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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Carol Aitchison

Englewood Elks Award Scholarships to High School Seniors

2378 scholarships

On May 9, Englewood Elks Lodge #2378 hosted an awards luncheon for Lemon Bay High School student scholarship recipients and award winners and their families.

The lodge awarded scholarships to Yamileth Gonzalez and Tara Quinn each for $3,000 per year for four years. Also awarded were three $1,000-scholarships to Madison Taylor, Adriana Basile and Kaylee Lombard to attend any vocational/academic institution of their choice. New scholarships awarded this year totaled $27,000.

Awards were also given to each student of the month in the amount of $100 and to the two students of the year who received an additional $300. These awards totaled $2,200.

John Dichazi, Exalted Ruler, presented scholarships to Yamileth Gonzalez, Tara Quinn, Madison Taylor, Adriana Basile and Kaylee Lombard. Students of the Month were Lauren Maheu, Michael Ainsworth, Hunter Scott, Tyler Caron, Sarah Bedford, Jeffrey Fazler, Melenie Torres, Deven Chavez, Ana Beltran Heredia, Austin McDonald, Francesca Gallucci, Cade Huber, Madison Ragazzone, Tyler Caron, Ron Feril, Hyasha Crompton and Michael Reid. Students of the Year were Madison Ragazzone and Tyler Caron. 


Bonita Springs-Estero Elks Join "Celebrate Estero" Event

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Bonita Springs-Estero Lodge joined the Estero Chamber of Commerce to “Celebrate Estero” at a community event at the Miramar Outlets Saturday, March 10. This was the 15th year for the event and the first year for Elks participation. Pictured are Rosemary Cicak with new Elk member Eileen Wolfe.


Punta Gorda Elks and Elkettes had a Productive Quarter

Punta Gorda Elks Lodge #2606 celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Elks Jan. 30 with a dinner dance; proceeds went to the scholarship fund. The lodge also hosted its 11th annual bocce tournament and 22 teams (88 players) participated. Including raffle proceeds from gifts donated by community merchants valued at $500, a total of $1,312 was collected for the Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services.

Through the continual support of the Elks National Foundation, the lodge was awarded grants to support the drug awareness program, the Sallie Jones picnic and supplying food to St. Vincent De Paul food bank. Twenty-five Past Exalted Rulers of Punta Gorda Lodge donated a total of $5,700 to the Harry-Anna Trust Fund for the $19/month Chairman’s Campaign.  The PER Association held a Spaghetti Dinner on February 13th serving some 329 dinners and raising $2,436 which was also donated to the Harry Anna Trust Fund.   Additionally, the PER Association donated $500 to Punta Gorda’s Tidewell Hospice and $805 to a member who suffered a personal tragedy.

Punta Gorda Elkettes continue to support many community causes with recent donations to Punta Gorda’s St. Vincent De Paul, Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Peace River Wildlife, Veterans Village, Hospice, Gators Wilderness Camp for Boys and the Army of Hope. In February, they donated four $2,000-scholarships to high school graduates.


Bonita Springs-Estero Elk Receives ENF Recognition

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Bonita Springs-Estero Lodge member Wayne Faux was presented a plaque for reaching a significant milestone in contributions to the Elks National Foundation. Faux is a PER from Lodge #1808 in Washington state and recently demitted to Lodge #2753 with his wife, Linda. The plaque was presented by Mike Smith, PNP at the state president’s dinner at Deep Creek Lodge Feb. 24.


Englewood Elks Help Preserve Local History

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Englewood Lodge recently presented a $2,000 donation to the Lemon Bay Historical Society to help support the relocation of the Englewood landmarked Green St. Church built in 1928. It will be placed on the lot adjacent to the historic Lemon Bay Cemetery. Pictured are John Dichazi, Leading Knight; Esther Horton, Vice President of the Lemon Bay Historical Society; Estelle Dichazi, ER; Charlie Hicks, President of the Lemon Bay Historical Society; and Larry VanTilburg, Lodge Advisor.


