Montague Elks Lodge awards $2.5K to student groups for charity work

  • Steve Dacyczyn of the Montague Elks Lodge (right) presents Turners Falls High School’s School Resource Officer Dan Miner (left) and Athletic Director Adam Graves (center) with a $2,500 check on Tuesday. Staff Photo/Julian Mendoza

  • Athletic Director Adam Graves (left) and School Resource Officer Dan Miner (right) pose with student representatives from the Athletic Leadership Council (front row) and members of the Montague Elks Lodge (back row). Students from left to right: Emily Young, Nikolas Martin, Owen LaValley and Paige Sulda. Elks Lodge representatives from left to right: Keith Ball, Steve Dacyczyn, and Judy Dacyczyn. Staff Photo/Julian Mendoza

  • Keith Ball of the Montague Elks Lodge presents Turners Falls High School’s Athletic Leadership Council and Helping Hands Committee with a $2,500 check on Tuesday. Staff Photo/Julian Mendoza

  • Keith Ball of the Montague Elks Lodge, at left, presents Turners Falls High School’s Athletic Leadership Council and Helping Hands Committee with a $2,500 check on Tuesday. Staff Photo/Julian Mendoza

Staff Writer
Published: 1/25/2022 4:49:33 PM
Modified: 1/25/2022 4:48:16 PM

TURNERS FALLS — Montague Elks Lodge 2521 presented a $2,500 check to Turners Falls High School’s Athletic Leadership Council and Helping Hands Committee for their charity work within the community during a school assembly Tuesday morning.

The Athletic Leadership Council, an organization of student athletes in good academic standing, and Helping Hands Committee, a school charity organization, have served the school district’s disadvantaged families in a variety of ways. Recently, the organizations collaborated to plan fundraisers and food drives during school sporting events to support a large-scale season of giving where dozens of meals were donated to families around the holidays.

Four student representatives from these groups were joined by physical education teacher and Athletic Director Adam Graves and School Resource Officer Dan Miner to accept the check at the all-school meeting Tuesday. With this funding, Gill-Montague Regional School District Superintendent Brian Beck said, students now have a greater opportunity to serve the community that they might not have otherwise.

Christopher Barnes, principal of Turners Falls High School and Great Falls Middle School, said receiving the $2,500 served to “extend that pride” the town has in the Montague Elks Lodge.

“It means a lot to stay connected to the Elks and the community in this manner,” Barnes said.

Graves, who helps lead the student groups, expressed gratitude that the money is delegated specifically to the school community. The money, he said, enables the Athletic Leadership Council and Helping Hands Committee to provide more meals and winter clothing to families in need.

“I think we’re able to expand on the number of kids we help,” Graves said of the award’s impact. “It takes pressure off of us to fundraise and bug people.”

“We hope that helps a lot,” the Elks Lodge’s Steve Dacyczyn said when presenting the check.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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