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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
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Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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Florida Elks News Online

Gallant Colleen 2018 for web

Welcome to fall 2021!

We are at such a great time in Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services (FECTS); with the new school year starting, it is always an exciting time as we start seeing new patients.

We are finding that most of our children are back in the schools, which means that we are seeing more and more COVID cases. This means that our therapists’ children are being exposed to COVID, and unfortunately, we have had several therapists with COVID. Fortunately, they have all been vaccinated which results in less severe cases of COVID.

Our therapists are working very hard and want all our Elks to know how much we appreciate everyone’s continued support over the past year.

We are now going to lodges that request one of our therapists to speak at an event and they are excited to be back! As our lodges have more and more events, please remember that the therapist in your area may be available to be at your event. Please complete the therapist participation form at and I will forward it to your local therapist, and if they are available, they will be pleased to be at your event.

FECTS therapists are currently treating 548 children each week and our contract therapists are treating an additional 22 children for a total of 570 children each week. That is an impressive number and thank you all for your support in helping us get to this amazing number.

The Elks national convention was quite different this year. We always look forward to our amazing major project’s booth and this year, Laz Suarez, Florida Elks marketing and website manager, worked really hard on our new display. I guarantee you will all be pleased when we roll it out in Atlanta in 2022. I missed all our major project’s volunteers but will look forward to hearing from you all in 2022.

We just returned from the Florida Ladies of Elks (FLOE) conference in St. Augustine, Florida. Due to a temporary health setback, I was unable to make my presentation at the FLOE meeting. This is something I look forward to every year and I was terribly disappointed that I could not give it in person. I thank Dan Masi, our Development Director, for taking over and giving my presentation and for presenting the special awards to our amazing ladies groups. Dan, even though you don’t take as long to make the presentation as I do, I will be back next year and regain my speaking position with FLOE. And to Nick Miller – I will be back!

For the year 2020-2021, FLOE donated $15,676.70 to Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services.

The top four lodges for donations are as follows:

Punta Gorda #2606 - $5,000

Eustis #1578 - $2,000

Pensacola Beach #497 - $1,000

Plant City #1727 - $1,000

Punta Gorda Lodge not only donated the largest amount of money to Therapy Services but also had the largest per capita at $55.56.

We are so very blessed to have not only the Elks of Florida but the many ladies’ organizations that we have that continue to be incredibly generous when it comes to Therapy Services.

Once again, we were not able to have our annual family camp due to COVID. Hopefully, we will be back in full swing in 2022. This was an incredibly hard decision to make this year. Our families were so ready to be at our camp and we had to make the decision best for our families as well as our therapists and volunteers.

We did have a very successful Elks Day at the Rays this year. We all loved watching State President Suzi Simonelli throw out the first pitch. Our CHAMP of the year, Emily Bulson, and her family were with us. Emily and her two brothers did made the “play ball” announcement and they were so awesome.

Please plan to join us at the midyear convention in Gainesville, Florida, Nov. 18-20. Since Emily Bulson and her family could not join us at the state convention this past May, they will join us in Gainesville. You want to attend the major projects luncheon so that you can see just how wonderful our therapy program is and see firsthand Emily’s progress.

As we enter the holiday season, let’s all remember that the past COVID year and a half has been tough on everyone. Our patients, our members, the therapists and even our lodges have struggled through these very tough times. Now it is time for us to unite and work together, be kind to each other, and remember that we are Elks and together we will work for our major projects as well as for our communities.

On behalf of our therapists and administrative staff, thank you to everyone for all you do to keep our therapists treating the children who need our help. Please know that we sincerely appreciate each of you and all that you do for Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services.

Please take care and stay safe!

Colleen Gallant
Florida Elks Children's Therapy Services