The 40th annual Elks Valedictorian Scholarship Night honored the top academic students from seventeen area high schools Thursday, May 24th at the Roanoke Lodge No. 197, B.P.O. Elks on Persinger Rd.
Valedictorians from Cave Spring, Craig County, Faith Christian, Franklin County, Glenvar, Hidden Valley, James River, Lord Botetourt, North Cross, Northside, Patrick Henry, Roanoke Catholic, Roanoke Valley Christian, Salem, Staunton River, William Byrd and William Fleming High Schools were honored with a banquet and motivational speech from Melissa Peace Pumo of Constructive Learning Design.
Presiding was Justin Mummey, along with Youth Activities Committee Chairman Dave Ross and committee members Kathy Duncan and Susie Spiers.
The Elks Roanoke Lodge 197 also awarded 13 college scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000 to winners from the local high schools, plus Blacksburg High School and a home schooler. Ross noted that the Elks Clubs are one of largest scholarship awarding organizations in the country.
Scholarship winners included Asaunte Askey (Franklin County HS), Gracie Fisher (Patrick Henry), Syndney Fisher (Patrick Henry), Jonathan Halferty (Patrick Henry), Kendall Kelley (Blacksburg), Brooke Leftwich (Cave Spring), Lexis Mason (William Byrd), Lois Miller (Northside), Emily Moore (Blacksburg), Christopher Quiroz (Faith Christian), Garren Snow (Salem), Hannah Tyler (Hidden Valley) and Nathaniel Vaughn (Home School).
“This really helps me a lot,” Asaunte Askey said during an interview at the banquet. Askey will be attending the University of Colorado-Denver where she will study broadcasting and journalism.
“I’m excited to be going there in July. My brother bet me I wouldn’t get in school there, and I’ve never even been to Colorado.” Askey was part of the outstanding broadcasting class from Franklin County High School that has produced high school football telecasts for several years on Roanoke-area stations.
Cave Spring’s Brooke Leftwich, who will attend Virginia Tech in the fall, echoed her appreciation to the Elks.
“It means a lot for my education,” Leftwich noted. “I want to pursue a masters degree in business and every bit counts.” Leftwich was the Group 3 state diving champion this year, and will continue to compete on the Hokie diving team.