Essay Contest Rules - $1,000 Odd Fellows Annual Scholarship


Answer the Question:

"What Can Odd Fellows Do Best to Help the Community?"

With so many ways that people make a difference in their community, what can Odd Fellows do?

Odd Fellows are all about Friendship, Love and Truth. But what about you? Are you all about Friendship? What does it mean to you? To enter our contest, complete the entry forms below and send your essay telling us in at least 300 words what Friendship means to you. You could win $1,000 toward your degree.

Past Winners

Jordan Dodson of Santa Maria won our 3rd annual essay scholarship contest in 2020. Jordan is attending University of California Los Angeles studying biomechanical engineering.

Isaiah Sanchez of Santa Maria won our 2nd annual essay scholarship contest in 2019. Isaiah graduated from Lompoc High School and is attending Allan Hancock College.

Cassi Colangelo of Santa Maria won our 1st annual essay scholarship contest in 2018. Cassi attends University of California Los Angeles and plans to become a school principal.

2022 Essay Contest Official Rules

Essay Contest Prize

One finalist will receive a scholarship award of $1,000 payable to a college or university of choice of the winner.

The Essay Contest Prizes are sponsored by the Lompoc Odd Fellows.


Contest is officially launched with publication on our website.
Letters announcing the contest are sent to respective high school principals and school district offices and press release for general media.

Deadline for entries submitted by mail, web and email.

Five finalists will be selected by lodge committee and notified.

Finalists invited to read their essays at our lodge or by Zoom.

Winner is selected and announced after essays are read.

The winner and their school will be notified by email and phone and letter before this date.

This contest is open to students in the following school districts...

Blochman Union Elementary
Lompoc Unified
Orcutt Union Elementary
Santa Maria Joint Union High
Santa Ynez Valley Union High
SBE – Olive Grove Charter


  • High school seniors of the qualifying school districts are asked to write and submit an essay based on the theme of the Essay Contest (for that year) in 300 to 1,000 words.
  • Entry form on our website at the bottom of this page.
  • Students may enter the 2022 contest by the March 31, 2022, deadline one of THREE ways:

    (1) BY MAIL: Download the entry form, collect required signatures and then mail it in by US Post with the printed essay. Mailed entries postmarked after the deadline will not be considered.

    (2) BY EMAIL: Download the entry form, fill it out completely, use a camera to take a picture of (or scan) the signed entry form and email the picture with a PDF of the essay by the deadline.

    (3) BY UPLOAD: Use the website to enter by deadline and complete the form online and upload all documents.

  • Students may visit our lodge for additional research when accompanied by a parent on nights that our Odd Fellows and Rebekahs lodges are in session. Again, see our website at for more information. Our dress code is business casual.
  • Prize checks will ONLY be made out to the school of choice in the name of the winner.
  • Any social media results will be tallied at the end of the contest on the URLs provided.


  • Entrant will be disqualified if not attending school upon graduation and cannot name the school for the prize.
  • Family members of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs are ineligible to enter this essay contest as the IOOF (both nationally and on the state level) have their own scholarship programs for lodge members and their family.
  • Submissions are final without modifications (no changes, corrections, etc. after entry is submitted).
  • Students may not enter for someone else or enter more than once.


  • Essays will be graded on a 100-point system with points deducted for mistakes such as grammar and writing quality. Double-check your entry! Ask your parent to read it for you!


  • A well-written essay with no extra points will score higher than one with bonus points and mistakes.
  • 2 bonus points will be awarded to entries when a parent(s) or guardian(s) grant permission by signed letter to use the entrant’s picture and essay in print or electronic (web-based) publishing.
  • 2 bonus points may be gained by accompanying documentation from a faculty member that the essay was read aloud in front of a class or a larger audience. This documentation must be on school stationery and when sent must be copied to the head of the school and school district.
  • 5 bonus points may be gained by providing proof that the entrant promoted this contest before the deadline by using social media. The link to this page must be shared with the promotion.
  • 3 bonus points may be gained by reading the essay in person at our lodge at one of our meetings before final judging. See our website for our meeting dates.

    The best information about Odd Fellows may be found on this site and on the IOOF website ( and for California IOOF ( but these should be used primarily for fact-checking. There are numerous books, e-books and other materials on Odd Fellows that may tell more personal stories and give better insight into Odd Fellows. Our website includes a post about the “Grand Old Man of Lompoc” who was an Odd Fellow. You may find that in your family there is an Odd Fellow. Interview them. Gather ideas. Do your best and you can’t go wrong!

Permissions Granted

By entering this contest, you agree to all the contest rules and requirements without amendment:

You certify (and with your parent/guardian’s consent to do so) that your essay was written by you and any material you provide (such as your picture) includes permission by your parent/guardian and yourself to publish it (in print or web-based form) in whole or in part at your school, in the news media or our Odd Fellows website or affiliated websites of a higher jurisdiction to our own.

We will not publish any information that is beyond the usual and customary practice to promote winners and finalists and nothing else beyond what you submit or provide when you enter this contest. The only information that we will publish beyond what you submit is your status as the winner or as a finalist during or after the contest has concluded. We may ask you for an interview after the contest.

Privacy and Legal

Your privacy is something we respect completely; no information collected will ever be sold. We will use your contact information only to notify you if you have won unless there are questions that arise from your entry. Entry in this essay contest lawfully assumes that you irrevocably release, indemnify and hold harmless the sponsor and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows national and state organizations for any reason.

If your entry is disputed as a violation of any copyrighted material or creates any legal issues, your entry will be disqualified and grants us freedom from any claims or penalties. If your entry is too similar to another entry, then both will be disqualified.

This contest is subject to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations and taxes and are subject to revision only when necessary to respond to unforeseen circumstances which may alter the outcome.

Void where prohibited. No purchase or membership is necessary to enter or win. Rules are subject to change and entrant may withdraw at any time by phone or email.

Entry Choice

Ready to Enter Your Essay?

Step 1

Choose How You Will Enter

Step 2

Print, Complete and Sign

Right-click or click to download our Essay Contest Entry Form (printable PDF) to fill out, sign and get all of your documents to us by sending in the mail, emailing to us or uploading below:

Step 2

A. Print, Complete and Sign

Right-click or click to download our Essay Contest Entry Form (printable PDF) to fill out and sign.

Send In By Email

B. Scan and Email All Documents

After you have printed, completed and signed the Essay Contest Entry Form (parent/guardian signature is required), scan the form using a mobile app scanning program such as Google's Photoscan and then upload it, the essay and other documents to the following email address:

First and Last
First and Last

Maximum file size: 67.11MB

Maximum file size: 67.11MB

Maximum file size: 67.11MB

Maximum file size: 67.11MB

Regardless of how you enter, print this form, sign and either send in or take a picture (or scan) the signed document then upload to complete your entry.
Regardless of how you enter, print this form, sign and either send in or take a picture (or scan) the signed document then upload to complete your entry.