At a recent ceremony held at the Sycamore Elks Lodge #1392, Lisa Hepker and Megan McConnaughy, both of Sycamore, were awarded the lodge’s two most prestigious individual awards, the ‘Elk Of The Year Award’ and the ‘Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award,’ respectively.
McConnaughay, an 8th grader, started, “Pumpkins for Punkins”, a fundraising effort in which she and her family grows, and sells, pumpkins and donates the money raised to children in need each year. Last year she raised $1,500 and donated the money to Goodfellows to assist them to purchase clothes, winter coats, and shoes for children from families with limited resources in the area. The gifts are then wrapped and delivered by volunteers the morning of December 24th each year.
“In presenting Megan with this award, the honor is truly all ours”, stated Sycamore Elks Exalted Ruler, Bryan Ross. “She is truly an inspiration to our community and society could definitely use more young people like her. It’s very heart warming to see a younger person be a part of such a wonderful and giving effort and our organization looks forward to supporting her with this effort in the future.”
Presenting McConnaughay with her award was seven year Elk member, Lisa Hepker, who just moments later was announced by Ross as the recipient of the lodge’s annual, “Elk Of The Year” award.
“Lisa has been actively involved in many programs here at the Elks such as the holiday Angel Tree, our annual Hoop Shoot competition, our Thanksgiving baskets drive, and she has served as the Children’s Activities Director along with sharing her time with other charitable activities at the lodge”, said Ross. “Lisa is one of those people you can always count on to volunteer and always gives 110%.”
Lodge Secretary, Rich Hunt, added, “Not only do I think it’s great to see these two deserving people receive these awards, but it’s touching to see how the two of them share an extra common thread as Lisa is a Goodfellows holiday volunteer that helps wrap and deliver the gifts that Megan’s hard work, kindness, and generosity helps to provide.”
“I am proud to be a Sycamore Elk and honored that I was chosen for this prestigious award,” stated Hepker.
The Sycamore Elks Lodge, located at 126 Somonauk Street, is part of a national organization with 2,000 lodges nationwide.The non-profit organization stands for, and promotes, in part, scholarships, drug awareness programs, and veteran’s services.