The Jackson Elks Lodge #466 presented awards to the youth winners of its annual Americanism Essay Contest at the lodge on Wednesday afternoon, June 17.

The contest awards were presented by the lodge’s Exalter Ruler Lynn Denny and Americanism Committee Chair Dorothy Riepenhoff.

There were two age divisions of competition in the Americanism Essay Contest:

Division I (5th-6th Grades) – Sophie Williams, a 5th-grader from Southview Elementary in Jackson, was a local winner and was also first in the district competition and fifth in the state competition. Rylie Bobb of Sts. Peter & Paul School in Wellston was the local winner and was also third in the district competition. Cannon Stiffler of Jackson Middle School was also a local winner.

Division II (7th-8th Grades) – The local winners were Lily Young of Sts. Peter & Paul School, Ruben Berry of Sts. Peter & Paul School and Ariana Smith of Christian Life Academy.

In a separate presentation, the local lodge also presented scholarships to six outstanding local high school graduates of the Class of 2020 – four from Jackson High School, one from Wellston High School and one from Vinton County High School. The lodge also demonstrates its commitment to local youth by sponsoring the annual Hoop Shoot competition.

Lodge #466 normally hosts an annual Youth Awards Banquet in March to honor its scholarship recipients, Essay Contest winners and Hoop Shoot winners, but the event was canceled this year due to the lodge being closed for a period because of the COVID-19 situation.