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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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2165 dic

Using lodge funds, Winter Garden Elks purchased and donated 50 dictionaries to third graders at Ocoee Elementary School. Pictured Sept. 22 are Pam DePriest, member; Natalie Hatch, wife of member Wally Hatch, PER; and Kandace Goshe, principal.


2165 baby

On Sept. 18, Winter Garden Elks Lodge #2165 hosted a baby shower at the lodge for 15 mothers on low incomes using the Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant. Each mother received a case of diapers, a case of wipes, four books and a variety of other baby items. Pictured are Carolyn Robbins, Esteemed Leading Knight; Kendall Croft, daughter of members Billy and Lesley Croft; Pam DePriest, member; and Ed Colon, Exalted Ruler. 


         1578 hav  1578 BR

On Aug. 20, Eustis Elks Lodge’s Anna Miller Circle packed welcome kits for those at The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties, who are their usual grateful recipients, but during this session, they also packed kits for the Brotherhood Riders who stopped at the lodge Aug. 23 on their way to New York City to honor 2020’s fallen heroes as well as everyone who died from Sept. 11 causes. Seven ladies and one Elk packed 100 adult kits and 50 children's kits along with 11 birthday cake packages of cake mix, frosting and candles for children who are in safe housing during their birthday. The adult kits include soap, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, mouthwash, toothpaste, floss and a toothbrush. The children's kits include shampoo, soap, toothpaste, children's toothbrush, hand sanitizer, a tissue pack, lip balm and a small toy. The value of The Haven donation was $1,569. The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties provides a safe haven for women who have been abused and their children as well as for rape survivors and teens. They offer an extensive program to help survivors both with housing, food and classes as well as assistance in transitioning to a safer and healthier life. They advocate for the children in school and legal settings. For the riders, 67 kits were packed and contained soap, shampoo, deodorant, shaver, shave cream, hand sanitizer, a travel toothbrush, mouthwash and toothpaste. This donation was valued at $670. Pictured are Darlene Hall, Kristina Cline and Vicki Mercante, co-chair of The Haven Project. Also pictured are Anna Miller Circle member Shearon Jones and a Brotherhood Rider.


2522 backpacks 2021

For the ninth consecutive year, Inverness Lodge held its Backpacks for Success program for local students. The program supplies backpacks loaded with grade-specific school supplies to the children supported by the Citrus County Foster Parent Association and 20 to area schools through their guidance departments. The lodge used its $2,500 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to purchase the backpacks and supplies, and more than 300 hours of labor were provided by lodge members and helpers. In total, 170 backpacks were delivered to the Citrus County foster families and 20 schools in Citrus County and Dunnellon in time for the start of the new school year Aug. 10. Inverness Elks believe that a community that supports its children raises citizens who grow up to support their community. Pictured are Frank Baranco; Richard Grosnick, PER; Dick Bass; Judy Horton; Craig Ingram; Carol Ingram; Sally Torres and Ed Torres.


2522 bingo

On Aug. 9, the Inverness Elks Lodge bingo committee donated $1,000 to Citrus County Abuse Shelter Association (CASA). CASA representative Sunshine Arnold spoke to the bingo players, explaining in detail all the aspects of the shelter and how much of a difference these funds will make in the lives of those already impacted with struggles. Pictured are John Colasanti, Jim Bell, Sally Torres, Rick Mechley, CASA’s Sunshine Arnold, Nancy O’Malley, Lana Almeida, Tim Hughes and Jack Trafalski.


1830 flag

The Winter Park Lodge Flag Day observance was held June 13 with the Naval ROTC officers from Lake Howell High School. Booster Club parents Katie and Dan Coleman and seven officers supported the lodge’s ritual. Pianist, Tom Horrobin, is a teacher at the school and provided the assembly with music for the ritual. There was a gathering afterward with members of the ROTC team and lodge officers and members. The high school has long had a reciprocal relationship with the Elks.


1830 raffle

To raise funds for the Elks National Foundation and the Harry-Anna Trust Fund, Winter Park Lodge’s Ron Goluba, PER and Sue Jovi created a raffle and asked members and guests to donate Elk memorabilia or to buy chances. The raffle included lodge pins, a gavel, cuff links, ties and antlers as well as historic Elks items such as a Jim Beam commemorative flask, an “OLD ELK” bottle and gold foil-wrapped Elk droppings. Pictured at the April 23 drawing are winners Rick Wirth, PER and his wife, Sandra. The fundraiser totaled $1,200 for the charities.


  1578 AM  1578 AM2

The Anna Miller Circle of Eustis Elks Lodge #1578 has resumed packing welcome kits for The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties. Six Anna Miller volunteers and one Elk volunteer met April 4 to pack 100 adult and 50 children's welcome kits. The Haven is a shelter for women who have been abused as well as for their children. It is also a shelter for teens and survivors of rape. The kits contain soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, moisturizer and deodorant. The children's kits also contain a small toy and hand sanitizer. A welcome kit is given to each woman and child when they arrive at The Haven safe house. Eighty full-size toiletries were donated as well. The packing also contained 12 birthday kits which include a cake mix, frosting and candles to be used by mothers to bake a cake for their child who has a birthday while at the shelter. The day’s donations totaled $1,800.

Pictured are volunteers Chris Getchell, president; Vicki Mercandente, co-chair of The Haven Project; Marc Cunningham, lodge member; Mary Ann Cerney; Judith Polson; and Judi McCarroll. Taking the picture is Suzanne Cunningham, co-chair of The Haven Project.


2165 spotlight

On Feb. 21, Winter Garden Elks Lodge #2165 used its Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to hold a baby shower for 15 families with low incomes. Each family received a case of diapers, a case of wipes, four books, onesies and various other baby items. The Healthy West Orange program in Winter Garden, Florida, selected the families. Pictured are member Carolyn Robbins; spouses Cherie Doyne and Gloria Wallick; and members Pam DePriest, Staci Bradshaw, Ellen Snyder, and Patty Ward.


2522 CYESO

Inverness Lodge donated $1,000 of its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to Citrus Youth Educational Symphonic Orchestra. Herb Yates, Lodge Community Activities Chair, presents a check Dec. 26 to Marty Hoffman, executive director.


2522 daystar

Daystar Life Center of Citrus County in Crystal River, Florida, received a $1,000 donation, also from Inverness Lodge’s Florida State Elks matching funds of the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant. Daystar is a charitable organization that provides a food pantry, a thrift store and a social services office. Richard Grosnick, Exalted Ruler, presents the check to Anthony Kopka, Daystar executive director, Dec. 22.


2522 CUB

Inverness Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler, Richard Grosnick, presents a $1,000 check to Citrus United Basket Dec. 22 using some of the lodge’s Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant matching Florida State Elks funds. Kelly Selplh, executive director, accepts the check.