Titusville Elks Lodge #2113 split its Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant between three local food pantries during the coronavirus pandemic. Mike Anderson, Exalted Ruler, and Bob Swink, board of directors chair, delivered the checks. Pictured May 18 at Hummingbird Pantry in Titusville, Florida, are Anderson and Gina Stanford, director. Pictured May 19 at the First United Methodist Church Food Pantry are Ken DeTorres, director, and Anderson. Also pictured May 19 at Grove Church (Walkabout Recovery) are Kyle Richie, director; Anderson; and Dustin Sams, pastor.
Port Orange Elks Lodge #2723 provided an update on one of their 2016 Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student scholarship winners – Dalton Price – who went on to be the highest-scoring male applicant from Florida, later giving a speech at the Florida Elks state convention in which he expressed his gratitude to the community. A graduate of Spruce Creek High School, he began his freshman year at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in August 2016 studying anthropology and infectious disease biology. Working in a variety of health care sectors over the years, he has been able to develop his interest in infectious disease outbreaks and public health responses. Domestically, he has worked with Aetna, The Microbiome Coalition, The diaTribe Foundation, and four research institutes and has received funding to write a book about the U.S. health care system. Over time, he has become more interested in international contexts and worked with the World Health Organization, Partners in Health and other groups in Malaysia, Egypt, Jordan and Peru. For his work, he was awarded the Future Global Leaders Fellowship, Jack Kent Cooke International Award, Gateway Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Fellowship, John F. Kennedy Memorial Award, Forbes Under 30 Award and nearly 10 research grants. Additionally, he has published opinion pieces with HuffPost, Common Dreams, Daytona Beach News Journal and the Cornell Daily Sun.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Price has returned home early from his senior year at Cornell and is now working with the Florida Department of Health on the Volusia response. He will travel to the United Kingdom in October to begin his doctorate degree in medical anthropology at the University of Oxford. For his graduate research, he will spend three to four years traveling between the UK and Venezuela studying how political climates and forms of government impact the trajectory and spread of infectious disease. After completing his doctorate, he plans to move to New York City and start medical school at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine where he will specialize in infectious disease medicine and global health.
As a physician-anthropologist working in global health, Price hopes to move the field of infectious disease response forward with new perspectives. Though creating healthy populations raises many medical questions, he believes there are also countless social, political, economic, cultural and environmental concerns that must also be addressed.
In the long term, he hopes to one day become Florida’s Surgeon General. After his tenure there, he hopes to move into more international spheres and work in a high-level capacity with the World Health Organization. He is deeply grateful for the amount of support he has received from the Elks community, especially Port Orange lodge. He wholeheartedly believes in the African proverb “it takes a village” and considers the Elks part of his village, one that is deeply invested in his success and one he plans to give back to along the way. Pictured at Spruce Creek High School in 2016 are Dr. Todd Sparger, principal; Price; Frank Kuczkowski, Exalted Ruler; and Paul Leonard, scholarship chair.
On May 2, Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 presented certificates, medallions and checks to the lodge’s Americanism essay contest winners. Ken Hill, Lodge Americanism Chair, is pictured with the winners.
Top row: Kate Kennedy of Lewis Carroll Elementary, Division I first place; Shyanne Horton of Brevard Private Academy, Division II first place and state Division II third place; and Jaxson Meyers of Lewis Carroll Elementary, Division I second place.
Bottom row: Seth Elston of Lewis Carroll Elementary, Division I third place; Christopher Lancaster of Brevard Private Academy, Division II second place; and Victoria Tonhauser of Brevard Private Academy, Division II third place.
