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Elks name citizen of the year

April 24, 2013
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Pine Island Elks Lodge presented three awards, as well as two certificates to individuals, Friday, April 12.

The Elk of the Year was presented to Vicki Stanford, the Officer of the Year was presented to Dennis Igoe and the Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award was given to Elsie Stearns.

Elks Lodge Secretary Carol Neilsen said the club has worked with Stearns quite a bit over the years through the various banks she is associated with. She said she is also instrumental in the community activities like the Bobby Holloway Fishing Tournament and a board of director for the Beacon of H.O.P.E.

Article Photos

Elsie Stearns was presented with the Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award during a special ceremony at the Pine Island Elks Lodge Friday, April 12.

Stearns has served on the Matlacha Pine Island Fire Control District as a commissioner chairperson from 1998-2005, was on the steering committee for Habitat for Humanity for a Pine Island Home in 2004-2005, Bobby Holloway Memorial Fund board since 1999, volunteer at Pine Island Elementary School, volunteer at Trafalgar Elementary from 2005 until the present, as well as a board member for the Beacon of H.O.P.E. since 2010.

Stearns has been a resident on Pine Island for 34 years.

Neilsen said they choose a citizen every year for the award who exemplifies outstanding involvement in community affairs.

"I am very humble and appreciative," Stearns said. "When you love Pine Island as much as I love Pine Island, it's an easy thing to do. There is nothing I've ever done on this island that people weren't thankful for."

Stearns described April 12 as another special night on Pine Island. She said she is always willing and eager to give back to the community she loves.

"It's easy when your career allows you to give back," Stearns said of the community service. "I'm in a position to give back."

As a mother of two and a grandmother of four, she hopes there will be decades to come that the Stearns will continue to give back.

"Scott and I have instilled that into our children," Stearns said of giving back to the community in which they live.

The act of community service was instilled in Stearns as a young girl as she watched her father put on company picnics and start bowling leagues.

"I, at a very young age, could see the fulfillment of that," she said of watching her father give back to the community.

Unfortunately Stearns father died at the age of 56.

"It comforts me to know that I am following in his footsteps," she said.

Two certificates, the Meritorious Award, were presented to Robert Hooper and Duane Stanford.

"We award these every year," Neilsen said. "Recipients are treated to a nice catered dinner, music for dancing. An enjoyable evening all around."

Citizen of the Year

Elsie Stearns was presented with the Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award during a special ceremony at

the Pine Island Elks Lodge Friday, April 12.




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