Bonita Springs-Estero Elks Hold Fundraiser for Logan's Wish

2753 MS dog

Bonita Springs-Estero Elks Lodge #2753 hosted a benefit for Logan’s Wish to raise funds for service dogs for children and adults with Multiple Sclerosis. The event was made possible by an ENF Gratitude Grant and the hard work of members Bruce and Sandy Tarro, whose grandson, Logan, came up with the idea after he witnessed the benefits his mother experienced after receiving a service dog.  Haney’s catering provided appetizers and the 150 people in attendance enjoyed the music of Take Two. Pixie, a service dog, enjoyed the event as well.

Pictured are Logan, his mom and Pixie.


Fort Myers Gifts Anniversary Grant to Boys & Girls Club

1288 Russ 1288 Goals

Fort Myers Elks Lodge #1288 presented the $1,500 ENF Anniversary Grant March 9 to Miss Shontae Russ, Site Director at the Lehigh Acres Boys and Girls Club. The donation was given to replace the outdoor basketball facilities that were destroyed during Hurricane Irma. Exalted Ruler Richard Conley presented the check to Shantae Russ, and Dan Barrile, Youth Activities Chairman, is pictured with one of the new basketball goals.


Naples Elks Lodge Awards Americanism Essay Winners

2010 Americanism essay

Naples Elks Lodge #2010 sponsors an annual essay contest in conjunction with the Grand Lodge. This year’s theme was “Why our Veterans are Heroes.” Nicole Rearden of Naples, Fla., won first place in the 7th & 8th-grade division of the 2018 essay contest. Nicole is home-schooled and competed with contestants from several Naples schools in her grade. She was applauded by nearly 100 guests when she recently read her essay at the lodge and was presented with a certificate and check from Naples Lodge for $100.

Pictured are Anna Marie Honan, Naples Lodge Americanism Chairman; Nicole Rearden, essay winner; and MaryJo Wojciechowski, Exalted Ruler.

2010 Americanism boys

 On March 2, Naples Lodge Americanism Chairman, Anna Marie Honan, awarded prizes to three essay winners from St. Ann’s Catholic School: Jacob Perez, fifth and sixth-grade division second-place winner; Marc James Oliver, seventh and eighth-grade division second-place winner; and Clayton Porto, fifth and sixth-grade division first-place winner.


North Fort Myers Elks Support Babe Ruth League

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North Fort Myers Elks Lodge #2742 participated in the opening day ceremony of the North Fort Myers Babe Ruth League Feb. 10. Exalted Ruler Frank Mascari had the Elks drug awareness trailer prominently displayed at the ballfield with handouts about drug awareness and membership applications. The lodge is a sponsor of the youth baseball league and as such, they have a lodge banner displayed on the outfield fence.

The mission statement for the North Fort Myers Babe Ruth League is to foster good American citizens rather than to just win games. They believe it is important to have fun playing the game; to learn the importance of being part of the team; and to discover that in hard work, dedication, and commitment will come pride, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment. These ideals will have value reaching far beyond the playing field.

Pictured at the Babe Ruth League opening day ceremony from North Fort Myers Lodge are Frank Mascari, Exalted Ruler; Carol Phelps, Lady of Elks President; and Gail Mascari, Lady of Elks Vice President.


Louisiana State Legislature Increases New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax

The Legislature of the State of Louisiana has acted to increase the New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax from 13% to 14.75% effective April 1, 2014. This will affect our convention room rates and they will go from $128.56 to $130.52 per night.

Convention Attendees With ADA Transportation Needs Urged To Contact Grand Lodge

In order for the Grand Lodge to support the transportation needs of attendees with disabilities you are urged to contact the Grand Lodge if you require special assistance. Special coaches capable of kneeling to accommodate wheel chairs will be placed along the routes for those in need. If you require assistance please contact Tina or Jessica at the Grand Lodge as follows:


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