MORGANTOWN - Weirton Elks Lodge 1801 members attended the West Virginia Elks Association mid-year state convention Aug. 8-10 at the Ramada Inn, hosted by Morgantown Elks Lodge 411.
Approximately 150 Elks and guestS from 21 West Virginia lodges attended.
Weirton Elks in attendance included Exalted Ruler James "Jimbo" Miller, Northern District Vice President Roger "Hambone" Kirkpatrick, Northern District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Bill Verelst, Past State President Vince Gurrera, Past State President Paul T. Duffy, Northern District Past Exalted Rulers Association Vice President Chris Pearson, State Newsletter Editor Jack Bennett and Leading Knight Debbie Verelst.
Honored guests at the convention included Grand Exalted Ruler Millard C. Pickering of Sapulpa, Okla., Lodge 1118; his wife, Susanne Pickering; and Pennsylvania State Elks Association President Terry Liersaph of Cranberry Lodge 1118; and his wife, Pat Liersaph.
"I have heard much about the many wonderful programs sponsored by the West Virginia Elks Association and learning more about all you do as 'Living and Giving' members of our order," said Pickering.
"As we face the 2013-2014 fraternal year, we, as an organization, are facing universal challenges," said Liersaph. "I hope to learn new ways your association is dealing with those challenges."
Past Grand Exalted Ruler Lester "Ted" Hess Jr. of Wheeling Lodge 28 was the state convention sponsor.
"I am proud of the accomplishments of our state association so far this year," said Hess. "You are demonstrating once again to the entire order that the Elks of West Virginia are on the move."
West Virginia Elks Association President James L. McIntyre of the Sistersville Lodge presided over the business session.
"As we gather together this weekend to conduct business and honor our youth, let us remember that, first and foremost, we are family - brothers and sisters working together for the betterment of our communities, our nation and our world, McIntyre said in his opening remarks.
Brice Hickey, 2013 Brooke High School graduate, was recognized as the first-place winner for the state scholarship and the Elks National Foundation Legacy Award. John Dugas, 2013 Burgettstown High School graduate, was recognized as the state Senior Teenager of the Year. Becca Rae Ball, a Weir High School student, was recognized as the second-place winner for the state Americanism essay. The youth were recognized as part of the Elks National Foundation Most Valuable scholarship program.
Past state presidents were recognized. Those Weirton Lodge members included were Paul K. Berwinkle, 1951; Paul T. Duffy, 1976; Donald Finnegan, 1988; and Vince Gurrera, 2010.