Minden-Douglas Elks Lodge No. 2670 sponsors the annual Americanism essay contest where students from fifth through eighth grades in Douglas County have the opportunity to write an essay of 250 words or less. This year's theme of the essay as selected by the Elks National Grand Lodge was "What Freedom Means to Me."
Nine judges evaluated 158 essays and all three winners from the fifth and sixth grades were from Minden Elementary School. Certificates and cash awards were presented to the winners at their school on Jan. 23.
First place went to fifth-grader Gabriel Poole who received $75, second was Alex Tessmann, sixth grade, who received $50 and fifth-grader Christian Eckert received $25 as the third-place winner.