The Perry Elks Riders participated in a poker run June 3 to raise funds for member Scooter Praytor’s wife, Belinda. She is an RN who has dedicated her career to helping others and this time she was in need of help. Their expenses while traveling back and forth to cancer centers are great and the community as a whole reached out to help them with this burden. There were 100 participants and they raised more than $6,000 for the family's medical expenses.
Perry Elks Riders in partnership with Somewhere Grill hosted a benefit ride for Tiffany Werner May 13 to help with her cancer treatments and upcoming surgery, raising over $7,200. Special thanks go to members Janet Reams Reynolds and Hinano Yon for doing registration, members Ricky Norman and Audie Towles for being road captains and keeping the trip seamless, and members Christopher Lynn and Danny Engle for organizing the ride. City police and county deputies in Taylor, Madison and Jefferson counties assisted, too. Participating were 55 motorcycles, three Jeeps and one Bronco.
Pictured are some of the motorcycles during the ride.
Perry Elks Lodge #1851 presented $,2000 from its Beacon matching grant May 1 to the food pantry at Perry First Assembly of God.
Pictured are Exalted Ruler Eric Hodge, member Donnie Pridgeon, Pastor David Stephens, member Michael Hodge and Secretary Earline Neeley.
On May 10, Lake City Lodge presented four $1,100 scholarships to seniors at Fort White High School.
Pictured are Greg Beckman, Scholarship Committee Chair; students Kaysen Wilcox, Carley Jones, Katie Griffith and Mitchell Perry; and Chris Samson, Chris Samson.
On May 11 at Columbia High School, Lake City Lodge presented 10 $1,100 scholarships.
Pictured are Chris Samson, Exalted Ruler; recipients Abbie Green, Sarah Young, Seth Evans, Brooklyn Bunton, Rhett Feagle, Dakota Massey, Tyrell Peterson, Savannah Bailey, Rhett Evans and Hunter Woodley; and Greg Beckman, lodge scholarships chair.
On June 3, Elroy the Elk along with North District Deputy Snuffy Smith and his wife and fellow member, Amy Smith, represented Live Oak Elks Lodge #1165 and the North District by promoting Drug Awareness at the 29th Wellborn Blueberry Festival. The festival raises funds for the Wellborn Community Association and youth outreach program. North District Drug Awareness Chair, Scott Carroll of Lake City Lodge, also dropped by for a visit.
Live Oak Lodge members arrived at the Mount Gilead Baptist Church Food Ministry June 24 to deliver their $2,000 Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant but ended up jumping in to help with the food pickup event that was underway. They helped bag food and produce and they filled buggies and took them out to waiting families in a line of cars. Founder Gary Watson and his team were grateful for the grant and stated, "We receive very little here at no cost. A majority of the food we give away has to be purchased and we generally get it at a reduced rate in bulk, but still there is a cost. I reach out to local farmers as well for produce at a reduced rate if they have extra on hand that they can not sell otherwise. This $2,000 will certainly help with those costs.” Every other Saturday is a food pickup day for approximately 600 qualifying families per month from Suwannee County, with about 1,400 family members served. At 5 a.m., 25 to 30 volunteers start preparing to serve those who are already forming a car line. The volunteers range in age from 10 to 88. They spend the two weeks in between pickup days acquiring the food and other items needed. On the Thursday prior to pickup, they meet at the ministry pantry and bag nonperishable items to keep the line moving quickly on Saturday.
Pictured is Lori Watson, Lodge grants coordinator, presenting the check to Gary Watson, Mount Gilead Baptist Church Food Ministry founder. Also pictured are Elks and ministry volunteers.
Perry Elks Lodge donated $1,000 to the Taylor County High School JROTC program.
Pictured is Eric Hodge, Exalted Ruler, April 14, with a school representative.
On April 3, Perry Elks Lodge #1851 donated $250 to Taylor County Baseball Association using part of its matching Harry-Anna Investment Fund grant.
Eric Hodge, Exalted Ruler, presented the check to Drew Taylor.
Lake City Elks Lodge and its ladies organization, the Elk-Mates, celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week May 8-12 at Columbia County Schools. They provided meals, prizes and $500 to Eastside Elementary School, Lake City Middle School and Columbia High School. The principals at these schools, Roger Little Jr., Dennis Dotson and Trey Hosford, are all lodge members.
Pictured is a thank-you note filled with signatures from Eastside Elementary staff members.
Lake City Elks Lodge #893 held its first Safety Day April 15. More than 25 agencies and businesses came out to support Lake City youth and the Florida Elks Youth Camp, including agencies such as Lake City Police, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Century Ambulance, U.S. Border Patrol, SWAT and the National Forestry Service. Fifteen local high school students from a prep school helped set up and talked with kids about the Florida Elks Youth Camp. Elroy the Elk was present to share about Drug Awareness and meet local children. The lodge also used this opportunity for a membership drive, which gained a lot of interest, with more than 400 people in attendance.
Pictured are Kate Reeves, member Adam Reeves’ spouse; member Demarcus Graham; and Scott Carroll, PER, North District Drug Awareness Chair. Also pictured are Maryann Hunter; Mark Hunter, member and Columbia County Sheriff; and Elroy the Elk (Bill Roberts, Loyal Knight).
On April 29, Lake City Elks Lodge #893 held a golf tournament at Quail Heights Country Club with more than 20 teams of golfers. More than $15,000 was raised for high school scholarships. Greg Beckman, golf committee chair, and many lodge volunteers worked tirelessly to host this major annual event for the benefit of the youth in Columbia County.
Pictured are members Tom Elinsakas, Ron Foreman, Tim Griffith and Greg Beckman, golf committee chair.