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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
 
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Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049
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1851

The Perry Lady Elks raised $1,310 for the lodge scholarship fund from a bake sale held at the lodge. Pictured April 13 are Clayton Huff, Exalted Ruler, accepting the check from Darnell McLeod, Lady Elks President, and Carol Cruce, Lady Elks Treasurer.

 

893 scholars

On May 13, Jay Swisher, PER represented the Lake City Elks Lodge scholarship committee and presented five $1,000 scholarships for high academic achievement and dedication to leadership at the Columbia High School senior awards night. These scholarships were made possible through funds raised by the lodge’s annual charity golf tournament. Recipients pictured at the top are Christa Upshaw and Isabella Maranto. On the bottom are Reagan McCormick, Jameisha Miller and Josef Walker. Two additional scholarships were awarded at Fort White High School’s scholarship presentation to Carole Dougherty and Khushil Patel. 

 

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On Jan. 9, National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Perry Lodge honored the Taylor County Sheriff's Department, Perry Police Department, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Florida Highway Patrol. State Attorney John Durrett was the guest speaker, and Taylor County High JROTC presented the colors. Joel Bauldree provided pulled pork and chicken, Brent Saunders provided the entertainment, and the lodge and Perry Optimist Club provided volunteers. Pictured are Florida State Attorney, District 3, John Durrett and his family.

 

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In February 2021, Perry Elks Lodge #1851 contributed $5,500 to two local Perry community organizations using its Elks National Foundation Beacon and Spotlight grants. They presented $3,500 to First United Methodist Church Food Pantry to help restock their supplies. Pictured are Exalted Ruler Kevin Cruce presenting the check to Kristie Anderson with the First United Methodist Church Food Bank along with volunteers Glenda Hamby, Dan Anderson, Brenda Carlton, Nancy Taylor and James Taylor. Also pictured is the presentation of $2,000 to Taylor County United to help locals in need of COVID relief. Exalted Ruler Kevin Cruce presents the check to Michelle McLeod with Taylor Count United. Joining in the presentation are Clayton Huff, Secretary Earline Neeley and Kenny Carter.

 

893 Altrusa

On Feb. 18, the Secretary of Lake City Elks Lodge #893, Stephanie Bennett, presented $1,000 from the Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to the Altrusa Club of Lake City, Florida, to be utilized in their weekly backpack project where they supply two schools with food assistance for children in need. This includes weekends, long weekends, spring break, Thanksgiving break and Christmas break. Over 25 students are given food, juices, water and other essentials such as toothpaste and toothbrushes each week depending on the need. Pictured with Bennett are Gigi Register, president of Lake City Altrusa Club, and fellow Altrusans Amy Smith and Holly Frazier.

893 CSC

Also on Feb. 18, Lake City Lodge donated $1,000 from the Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to the Christian Service Center. These funds are designated for assistance of families located in Columbia County, Florida. Executive Director of Lake City Christian Service Center, Chris Walters, accepts the check from Exalted Ruler Chuck Nicholson, PER, Stephanie Bennett, Secretary.

 

937 everhart

Tallahassee Elks Lodge# 937 donated its $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to the Everhart Excellence Foundation, which supports Gretchen Everhart School for Exceptional Students by providing items that the school needs that are not covered by the school board's budget. At the lodge meeting March 2, Ron Brown, PER presents the check to Jane Floyd-Bullen, principal of Gretchen Everhart School.

 

937 everhart

Tallahassee Elks Lodge# 937 donated its $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to the Everhart Excellence Foundation, which supports Gretchen Everhart School for Exceptional Students by providing items that the school needs that are not covered by the school board's budget. At the lodge meeting March 2, Ron Brown, PER presents the check to Jane Floyd-Bullen, principal of Gretchen Everhart School.

 

    937 Ability1st 937 Ability1st 2

Members of Tallahassee Lodge's Past Exalted Ruler Association transported used medical equipment stored at the lodge to Ability1st, the Center for Independent Living, in Tallahassee, Florida. Ability1st is a local organization that repurposes items for folks unable to purchase new equipment. The program is run almost entirely from donations. Included in the lodge donation were six wheelchairs, six walkers, four sets of crutches, six canes and a bedside commode. The donation was made Oct. 30, and by Nov. 2, two of the wheelchairs and one of the walkers had already been put back to use in the community. Pictured is Tom Walden, PDD unloading items at Ability1st.

 

937 DrugAw

Tallahassee Elks Lodge #937 delivered a box containing 60 Elks Drug Awareness bags, each with a variety of materials for kids, to Astoria Park Elementary School Oct. 22. Red ribbons had been provided earlier to the school's media center. Pictured are Tom Walden, Lodge Secretary; Karla Jones, Lodge Drug Awareness Chair; and, David Solz, principal.

937 Astoria

Also in October, Tallahassee Lodge delivered a variety of school supplies to Astoria Park Elementary School including numerous backpacks, paper, pencils, erasers and composition books that were donated by lodge members. Dictionaries for third graders were delivered as well. Pictured in the school’s media center showing the school supplies and dictionaries are Katrina Bradwell, assistant principal, and Beth Freeman, media specialist and lodge member.

 

1851 food

On Aug. 1, Perry Lodge members volunteered to help at the First United Methodist food distribution and donated their $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to help replenish the storehouse. Pictured in the front are Richard Cruce; Carol Cruce, PDD; Earline Neeley, Secretary; Nancy Taylor; and Pastor James Taylor. In the back are Kevin Cruce, Exalted Ruler; and Leslee Sunderland, John Fish, Dan Anderson, and Kristie Anderson, food bank participants.

 

1851 bazaar

Perry Elks Lodge #1851 hosted a Christmas-in-July craft bazaar July 25 which was open to the public and raised funds for the Elks National Foundation. The event was well attended and followed mandated social distancing and mask requirements. Organizer Nikki Anderson enlisted a group of member volunteers to set up the banquet room with necessary spacing to accommodate participating vendors Thursday night. Vendors set up their displays Friday night and the doors opened Saturday at 10 a.m. to shoppers. There was a steady flow of shoppers and happy drawing winners and the vendors had a good day for business as well. The bazaar raised $440 from raffle tickets and vendor fees. PDD Carol Cruce and her sister, Jackie, took their masks off for a photo.

 

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A charity poker run sponsored by Live Oak Elks Lodge #1165 Sept. 12 brought together Elks in the North District to raise over $900 in entry fees for the Nixon School Nurse Fund (a scholarship given by the lodge), Adopt a Veteran Fund and the Brotherhood Ride. The ride started at Live Oak Lodge with stops along the way in Lake City at Lake City Elks Lodge, The Keg Room, and American Legion Post #107 for a round trip of approximately 95 miles. Pictured are Chris Williams, PER, Lake City #893; Audie Towles, Perry #1851; John Dill, PDD, Live Oak #1165; Chuck Nicolson, Exalted Ruler, Lake City #893; Christopher Lynn, Perry #1851; Steve Rockford, Lake City #893; Susan Lynn, PDD, Perry #1851; Shelly Dill, spouse of John Dill; Cheryl Cowan, spouse of John Cowan; John Cowan, PER, Live Oak #1165; and Stanley Cox, PDD, Lake City #893. Also pictured are bikers at Lake City Lodge.