On Feb. 14, Port Orange Elks Lodge #2723 teamed with the Vagovic & Abend Law Firm from Daytona Beach, Florida, and Advanced Air to donate school supplies to Horizon Elementary School in Port Orange, Florida. They know that schools are always in need of items and many times they are purchased by teachers for the children or they just go without. The lodge donated $425 and the other sponsors donated a total of $500. Pictured are Gary Harms, principal; Art Rauch, lodge member; Chelsea Abend and Amanda Goodwin of Vagovic & Abend Law Firm; Richard Violette and Larry Lewis, PER, lodge members; and Doug Miller, guidance counselor.
Whenever a month has five Fridays, the Past Exalted Rulers of Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 put on a dinner. In May 2019, they invited the first responders of the Merritt Island area to join them for a spaghetti dinner. The attendance was pretty good for a first-time event. On Jan. 31, the lodge invited them again, but this year it was turned into a competition between the firefighters and deputy sheriffs for best turnout. Last year the deputies won. This year, 19 firefighters and 14 deputies attended, and the parking lot was filled with police cars, ambulances and fire trucks.
On Dec. 8, an annual country Christmas was held at Kiwanis Island located on Merritt Island, Fla. For many years, Brevard County has put on a Christmas party for citizens who are handicapped and mentally challenged. For over 20 years, Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 has supplied and prepared the food and drinks for approximately 200 people.
Port Orange Lodge held their annual Hoop Shoot Dec. 14. First place winners moved on to district competition. Pictured at the right is Lou Greci, PER, Youth Activities Chairman, along with first and second place winners and Elk volunteers.
On Dec. 14, the Port Orange Police Department partnered with Port Orange Elks Lodge #2723 to hold their fifth annual Shop with a Cop & Elks event at the Target store on Dunlawton in Port Orange, Fla. This event was made possible using a $5,000 grant obtained from Target by Port Orange Police Department and donations from the lodge. Each child received a gift card in the amount of $150 plus a $25 gift card for Christmas Dinner. There were 29 police officers along with an Elk who accompanied the 29 children and their families shopping for gifts.
Port Orange Lodge member Richard Violette and a Port Orange Police Officer are pictured with three participants in the Shop with a Cop & Elks event Dec. 14 at a Port Orange Target store.
Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 held the seventh annual Santa’s Boot Strap event Dec. 14. Elks, family and friends came together to help give some holiday cheer to families in need. Nine people received $100 gift cards to Aldi for some holiday cheer. The other 75 families received enough food to last them throughout the holiday season. Lodge members purchased, packaged and delivered the gifts to the families.
Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 awarded $2,000 scholarships to nine deserving high school students. Exalted Ruler, Bill Hazelett, presented checks to four of the recipients – Jordan Tomberlin, Shaelyn Ledoux, EJ Davey and Mason Yaskovic. The winners and their families were treated to breakfast at the lodge July 7. The other five students were presented their scholarships at a different date.
Titusville Elks Lodge #2113 held its annual Flag Day ceremony once again in conjunction with the City of Titusville's community service award presentation. The Civil Air Patrol cadets presented the colors and Mayor Walt Johnson presented the proclamation from the city. The Flag Day ceremony was conducted by Exalted Ruler, Mike Anderson. The flag’s history was presented by PDD Bob Swink along with the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of Pack 488. After the ceremony, the City of Titusville presented the community service award to Pastor Barry Russell of Grove Church; there were 11 nominees for the award this year. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the city provided a beautiful cake with refreshments.
Titusville Lodge’s Bob Swink, PDD presents the flag’s history with Cub Scouts and Boys Scouts from Pack 488 in celebration of Flag Day.
On May 31, Merritt Island Lodge hosted a first responders’ appreciation dinner. Exalted Ruler, Bill Hazelett, welcomed the 19 Brevard County Sheriff’s deputies and four members of the Merritt Island Fire Department 42. In addition, the lodge delivered to-go dinners to local firehouses whose men and women on duty could not attend the event at the lodge. Drawings were also held to award gift cards to several in attendance. The lodge received a thank-you letter from Brevard County Sherriff, Wayne Ivey, for recognizing these first responders who put their lives on the line every day to protect citizens.