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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Richard E. Bardsley, PDD

Inverness Elks Donate Life Vests for YMCA Water-Safety Expo

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Inverness Lodge’s simple project to fund swimming lessons and donate water-safety equipment to their local YMCA transformed into a half-day water-safety expo. In unison with other organizations, the lodge provided 120 Coast Guard-approved life vests and water-safety advice. In addition, the lodge gave the opening address and manned an Elk information booth which featured the Dragon Boat Festival.

A YMCA staff member fits a child with a life vest donated by Inverness Elks Lodge.


Inverness Elks Provide Backpacks to Foster Children and Area Schools

Inverness Lodge provided 85 backpacks loaded with school supplies to foster children served by the Citrus County Foster Parent Association and 75 backpacks to 14 area schools. The program is funded by the Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant.

2522 CCFPAPictured are Elk Jan Belland, project co-chairman; Elba Jiminez, Citrus County Foster Parent Association board member; volunteer Skye Worrell; Lynn Kanawall, CCFPA advisor; Richard Grosnick, ENF lodge chairman; and Elk Judy Horton, lodge trustee, at the donation presentation of 85 school-supply filled backpacks for the foster children.

2522 Dunnellon Dunnellon Middle School principal, Delbert Smallridge, left, accepts a donation of backpacks from Inverness Lodge presented by Exalted Ruler, Bill Mc Avay and his wife, Fern. Smallridge was very grateful; the need in Marion County is almost desperate as 30% of the children there live well below the poverty line.

2522 Forest Ridge w Guidance deptJan Belland and Richard Grosnick, second and third from left, present backpacks to Inverness Middle School’s social workers staff Christi Wilson and Diane Buie. Eighth-grader Cassidy Bacon is pictured at left.


Inverness Elks Support Organization that Finds Missing Persons

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Inverness Elks Lodge #2522 donated $500 to Find-M’ Friends, a local nonprofit organization pursuing ways to find every person who is missing. The lodge donation will be used to assemble 250 scent kits to help make children and elderly safer. The organization trains bloodhounds to track a scent using the kits.

Pictured are Inverness Lodge Secretary, Mike Pombier; Find-M’ Friends volunteer, Ron Kornatowski; and Lodge Treasurer, Randy Rouch.


Ocala Elks Celebrate National Police Week

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In honor of National Police Week, Ocala Elks Lodge #286 showed the community that Elks care and Elks share by providing lunch for Marion County Sheriff’s deputies as well as Ocala police officers. A group of volunteers delivered fried chicken, baked beans and potato salad to their respective headquarters.


Eustis Anna Miller Ladies Pack Donations for The Haven

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Five Elks and eight Anna Miller ladies met May 3 at Eustis Elks Lodge #1578 to pack $5,178-worth of items for The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties. The packing included 305 adult welcome kits (travel-size toiletries, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) and 54 children’s welcome kits with a small toy included, 24 suitcases, over $1500-worth of gently worn clothes, 32 Beanie Babies and seven sets of towels. As a new addition to the program, the packing included 22 birthday kits (cake, frosting and candles) so mothers can bake a birthday cake for their child when they find themselves in the shelter for their birthday. This was added to the program at the request of The Haven staff.

The Anna Miller #1578 is proud to continue this very worthwhile program which helps abused women, children, teens, and rape victims start a new and safe life. The ladies appreciate the continued support of Eustis Lodge.


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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