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08 - Southwest District Americanism Committee PDF Print E-mail
SWD Americanism Committee

Committee Members


David Matyas (2514)
email: dsmatyas@comcast.net
Phone: 609-864-4670

Lodge Chairpersons:

Trenton #105
Mount Holly #848
Hightstown #1955
Bordentown #2085
Hamilton #2262
New Egypt #2457
Marlton #2514
Edgewater Park #2550
Deptford #2708

Louis Eggert
Mary Miller
Lorraine Bernas
Sharon Sharpe
Ed Beideman
Gina Mellon
David Maytas
Barbara Horowitz-Rigg
Marie Sadler


Committee Meeting Schedule

The District Americanism,  National Veterans Service (NVS) Committees have decided to merge operations so as to provide a better program for our lodges and improve participation in district-sponsored events. Lodges are free to continue with separate chairs if they so desire, with both chairs attending district meetings.

Meetings are generally on the third Thursday of the month and begin at 7:30PM unless otherwise specified. THIS IS A CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR !!  For specific information and meeting locations, click here for the district meeting schedule.

Lodge and District Events

Watch this space for an announcement on the upcoming events

State Americanism Challenge

In effort to promote interest and participation in our Americanism programs, a series of challenges will be issued throughout the year. Districts will be challenged to achieve 100% participation in a series of easily attainable Americanism projects. Lodge Chairpersons with 100% participation in all 5 projects will receive a special edition lapel pin; District Chairpersons will be awarded points based on their Lodges’ participation in all of the projects and will also be recognized in Wildwood.

The challenges are:

Flag Day Challenge (June)

Each Lodge must submit a photo from their Flag Day service. Photos will be displayed at Fall Conference and at Wildwood.

Patriot Week (September)

The Patriot Week project entails observance of Patriot Day, proclamations and services performed with other civic organizations. Lodges must submit a report on their activity to complete this challenge. (Photos are welcome, but not required.)

Local Hero Recognition (December)

The Local Hero Recognition program is a fun thing to do and entails submission of a photo. To complete this project, Lodges will invite a Local Hero (firefighter, EMT, teacher, Scout Leader) to a dinner, holiday party, or other social event and present them with a Certificate of Appreciation; Lodges can also present a small donation to the organization if feasible.

Essay Contest (January)

Each Lodge is to submit at least one essay for the contest. Essays can come from schools, Scouting groups, or children of members. One essay counts as participation.

Heritage Corner Presentation (February)

The final project for the year will happen in February, around Presidents’ week. Each Lodge will present a local school with a Heritage Corner kit. The kits are very affordable (around $6.00) thru Grand Lodge. Photos of the presentation will be submitted to complete the project.

Bonus Project – Americanism Brochure

Assemble a binder cataloguing all of your Americanism Activities, including articles from Lodge Bulletins, articles and pictures of Lodge Participation in community activities, parade activity, Veterans programs, patriotic programs with other Lodge committees, and of course, your Challenge project photos. This binder can be used during Indoctrination to show our new members what Elks do. Lodge chairpersons that complete all five challenge projects and submit an entry to the Americanism Brochure contest will receive a certificate and the coveted “110% Pin”.


Americanism Essay Contest

The theme for the 2013-2014 Americanism Essay has not been selected. Check back later in the summer for updates.

Mission Statement of the Americanism Committee

The ambition and goal of the Americanism Committee is to quicken the spirit of American patriotism and to stimulate an awareness — a genuine feeling of pride and respect toward patriotism — so that we as Members of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will become constant reminders to the people of our Nation that America truly means freedom and that Elks Care and Elks Share.

Our NJ state Americanism chairperson Eileen Brennan-Watts would like the local lodges to participate in the Americanism activities which are listed on page "2" of the Americanism Manual. The manual is available on the members area of The Grand Lodge website under "manuals".Along with the utilization of the Grand Lodge website, she encouraged the use of email communication to and from local lodges with myself as the conduit for forwarding your local lodge activities and pictures. There will be a Facebook page for the state Americanism committee which will display those pictures and any reported information. The pictures will also be displayed at the Fall Conference and the Wildwood Reunion. An Americanism Committee patch is being planned, as well as a pin, which will be sold as an Americanism state fundraiser.The title for the 2015-2016 Americanism essay contest is:                 "What I Can Do to Promote Americanism and Love of Country"The deadline for local lodge submissions is December 18th, 2015. So please try to have the essays returned to your lodges by that date. Please submit the judged entries for submission to the district by January 30th 2016. Do not forget about Patriot's week in September and there is a Southwest District Flag Retirement planned on October 4th at Marlton Lodge. We are anticipating another great year for Americanism, and I would like to thank all of the past and present chairpersons as well as our joint committee, for their support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. dsmatyas@gmail.com. The Southwest District shines because of you!!!!

Thank You,David MatyasSouthwest District Americanism Chairperson

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 September 2015 17:43