Debbie Oskin, in one of her final actions as the Exalted Ruler of the Mesquite Elks Lodge #2811, named several individuals for their extraordinary service to the community and the Lodge during the annual Pins and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 14, 2015. Dan Wright, Senior Vice President of Bank of Nevada, was named the Elks Citizen-of-the-Year. Rick McDonald, Elks Leading Knight, was named the Officer-of-the-Year. Dennis Baylor was named Elk-of-the-Year. And, Larry Todd was named Outstanding Elk Member Volunteer-of-the-Year. In addition, many members were awarded with Service Pins for their years as Elks members including: Jack Herdt, 50 years; Harold Sersland, 50 years; Larry Stricker, 50 years; Rick Urdahl, 50 years; and Ronald Stephenson, 60 years. Dorothy McMurray, Jim’s widow, proudly accepted his 55-year pin posthumously. Jim passed away suddenly on March 3. McMurray’s Daughter, Susan, also received her five-year pin and will carry on her father’s legacy of service in the Elks organization.
Exalted Ruler Oskin commended Dan Wright Elks Citizen-of-the-Year award for his outstanding service to the community. Wright helped start the Virgin Valley Little League three years ago and serves as the League President as well as a coach to his son Cameron’s Little League team. Dan is a Board Member of the Exchange Club, Mesquite Regional Business, and Premier Adoption Agency. Wright is a leader in his church where he provides spiritual and temporal support to local members. Among his numerous volunteer contributions to the community, Wright implemented a program called Financial Literacy Lessons, where he reads to elementary students at J.L. Bowler and Virgin Valley Elementary Schools.
Rick McDonald, Officer-of-the-Year recipient, who has been elected to serve as Exalted Ruler for the 2015-16 Elks fraternal year, has devoted countless volunteer hours to the Elks according to Oskin. McDonald joined the Elks approximately five years ago and almost immediately found himself in a leadership position.
Dennis Baylor, named Elk-of-the-Year, is the organizer of the annual Mesquite Elks Golf Tournament for charity. Oskin commended him for doing an outstanding job in this capacity as well as in his dedication as Activities Chair for the Lodge. The Mesquite Elks Golf Tournament generates the most notoriety and fund raising for the Lodge charitable activities of any event held by the Lodge annually.
Oskin stated that Larry Todd was selected as Outstanding Elk Member Volunteer-of-the-Year for his many hours devoted to public relations for the Lodge and his untiring volunteerism for the many events held by the Lodge.
Dorothy Gentry, an Elk widow and President of the Elk Ladies, was also recognized for her generous service to the Lodge along with the Ladies in her organization. The Elk Ladies have a long tradition of assisting the Elks with their charitable activities in the Community.
Oskin acknowledged that these were hard choices because there are so many members who are dedicated to serving the community and the Mesquite Elks Lodge. She commended each of the recipients and thanked the entire membership of the Elks Lodge for their ongoing charity and service.