Can you believe it? Happy Fall, y’all! As time seems to be quickly passing and the holidays are just around the corner, the Florida Elks are always on the move and busy to make the best better, to quote the motto of Frank Malatesta, PSP. So, first, a huge thank you goes to all the members for the time and support you give to your lodge and the Florida State Elks Association to make events a remarkable success! Your time and effort do not go unnoticed because you make a difference in your community and support our major projects and veterans.
ELKS MOUSE CALLS
Since the last issue of our magazine, the Florida State Elks have partnered with The Kind Mouse and created Elks Mouse Calls which is a statewide function. What is that, you might ask? The Kind Mouse is a food pantry that feeds hungry children who sometimes have nothing to eat outside of school. Food is sent home with children over the weekend to make sure that they have nutrition. Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services treats the needs of Florida children in need. Sometimes these families have fallen on challenging times and therefore if the patient is receiving therapy and is hungry, they will not perform to their ability. If one of our therapists feels that this family could use help, they fill out a form and it is sent to The Kind Mouse. The Kind Mouse will mail a variety box of nutritional snacks and finger foods to the therapist’s home so the family can remain anonymous, and the therapist will then deliver this food and the families can receive this supplement for up to three months. Every month the number of families receiving this help is different as circumstances change. Elks Mouse Calls is statewide and any of our therapists throughout the state can request a supplement box. This is just another way of the Florida State Elks helping to make life sometimes easier for families that are in need. Elks Care — Elks Share!
UNMASKING AUTISM GALA
The countdown has begun. On April 23, 2022, we will finally be able to have the Unmasking Autism Gala: “An Evening Under the Stars.” We are so excited after two years because of the pandemic that we will finally be able to have this event and highlight the need to raise awareness for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)! This black-tie event will be held at the Carillon Hilton in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida. Currently, more than 50% of Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services patients are within the spectrum or have ASD. With Florida Elks Charities hosting this event, all net proceeds will go to benefit Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services for the treatment of these children. This is a fun but informative event that with a cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, informative guest speakers, networking with members of our communities and meeting Elks from all lodges throughout the state. Please join us and we promise you will have that feel-good feeling for knowing that you are helping to make a difference in a child’s life! UnmaskingAutism.com
FINAL PUSH FOR STAR CAMPAIGN
Back in February 2020, all lodges received 20 stars for a suggested donation of $5 each to raise awareness for ASD and to help promote the second annual Unmasking Autism Gala: An Evening Under the Stars. Due to COVID-19, the last two years we have been unable to have this event. We decided that until this event could be held, the stars would continue to shine in support for these children. Finally, on April 23, 2022, we will be having “An Evening Under the Stars.” Lodges have requested more stars with this becoming somewhat of a star wars situation in districts with lodges competing against one another. So as a final push for stars, lodges can request more stars to help the holiday tree shine! Make a donation for a star and help light the holiday tree in your lodge or hang it on your own tree and the star will shine brightly to help raise awareness for children with ASD. You can print the name of a child you wish to honor or your name on the star. You can also decorate it or leave the star blank. All the net proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services. Receiving treatment early for ASD increases a child’s chances of reaching their full potential, which will be different for each child. We know that schedules can sometimes be conflicting and if you are unable to attend the gala, this is a wonderful way to help! If your lodge needs more stars to help make your tree shine, please email me at email@example.com. Also, all lodges that have sold stars will receive recognition at the Unmasking Autism Gala with a gold, silver or bronze star recognition to the lodges that raised the most. The new deadline for all monies from this fundraiser will be March 4, 2022.
FLORIDA ELKS CORNHOLE FOR KIDS’ TOURNAMENT
The Florida Elks Cornhole for Kids Tournament was originally scheduled Aug. 13-14, 2021, at the Florida Elks Youth Camp, but due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, it was postponed. If your lodge or business sponsored this event it, is being rescheduled and we will post the date and post it on social media. Stay tuned for further details and until then, get teams together and get your lodge to sponsor this event and be represented. Check out the website floridaelkscornholeforkids.com.
There are exciting things coming up so stay tuned! Until next time, I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!