elks recognized six high school seniors who had placed in the Elks National Foundations Most Valuable Student program.
First place $1,500 scholarship: Sandra Dorning of Centennial High School and Henry Sykes of Reynolds High School.
Second place $1,000 scholarships: Elirissa Hue of Centennial High School and Kevin Frank of Sandy High School.
Third place $500 scholarships: Christina Brown of Gresham High School and Spencer Gilbride of Corbett Charter High School.
Henry Sykes was also the recipient of the $1,000 Sally Lamm Scholarship.
The Elks scholarship committee ranks each student applicant on academic achievement, leadership and financial need.
Elks honor own members
The Gresham Elks also honored its own members and volunteers during the ceremony.
Several Outstanding Service Accommodations were given this year to Bonnie Floyd, who was honored for serving the lodge as an officer, and Don Green, who was honored for his work with the Veterans Hospital in Portland and also for his many years as trustee.
Lodge Non-Elk Volunteer of the Year went to Ruth Shawgo, who volunteers in the office, decorates the Lodge and helps count money. Heather Green was recognized for her work with the veterans, while Les Hofer, bingo chairman, was recognized for his work with weekly bingo.
Lodge Officer of the year was presented to Malia Bafford, the first woman exalted ruler.
The Elk of the Year was awarded to Betty Chisum, public relations chairwoman. Each month an Elk of the Month is picked and from the group the Elk of the Year is chosen.
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