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On Sunday, Feb. 9, the Lake Oconee Elks Lodge No. 2849 hosted its annual scholarship awards reception. It is during this special event that the Lake Oconee Lodge formally recognizes the winners of various scholarships and awards which they present each year to local high school seniors.

The Lodge annually awards a total of six $1,000 Most Valuable Student (MVS) Scholarships to high school seniors from the local communities that they serve. The Lodge also provides a $1,000 scholarship to the winner of the Chase Montgomery Memorial Scholarship. This year a new award was presented, which recognizes the Lodge’s High School Student of the Year.

During the reception, the Lodge Scholarship Committee Chairman, Frank Rowan provided an overview of the various Elk scholarships and awards being presented that day. The Lodge’s Exalted Ruler, John White had the honor of presenting the scholarships and awards to each of the scholars. John noted that, “This is a special day for our Lake Oconee Elks Lodge, as we have the opportunity to recognize a select group of local high school seniors that represent the best of our community.”

The guest speaker for the event was Lou Tepper, former head football coach at The University of Illinois. Lou provided insights to the Elks scholars on the adjustment that they face as they head off to college, and what they should focus on going forward on.

The winners of the Elks Most Valuable Student (MVS) Scholarship include Mahnoor Sultan, Jessica Patino and Lauren Ellison, who each attend Lake Oconee Academy. Michael Peters and Isaac Newell from Morgan County High School and Sean Brown from Nathanael Greene Academy are also winners of the MVS Scholarship.

Susan Bishop from Morgan County High School is the winner of the Chase Montgomery Memorial Scholarship, as well as the Lodge’s High School Student of the Year Award.

After the presentations, the Lake Oconee Ladies Auxiliary (LOLA) served refreshments. LOLA also decorated for the reception and donated one of the scholarships.

The Lodge received a record number of scholarship applications this past year and is already looking ahead to next year, when it can continue the tradition of recognizing the best and brightest local high school seniors.

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