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Rutherford Chamber of Commerce Featured Member: Rutherford Elks Lodge

By Rutherford Elks Lodge Members

Since today's youth are tomorrow's leaders, the Rutherford Elks are committed to our youth programs which are designed to provide youth with safe, character-building, skill-developing activities in our community. Key programs include:


Youth Recognition

Student of the Month at Rutherford High School

Student of the Month - The Lodge partners with Rutherford High School to recognize the Student of the Month in each of the grade levels. We are honored to be able to present each of the Student of the Month winners with an official Elks certificate, American flag, and Dunkin Donuts gift card.

Eagle Scout Recognition - This program recognizes the fine young men and women who have reached the outstanding EAGLE rank, the highest in Scouts BSA. The lodge is honored to participate in the Eagle ‘Court of Honor’ and present an Elk certificate, pin, and cash award to the Eagle Scout. 

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement for Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors. This level is only open to high school Girl Scouts who complete the demanding prerequisites. The Silver Award level is for Cadettes in grades 6-8 who have completed a rigorous 8-step program. The Girl Scout Bronze Award level is awarded to Girl Scout Juniors. As with the EAGLE scout, girls who achieve these levels are honored and presented with the applicable Elk certificate and cash award.


National Youth Week

National Youth Week Proclamation

National Youth Week, May 1-7, is an excellent youth observance intended to reach out to more boys and girls in the community and serve them in a helpful, honorable, and constructive way. To ensure we have as much community involvement as possible, the Lodge engages with the Mayor and his Council, the Police Department, schools, and local businesses to sponsor and participate in special youth events. This year's events included a Youth Week Proclamation, Teen Band Night at the Lodge, Special Student of the Week awards to Union Middle School students co-sponsored by Ferazzoli's, and partnering with the Rutherford Police Department and Dairy Queen to provide ice cream gift certificates to children wearing their helmets and following bike safety rules.



On June 2nd, Rutherford Elks Lodge #547 was proud to institute Rutherford Antlers Lodge #41 with 21 Charter Members. “The Antlers” is a youth program of the Elks that focuses on American Patriotism, respect for parents, love of home, good citizenship, building character, and support of worthy causes in the community while practicing the principle of Charity.

This ‘Junior Elks’ Program is for young adults aged 12–20 (they do not have to be related to an Elks member to join). In addition to assisting the Elks with their events, the Antlers run their own lodge meetings, elect their own officers, and plan their own fundraising and social events. 


Other Antlers Benefits:

Develop leadership skills

Acquire service hours for volunteering

Enhance college applications

Obtain life skills and learn meeting protocols/procedures

Make new friends and enhance social skills

Eligibility for scholarships offered by the Elks

 Sports Programs

Elks Hoop Shoot -The Elks Hoop Shoot is a free throw program for youth ages 8-13 which has been unleashing grit and building champions for over 50 years. Local winners participate in the District competition and can advance through State/Regional rounds up to National where winners have their name and picture listed in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Elks Soccer Shoot - The Elks Soccer Shoot program consists of two different contests open to girls and boys.

Five-Goal Contest: consists of a series of five goals, decreasing in size from 48 inches to 17 inches. The five-goal contest is for Under 8, which includes ages seven and younger.

Grid Goal Contest: consists of a full-size goal sectioned off so points can be scored when the ball is kicked into certain sections. The age groups that use this goal are ages 8-9, ages 10-11, ages 12-13, and ages 14-15. 


Other Youth Programs


Drug Awareness


The Elks Drug Awareness Program strives to teach all children and parents about the dangers of illegal drug use and prevent the abuse of legalized and prescription drugs. From a young age, the Drug Awareness Program asks kids to think about what it means to be drug-free and provides the education necessary to enable them to choose to live a healthy, drug-free life. Some of our programs include:

Poster, Essay, and Video Contests:

The poster contest is for 3rd-5th graders, the essay contest is for 6th-8th graders, and the Video contest is for High school students. We partner with the Rutherford Schools to make the contests part of the school curriculum. For three years in a row, our students have won first place at the District and State levels. Through these programs, kids can express their feelings about peer pressure, bullying, drug use, etc.

Path & Peer Leadership Conferences:

The Path to Leadership conference is a one-day event for 6th-8th graders while the Peer Leadership conference is a weekend event for High School students. During these conferences, the students attend keynote presentations and workshops specifically tailored to issues our youth face today. The sessions are highly interactive and keep the students engaged. At night students attending the Peer Leadership Conference enjoy social activities and form bonds with each other that will last for years to come. Each year we apply for and receive a grant so that we can sponsor as many students as possible. We hope that the students who attend will take the information back to their peers and serve as role models in the community.

National Night Out:

This annual event is promoted by various law enforcement agencies to increase awareness of their programs. It usually takes place at Lincoln Park. We participate by setting up a table and distributing Drug Awareness color books, crayons, bookmarks, and other informational material. We also promote the Walk Out on Drugs.

Walk Out on Drugs:

This is an annual fundraiser for the Path and Peer Leadership conferences. At the start of the walk, there are tables with representatives from various agencies such as the Bergen County Department of Addiction Services, Police Departments, Care Plus, etc. They provide a lot of useful information regarding resources available in our community. There are also presentations on issues such as drug trends, peer pressure, alcohol, vaping, etc. It is always a fun event with plenty of food at the start and end of the walk.

Rutherford Day:

This event usually takes place in the Fall and is held at Memorial Field. This year it will be held on September 21st. We will set up a table where we will distribute Drug Awareness materials and promote the Walk Out on Drugs.


Since 1931, the Elks National Foundation has helped students recognize their academic dreams. Each year, more than $3 million in college scholarships are awarded to at least 850 outstanding, service-minded students. In addition, scholarships are also granted at the NJ State and local lodge levels as well.

The National Benevolent and Protection Order of the Elks, headquartered in Chicago, provides several scholarship opportunities for high school seniors. These scholarships (Most Valuable Student and ENF Legacy Awards) can range from $1k to $7.5k for each of 4 years.

The Elks National Foundation also provides Emergency Education Grants. The link to these applications is available to all online at The scoring process is multi-layered, first by the lodge, then by the state, and then at the national level.

At the NJ State level, there are also scholarships available to high school seniors who will be attending 4-year college (Family Scholarship), a senior who will be pursuing vocational studies (Vocational Scholarship) or a senior with Special Needs (NJ Special Children's). These scholarships are about $1k. Scoring occurs at the state level and applications are available on the NJ Elks internet site.  

At the Rutherford Elks Lodge #547 level, scholarships between $500-$900 are awarded to high school students who have stood out but may not have received one of the previously mentioned scholarships.   

Each year, the Elks Lodge #547 scholarship chair provides all scholarship information to the guidance office at St. Mary's High School, Henry P. Becton Regional High School, and Rutherford High School. 

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