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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Brian Estus

Zephyrhills Elks Hold Fundraiser for Fire Rescue

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To celebrate Fire Prevention Week, Zephyrhills Lodge held a fundraiser Oct. 18 for Zephyrhills Fire Rescue. Nearly half the department is made up of volunteer members. The department works three 48-hour shifts and could not function without their volunteers. Susan Slater, lodge events planning chairman, coordinated the event which included 50/50 raffles, food sales and children’s games with toy prizes for the winners. The Florida Antique Bucket Brigade (FABB) was there including Mike Morris, who attended his rookie training for Tampa Fire Department in 1952 on the 1925 Seagrave pumper which he displayed proudly. He now owns the pumper and restored it to its original condition. PER David Moyer presented Morris with a certificate honoring him as the first president of the FABB in 1977. Also on display were the 1914 American LaFrance and the 1934 Ahrens Fox pumper along with others from the 1950s; all now belong to other FABB members. In attendance were the Zephyrhills and the Pasco County fire rescues. The event raised $450 which was presented to lodge member Blake Donaldson of Zephyrhills Fire Rescue Nov. 5 at a lodge meeting.


Zephyrhills Elks use Anniversary Grant to Provide Children's Jackets

Centennial Elementary

Using an Anniversary Grant, Zephyrhills Elks Lodge #2731 presented zip fleece hooded jackets for children to four elementary schools in East Pasco County Oct. 31: Centennial, Woodland, West Zephyrhills and Chester Taylor.

Pictured at Centennial are Katrina Keys, Parent Involvement Coordinator; Jill Sovobado, Assistant Principal; Gretchen Rudolph-Fladd, Principal; Ken Fabiani, Exalted Ruler; Alice Tolson, retired teacher; and Judy Osgood, ENF Chairman.


Kissimmee Elks Hold Public Safety Night

On Sept. 15, Kissimmee Lodge hosted a public safety night to honor first responders of the year from Kissimmee PD, Kissimmee Fire, Kissimmee Fire & Rescue, St. Cloud PD, St. Cloud Fire, St. Cloud Fire & Rescue, Corrections, and state police. 


Zephyrhills Elks Use Gratitude Grant to Help Meals on Wheels

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Zephyrhills Elks Lodge’s Gratitude Grant was presented to East Pasco Meals on Wheels which delivers meals to homebound veterans and the elderly. With this donation, they purchased a meat slicer and a seven-cup food processor. The lodge also gave them a check for $635 to purchase food and supplies.

Pictured are Judy Osgood, ENF Chairman; Tracy Stock; Ken Fabiani, Exalted Ruler; Lee Anne Starcher; Michelle McKay; and Beth Aker, Executive Director of East Pasco Meals on Wheels.


Kissimmee Lodge Sponsors Scout Camping Week

Kissimmee Elks Lodge #1873 sponsored the annual scout camping week. They opened the lodge grounds to 80 Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. Each day the scouts met for outdoor fun including a bounce house, target shooting, archery and various craft projects. The lodge sponsors this event as a continuing effort to be involved in the community.


Kissimmee Elks Award Scholarships

Kissimmee Elks Lodge #1873 held its annual student awards night May 19. Two winners of the Most Valuable Student scholarship winners were Elliot Bodre and Mackenzie Buckholz. These two young people have known each other since elementary school and have developed a strong friendship which is about to be strained because Mackenzie will become a Gator and Elliot will become a Seminole! The lodge also honored their Hoop Shoot finalists, two of whom went on to the national finals in Chicago, Madison Vazquez and Malayna Stevenson.


West Citrus Lodge Holds Scholarship Dinner

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On Sunday, May 6, 40 seniors from Crystal River and Lecanto high schools and about 150 family members gathered at West Citrus Elks Lodge #2693 for the annual Elks scholarship dinner. The students and their families were treated to dinner followed by an awards presentation. Each was chosen by their respective school as a male or female student of the month throughout the school year. The students were individually introduced with a synopsis of their accomplishments including grades, volunteering and extracurricular activities and were awarded a plaque. After all were introduced, the top two male and female students from each school were presented with a $1,000 scholarship from West Citrus Lodge. Pictured are Vu Pham, Krystina DeSomma, Alexis Duncun and Colton Gonsisko.

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Zephyrhills Lodge Runs Feed the Kids Program

Zephyrhills Elks Lodge #2731 conducted their kickoff meeting for the Feed the Kids program. Many families do not have the resources to provide healthy meals during the summer months when school is not in session, so the Elks welcome them at the lodge. There the Elks read to the children and help them find books to borrow for the week. The lodge is in dire need of new or mildly used books for the children to read and take home. They can always use volunteers to assist with the children and the program in general. They partner with other fabulous organizations including Thomas Promise and East Pasco Meals on Wheels for their food for the children, and the Zephyrhills police and fire departments and the Pasco County Sheriff.


Everyday Blessings Receives Gifts from Zephyrhills Lodge

Zephyrhills Lodge member Judy Osgood applied for and received the Anniversary Grant from Elks National Foundation which made possible the presentation of a Frigidaire stove, 28 twin sheet sets and $700 in meat and kitchen supplies to the Everyday Blessings program.

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Pictured are Anna Gurra, David Moyer, Judy Osgood, PDD Michael Ritchie and Lyndsey Sandoval.


Zephyrhills Elks Donate to Meals on Wheels

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Beth Aker, Executive Director of East Pasco Meals on Wheels, was recently presented with a $500 check and 12 insulated bags for food delivery from Zephyrhills Lodge. Making the presentation are Judy Osgood and Kevin Morris.


Zephyrhills Elks Donate Sweatshirts and Backpacks to Zephyrhills ElementaryElementary

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Assistant Principals, Peggy Gilbert and Ray Ann Mitchell, Principal Scott Atkins, and Christina Kramer, Parent Involvement Volunteer Coordinator, accept donations from Judy Osgood (fourth from left) on behalf of Zephyrhills Lodge. The donation included 19 fleece hoodies for the girls and 23 fleece hoodies for the boys as well as some backpacks.


Zephyrhills Elks Donate Sweatshirts and Backpacks to Woodlands Elementary

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Zephyrhills Lodge also donated 43 children’s fleece hoodies and 16 backpacks to Woodlands Elementary School.


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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