Houlton Region

Island Falls youth wins Elks essay award

ISLAND FALLS, Maine – Ashlyn York, an eighth-grade student at Southern Aroostook Community School, was recently chosen as the recipient of the 2021-2022 Elks Americanism Essay Contest. 

York’s essay “What does it mean to love your country,” was advanced to the state competition for Division II (seventh- and eight-grade) by first being selected at the local level by Houlton Lodge of Elks No. 835. 

Kim Russell, eighth-grade teacher at SACS, had her class participate in the 2021-2022 Americanism Essay Contest. Four essays from Russell’s class were chosen and sent to the District level for review.

Ashlyn York, an eighth-grader at Southern Aroostook Community School, was selected by the Maine State Elks Association as the Division II Essay contest winner. (Courtesy of Elizabeth Grant)

York’s essay advanced from that group to compete at the state level. 

York and her family were invited by Houlton Elks Lodge 835 to attend the Elks State Convention held in Auburn ME on April 30 to receive her award and read her essay. 

“Ashlyn stood in front of a packed convention room and read her essay, and when she finished reading, the room was in awe and she received a standing ovation,” said Elizabeth Grant, Houlton’s exalted ruler.

She is the daughter of Rick and Tera York of Island Falls.

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