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Stephens Story

Stephens Story
Lowell Stephens recently made a planned gift to the ENF, so that he could leave behind his legacy. "Our beloved Foundation has something for everyone from youth to elderly and everyone in between," says Stephens. "That's why I chose to enroll in the John F. Malley Society."

Lowell D. Stephens
Alamogordo, N.M., Lodge No. 1897

It was the summer of 1975 and Lowell Stephens of Alamogordo, N.M., needed to teach his young sons Greg and Jeff how to swim. Having already attended the "Annual Alamogordo Lodge Luau," Stephens knew the Lodge had a pool and offered swimming lessons. Hearing the Eleven O'Clock Toast at the event and inspired by its moving words, he decided to join the Elks.

"It made sense to accomplish both things at once," says Stephens. "It was also a place that welcomed kids and families."

The Stephens family embraced Elkdom beyond learning the backstroke and butterfly. The same sons who learned to tread water in the Lodge pool became Exalted Rulers of the Lodge years later. Stephens regards serving as the Grand Exalted Ruler, the presiding officer, at his sons' ER installations as his proudest Elk moments. Stephens has also fulfilled terms as ER, District Deputy, New Mexico Elks Association State President, Grand Lodge Membership Committee Chair and a member of the Board of Grand Trustees. To further show his devotion to Elkdom, Stephens joined the Elks National Foundation's John F. Malley Society, which recognizes individuals who have included the Foundation in their estate plans.

"Our beloved Foundation has something for everyone from youth to elderly and everyone in between," says Stephens who is a Permanent Benefactor of the Foundation. "That's why I donate annually to the Elks National Foundation and why I chose to enroll in the John F. Malley Society."

Lesson learned

Stephens first heard about the society when he noticed PGER Roger True wearing an unfamiliar pin. The Foundation awards the pin, along with a medallion, to members of the society. Once True explained the pin, Stephens felt ashamed to not be a part of the society and he joined soon after. By including the Elks National Foundation in his will, he hopes to leave a lasting legacy that will serve as an example to fellow Elks.

"We must share with those less fortunate, and it will be returned in abundance-not just in monetary returns but as a great feeling of helping others," says Stephens. "I feel that any member who doesn't contribute at least $10 per year to the ENF has not been fully informed of the good the Foundation does for many, many people."

Fast Acting

For other members thinking of making a planned gift to the Foundation, Stephens urges that they should act now and not hesitate. For him, knowing that the ENF supports Elks youth programs assured him that making a planned gift was the right choice.

"Through the Foundation, we have made a definite impact on the future of so many people," says Stephens. "I challenge anyone to listen to the ENF's national scholarship winners speak at the Grand Lodge Convention and not want to stand and cheer with tears in their eyes."

To read about other John F. Malley Society members, learn more about planned giving vehicles or to download a society application, please visit www.elks.org/enf/plannedgiving. To inform us that you've included the ENF in your estate plans, contact Kate Keating Edsey at KateE@elks.org or 773/755-4866.

ENF Donor Bill of Rights