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Graves Story

Graves Story

For N. Todd Graves of DeKalb, Ill., Lodge No. 765, the Elks National Foundation merits attention. He loves the ENF as a long-time, second-generation Elk and retired educator should. Scholarship programs are his favorite, though Graves values all the charitable programs of the ENF. He especially appreciates the way the Foundation makes the most of Elks' generosity. That's why he is so generous himself.

"Ten dollars is a start, and it helps, but I saw a greater need and I have a greater capacity to help," Graves explains. "So I give more to the ENF now each year, and I joined the John F. Malley Society."

Named for the Past Grand Exalted Ruler and founder of the Elks National Foundation, the John F. Malley Society recognizes and celebrates donors who choose to make a planned gift to the ENF. Graves claims membership with pride since he and his wife named the ENF in their will.

No Map Required

Graves taught seventh-grade geography for 35 years. His wife, Lois, is also a retired elementary school teacher. Together, they decided to include the ENF as one of only two beneficiaries of their estate. They trust ENF programs. In particular, they're inspired by the $3.64 million in college scholarships the ENF awards to young scholars each year.

"Seeing students work through the educational process has been very rewarding," Graves explains. "I want to see kids have the opportunity to go to school, and I want to be sure the [scholarship] money gets used properly."

Following his father's lead, Graves joined the Elks more than 42 years ago. At the age of 26, he served as the youngest Exalted Ruler for Beloit, Wisc., Lodge No. 864. Be began supporting the Foundation after reading some brochures and learning more about it. He's now a Silver level donor.

"The ENF fosters the highest principles of our Order," he asserts. "People should know who John F. Malley is."

In 1928, Malley dreamed of a permanent endowment fund that would support the Order's philanthropic works, one that would "unite the forces of the Order into a mighty army for the service of mankind." His vision thrives as the Elks National Foundation, and is extended by Graves support and enthusiasm in promoting it.

Numbers Are the Key

With a list of intriguing hobbies and accolades, including an extensive camera collection, and having led multiple students to the state level of the National Geography Bee, one can learn a lot from Todd Graves. However, when speaking of the Elks, Graves chooses to educate others on ENF.

"I'm more interested in the charitable efforts and giving side of the Elks," Graves describes of his membership. "The Elks handle charity very well."

He references the high 89.5 percent of ENF dollars spent on grants, scholarships and other programs in 2008-09, as opposed to the low 10.5 percent spent on administrative expenses. "That's an impressive number!" he exclaims. "I like that ratio."

Whether he's home in Belvidere, Ill., or wintering in Tucson with his wife, Lois, and the warm weather, Graves has a simple observation: "People should be considering the John F. Malley Society."

To discuss making a planned gift to the Elks National Foundation, please contact Kate Keating Edsey at KateE@elks.org or 773-755-4866, and visit www.enfplannedgiving.org. Learn more about the John F. Malley Society at www.elks.org/enf/MalleySociety.cfm.

ENF Donor Bill of Rights