CRESTVIEW — The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks organization is organizing a patriotic essay contest.

The theme is "Why Our Veterans Are America's Heroes." The contest is open to students enrolled in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades during the 2017-2018 school calendar year preceding June 30, 2018. Local schools have been contacted and are aware of this essay contest.

Mayor David Cadle of Crestview has joined the Elks in proclaiming Sept. 11-17 National Patriotism Week. Cadle signed this proclamation and gave it to Crestview Lodge 2624 Exalted Ruler Bob Daniel and Esteemed Lecturing Knight and Americanism Chairwoman Jean Daniel.

"The members of Crestview Lodge 2624 want to thank Mayor Cadle for his support," an Elks media release states. "We urge all citizens to join with Mayor Cadle and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in expressing gratitude for the privilege of American citizenship. God bless America!"

The BPOE, founded in 1868, serves local communities through programs such as Adopt a Vet, Exceptional Children's Day, Kids on the Water, Hoop Shoot, Drug Awareness programs in conjunction with local law enforcement organizations, and in-home therapy for thousands of children across Florida.