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It was the 25th anniversary of the American Legion Auxiliary’s Buckeye Girls State program when a young Elaine Lotz walked onto the campus of Capitol University as a delegate selected from Hardin Northern. She was unaware this would start a lifetime commitment.
Two years later, Elaine returned to Buckeye Girls State (BGS) as an advisor. This marks her 40th consecutive year serving as an advisor on the totally volunteer staff.
Over the years, Elaine has served as a a BGS advisor in a variety of capacities. She began as a city government advisor, then after eight years, moved to advise the BGS House of Representatives.
For the last 21 years, she has been in charge of the BGS Senate. In 2009, Elaine and fellow BGS advisor and friend, Diane Morgan of Marion, were given the ultimate chance of lifetime to serve on the government staff of the American Auxiliary’s Girls Nation program held near Washington, D.C.
The Girls State program has been held at Capitol University, Ashland University and most recently at the University of Mount Union. Elaine has seen many changes in the girls’ fashions and in the program’s schedule throughout her years at BGS, but the main purpose of the program has remained constant – to give selected 16- and 17-year-old girls a hands-on experience to learn about the workings of city county and state government, as well as understand the campaign and election to office process.
Elaine is married to Kevin Hoover and they reside in Roeland Park, Kan. She works as at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kan., as a mathematics teacher. She is the daughter of Evelyn Lotz of Kenton and the late Herschel Lotz.
Elaine is truly a dedicated volunteer for the American Legion Auxiliary’s Buckeye Girls State program. She has always believed that it is a fabulous opportunity for teenage girls to experience. Therefore, she does not mind the 15-hour drive from Kansas to serve for a week each June.
“Sometimes I think about ‘retiring,’ but I would feel guilty not helping the program because I know that the Auxiliary needs many willing volunteers to keep the BGS program strong,” Elaine said.