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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
 
Entire contents copyright 2020 by the
Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049
352-669-9443

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ENF Elroy ENF dino

 

Zephyrhills Elks Lodge #2731 has completed a very successful summer of its Feed the Kids – Lunch on the Go program thanks to the Elks National Foundation Impact Grant and many generous donations. The volunteers made, packed and handed out 8,000 meals to local families – 3,290 more meals than were served last summer. This was the fifth summer that the lodge administered this program, but it was the first year that it was done on the go due to the pandemic. Elroy the Elk visited the kids on the day they each received a packet of drug awareness materials, and a dinosaur visited one day to give out the meals. Along with the meals furnished by the lodge, the lodge received a grant from the United Way which contracted with a local restaurant that provided 120 meals daily to give to the families. Local food pantry Harpervalleyson’s gave each family fresh produce and other food items two to three times a week. Local foundation Thomas Promise gave bags to each child weekly with enough food to cover the weekend. Local Rotary members gave out books to all the middle school and high school children at the end of the summer. This feeding program has truly become a whole community effort. On Aug. 16, a volunteer appreciation luncheon was held. A catered lunch was donated by a lodge member. The theme of the program was Be A Light. Donna Moyer, PER, program chair, talked to the group about how important the Elks believe it is to be a light in the world and make a difference in the lives of children. A memory board created by Ilene Nutting and Susan Slater with pictures and thank-you notes from the children was displayed at the luncheon. Pictured are Elroy the Elk aka David Moyer, PER; the dinosaur aka member Beth Impson along with Gladys Shepard, Irene Nutting and Shirley Reigler; Impson looking at the board; and the volunteer members and spouses.

     ENF masks ENF thank yous

 

 

CASA aug

Using a portion of its Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant, West Citrus Elks Lodge #2693 presented CASA (Citrus Abuse Shelter Association ) with $750 to help defray ongoing expenses. Also, with a portion of its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant, the lodge supplied approximately $1,000 worth of food and supplies for use in the daily operation of the shelter. Pictured are Sunshine Arnold, CASA CEO, and Kris Estus, Exalted Ruler.

 

1873 polls

On Aug. 18, Florida’s primary day, Kissimmee Elks Lodge #1873 participated in the "Adopt a Precinct" program where Osceola County, Florida, rents part of the lodge building for election voting. Some members are trained to fill polling positions and they donate their salaries to the lodge. From the rent and poll workers’ salaries, $325 was split between the Elks National Foundation and the Harry-Anna Trust Fund which supports the Florida Elks Youth Camp and Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services. Pictured are the three members who worked the polls Robert Husband, Steve Hebior and Bob Barry, PDD.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

                            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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

   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.