Rozell named Exalted Ruler of Elks

Hillary Rozell CMYK“I have homework to do,” Hillary Rozell said, referring to her major goal as the new Exalted Ruler of Whitehall Elks 1491. And what is that goal?

“I would like to apply for grants to support our youth activities,” said Mrs. Rozell, wife of Joseph Rozell, who is also an Elks member. Mrs. Rozell will assume her new duties on Tuesday, April 1.

Mrs. Rozell, who has risen up five ranks in the lodge in six years, outlined some but not all of the youth programs the club supports:

The youths are, of course, involved in the high school Honor Society and the Antlers Group, where the children are taught why and how to become an Elk in adulthood.

There are plenty of sports programs, such as soccer shoot, hula hoop, and softball, too.

But the problem with grants is the restrictions that come with them.

“It is tricky,” Mrs. Rozell said, referring to grants, “because each grant has a specific cause attached to it.”

Confessing that interviews made her as nervous as anyone else, Mrs. Rozell said, “I don’t like public speaking, but I do have goals.” She added that it would take considerable study of various grant applications to fit them precisely to the correct youth activity in need of cash.

“Grants are so cause specific,” she repeated. “Each comes equipped with lots of restrictions.”

In general, Mrs. Rozell said that during her time as exalted ruler she would work to have more activity at the Elks Ball Field Pavilion. Used principally for softball, Mrs. Rozell said she would like to see the ball field used for horseshoes and volley ball, and for more family and community get-togethers.

A genial not political transition

In honor of the transition from Julie Egan to Hillary Rozell, the Elks recently took out a full-page advertisement, full of information about Elks events, and with letters from both Mrs. Egan, outgoing exalted ruler, and Mrs. Rozell.

Despite the formality of the advertisement, Mrs. Rozell said the change-over was not a case of the Obama administration replacing the Bush.

“We all work together,” she said. For example, she said that even the children involved in the club were ready to work when called.

“If you ever need an extra set of hands, they are always there,” she said.

A great organization

Mrs. Rozell said the Elks was a “great organization.” So devoted to the club is she that she plans to give her daughter, Meagan, a student at Russell Sage College, an Elks Club application as a birthday gift when she turns 21. The Rozell’s other daughter, Taylor, is a junior at Whitehall High School.

Asked how she came to join the Elks, Mrs. Rozell explained, “It happened because I was a co-leader in the Girl Scouts. The Elks let us use their building for meetings. I felt it was time to give back, so I became an Elk,” she said.

Both Joseph and Hillary joined the club, she said, at the instigation of member Orson Kingsley. She added that it was Elk Kyle Gordon who “asked me to be his esquire.”

More than 400 members

Although Mrs. Rozell said she was nervous at public speaking, there was nothing tentative about her pride in her organization. She said that membership exceeded 400 and included townships outside Whitehall, including Granville, Hampton and towns in Vermont. In fact, Mrs. Rozell is a Granville native, the former Hillary Ward, a graduate of Granville High School’s Class of 1990. She is employed by the U.S. Postal Service in Granville.

Membership is open to anyone, Mrs. Rozell said, although an Elk member has to propose an applicant for membership. As an example, she pointed to a square in the Elks advertisement that stated “James St. Clair proposes for membership, Elizabeth Trombley of Whitehall.

Quite near that square was another square that showed four new members had been initiated at the meeting on March 5. The next meeting of Elks Lodge 1491 will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16.

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