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District Reporter: Donna Gudavich

Kissimmee Lodge and First United Methodist Church Host Fundraising Gala

1873 gala

On Feb 8, Kissimmee Elks Lodge #1873 in partnership with the First United Methodist Church of Kissimmee held a winter gala charity event for both organizations. The church's portion went to their mission team that travels around the world helping those in need. The lodge will use its proceeds for the Elks National Foundation and the state Harry-Anna Trust Fund. Pictured are Terry Hebior, Exalted Ruler, and Jose Nieves, senior pastor.

 

Aripeka Lodge Donates Suitcases for Children in Foster Care System

On Feb. 7, Aripeka Elks Lodge #2520 donated suitcases and backpacks to Guardian Ad Litem for children in the foster care program after they learned that many children arrive at a new foster home with their belongings in a trash bag. The lodge will continue this program as long as there is a need.

 

Zephyrhills Lodge Donates Hooded Jackets to Four Schools

On Nov. 18, four elementary schools each received 19 fleece hoodie zip jackets from Zephyrhills Lodge #2731. The jackets were purchased with lodge charity funds.

Fleece Hodies Woodland Elem 2 

Pictured at the West Elementary delivery are Kevin Morris, member; Alice Tolson, member; Judy Osgood, ENF Chairperson; Cammie Wilkinson, school secretary; and Jennifer Bayless, clinic assistant.

 

 

Kissimmee Lodge Hosts Families in Foster and Diversion Care

1873 santa elroy

With the benefit of an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant for the fourth year, members of Kissimmee Elks Lodge #1873 hosted foster and diversion care families of Osceola County Dec. 14. Providing for over 200 children in the system along with their families and siblings, they fed 800 individuals. They also offered pony rides, a super-sized bounce house, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and multiple games and activities. There was a huge collection of donated toys and gifts from the Elks members and the community. The caregivers could choose three gifts for each child at no cost. Elroy the Elk got many hugs and was a great hit as he passed out coloring books and red ribbon bookmarks encouraging them to be free from drugs and alcohol.

Pictured are Santa and Mrs. Claus, Elroy the Elk, and leaders and members of lodge-sponsored scout troop #82 acting as Santa's helpers.

 

Kissimmee Lodge Hosts Families in Foster and Diversion Care

1873 santa elroy

With the benefit of an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant for the fourth year, members of Kissimmee Elks Lodge #1873 hosted foster and diversion care families of Osceola County Dec. 14. Providing for over 200 children in the system along with their families and siblings, they fed 800 individuals. They also offered pony rides, a super-sized bounce house, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and multiple games and activities. There was a huge collection of donated toys and gifts from the Elks members and the community. The caregivers could choose three gifts for each child at no cost. Elroy the Elk got many hugs and was a great hit as he passed out coloring books and red ribbon bookmarks encouraging them to be free from drugs and alcohol.

Pictured are Santa and Mrs. Claus, Elroy the Elk, and leaders and members of lodge-sponsored scout troop #82 acting as Santa's helpers.

 

Aripeka Lodge Hosts Guardian Ad Litem Christmas Party

                            2520 santa girl 2520 santa hand

On Dec. 14, Aripeka Lodge hosted its third annual Guardian Ad Litem Christmas gift party for children who are placed in foster care by the courts. Lodge members used an Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to purchase 26 bicycles and 24 tablets to help make Christmas a special day for these children. In addition, Guardian Ad Litem of Pasco County collected hundreds of presents from community businesses and other community members to make sure the 35 tables in the large hall were covered with presents. The children and their foster parents were treated to hot dogs, chips and soda. The lodge’s own Santa and Mrs. Claus were a big hit among the children.

 

Inverness and West Citrus Lodges Host Dinner for Foster Families

2693 foster picture

Once again, West Citrus and Inverness Elks lodges teamed up to host foster families of Citrus County at a dinner held at West Citrus Lodge Dec. 15. The children received gifts as well. This annual event provides the foster families an opportunity to meet and share the challenges and triumphs of being a foster parent. Pictured are volunteers from both lodges including members, spouses and Ladies of Elks – (back row) chef, Dave Vergil; West Citrus outside coordinator, Karin Nottage; Vinnie Gonzales; Mike Quade; Doreen Tortorella; Barry Grace; Charles Jancura; House Committee chairman, Scott Zakszeski; and Teresa Jancura. In the front row are Lucille Lareau, Bonnie Lee, Linda Zakszeski and Eppie Demchak.

 

Zephyrhills Lodge Donates Stuffed Animals for Children's Party

2731 SpecialCitizensChristmasGifts

With the support of Tracy Hanson, Director of Caterpillars to Butterflies Foundation in Dade City, Fla., and Ken Fabiani, PER, Zephyrhills Lodge Veterans Chairman, the lodge donated 50 stuffed animals for the Christmas party held Dec. 11. The foundation supports children’s growth and creativity. Having the party brings smiles to children as they sit on Santa’s lap, sing Christmas carols and dance after their meal. Pictured are Dottie Sollmann, special citizens Christmas party chairperson and Ken Fabiani, PER.

 

Fire Dept. and Nursing Homes Receive Snacks from Zephyrhills Lodge

   2731 Fire Dept Zhills Rescue Popcorn cookies 2731 nursing homes first responders

On Oct. 26, Zephyrhills Lodge and the Veterans committee donated cookies and popcorn at a value of $750 to Rose Castle Nursing Home, Westbrook Manor Nursing Home and Zephyrhills Fire Department.

 

Aripeka Elks Host Halloween Party for Community Members

2520 H

On Oct. 24, Aripeka Elks Lodge #2520 used an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant of $2,000 to hold a Halloween party for over 160 children and young adults from the community who are severely disabled. The annual event is named after deceased lodge member Hal Steffes and was started in 1987. The party featured a haunted house staffed by costumed lodge members who gave each passing person an abundance of candy and trinkets to their delight. This event also featured a lunch consisting of pizza, hot dogs, French fries, and ice cream along with the distribution of candy and several gifts for each person in attendance.

 

Kissimmee Elks Deliver Dictionaries to Third Graders

Kissimmee Lodge purchased and delivered 619 student dictionaries to four elementary school third graders in the county Oct. 21. They also included drug awareness red ribbons in the dictionaries to serve as bookmarks. Funds for the dictionaries came from private donations and the lodge’s charity account.

 

Kissimmee Lodge Holds Annual Public Safety Night

1873 officers

On Sept. 7, Kissimmee Elks Lodge #1873 held its annual public safety night honoring area first responders and the County Corrections Department. Pictured are Kissimmee Police Detective, Justin Lunsford; Osceola County Corrections Classification Specialist, Patricia Bollinger; Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, Joseph Santos; Saint Cloud Fire/Rescue Engineer, Marissa Garbade; Kissimmee Fire Department Engineer, Kris Klemm; and Osceola County Sheriff's Department Deputy, Chris Hall.

 

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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
 
 
Entire contents copyright 2018 by the
Florida State Elks Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049
352-669-9443

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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:

TinaH@elks.org

JessicaR@elks.org

 

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