Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw signed a proclamation Thursday designating Sept. 6-12, 2010, as National Patriotism Week.
Brazil Elks Lodge No. 762 Public Relations Chairman Tony Vester and Exalted Ruler Ernie Erwin were on hand at City Hall for the signing and explained the purpose of the week.
"For at least 50 years, the Elks have promoted Americanism and designated the second week of September as National Patriotism Week," Vester told The Brazil Times. "It is a way to promote proper display of the flag and what it should mean."
Vester added the Brazil lodge is one of more than 2,000 in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam.
In conjunction with National Patriotism Week, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has announced the theme for its 2010-11 Grand Lodge Americanism Essay Contest.
"The theme this year is, 'Why I am Proud to be an American,'" Vestor said. "The Elks have had an annual essay contest for at least 20 years."
The contest is open to all fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students.
According to contest rules, the essay must be less than 250 words, be either typed or legibly printed in ink and submitted -- by the entrant -- to the Elks Lodge nearest to the entrant's address. In addition, the participant must be identified by name, grade, school and sponsoring Elks Lodge on the Essay.
Prizes will be awarded by the Grand Lodge for first-, second- and third-place winners on the national level during the Grand Lodge Session in Phoenix, Ariz., July 17-21, 2011.
Participants are split into two divisions -- one for fifth- and sixth-grade students, and the other for seventh- and eighth-grade students.
In both divisions, the first-place national winning essay will be awarded a $1,000 United States Savings Bond, second-place will win a $500 savings bond and a $250 savings bond will go to the third-place participant.
Essays must be submitted to the local Elks Lodge on or before January 10, 2011. The Brazil Elks Lodge No. 762 is located at 19 S. Sherfey St., with a mailing address of PO Box 250, Brazil, Ind., 47834-0250.