On Oct. 14, six Elks and 10 Anna Miller volunteers met at Eustis Elks Lodge #1578 to pack a donation totaling $5,001.29 worth of in-kind gifts to The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties. The donation included 350 adult/teen welcome kits, 118 children's welcome kits, 14 birthday kits (cake mix, frosting and candles for children who celebrate their birthday at the shelter), 15 stuffed toys, baby dolls, 87 full-sized toiletries, and children's clothes. Adult/teen welcome kits are one quart-sized bag bags containing soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant and a disposable shaver. Children’s kits also include hand sanitizer, a handheld toy, lip balm and various items for children. The kits are given to each person as they arrive at the shelter to make them feel special. The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties is a safe house for women, teens and children who have been abused as well as survivors of rape. The Haven offers many services to women and their children to help them on the road to a new safe and healthy life.
Winter Park Elks Lodge #1830 used their Elks National Foundation Gratitude grant to purchase 85 backpacks and school supplies for children in their community who are underprivileged. Pictured are Casselberry Elementary assistant principal, Mary Walters-Clark; PER Vivian Thomas; Charlie Thomas; and PER Ron Goluba.
Inverness Elks Lodge #2522 used an Elks National Foundation grant in August when their volunteers met to pack 170 backpacks for their Backpacks for Success program which is in its sixth year. They not only supply backpacks for children in foster care but they also deliver them to five other area schools so that children in the community are well prepared for their first day of school.
The Eustis Elks held an appreciation breakfast along with prizes and school supplies for teachers and principals in 11 local elementary schools a week before school started. They are also cooking spaghetti once a week for the Eustis High School junior varsity team to feed the football players before their games.
The Anna Miller Ladies of Eustis Elks donated $2,500 to Florida Elks Children's Therapy Services, sent 23 children to camp and gave school supplies to a local school.
The Winter Garden Ladies Auxiliary held a breakfast with the Easter Bunny. More than 30 children participated in this event.
Inverness Lodge used its $2,500 Elks National Foundation Promise Grant to support Citrus County Blessings, a hunger-relief program that provides food during the summer months to impoverished children and participates in local food recovery efforts. They have been battling food insecurity since 1999. The "Feed the Kids" program will provide fresh produce weekly to struggling families throughout the summer school vacation. The Elks will also provide volunteers for unloading, processing, packaging and delivering the produce to distribution sites throughout the county.
Inverness Lodge Exalted Ruler, Richard Grosnick, presents their Promise Grant to Connie Storm, executive director of Citrus County Blessing.
Citrus High School held its senior awards ceremony May 9, and Keith Posta, Inverness Lodge Scholarship Chairman, presented Emmalee Nadler, Kaycee Nichols and Jamie Stephen each with a $500 scholarship. Pictured with Posta and the scholarship recipients is Exalted Ruler, Richard Grosnick.
On May 19, three scouts from Mt. Dora Troop 21 accepted their Eagle Scout awards from scoutmaster, Tim Furry. The troop has been chartered by Eustis Elks Lodge #1578 for about three years. PER Patsy Despain presented each scout with the Elks and scouting pins and the Elks scouting certificate signed by Grand Exalted Ruler, Michael T. Luhr. Boy Scouts of America’s Bill Hayes, Lake District Eagle Scout Board of Review Chairman, gave each scout an Eagle scarf. Boy Scouts Advisory Council member Wes Estey also participated in the program.
Pictured at the Eagle Scout award presentation May 19 are scoutmaster, Tim Furry; Eustis Lodge PER, Patsy Despain; Eagle Scouts Simon Furry, Aiden Furry, and Jackson Blythe; and assistant scoutmaster, Robert Blythe.
On May 6, Inverness Elks Lodge #2522 hosted the Citrus High Chorus in a fundraiser concert. The chorus was selected to represent Florida in Hawaii in June at an American Music Festival commemorating the 75th anniversary of World War II. Donations were collected at the door with all proceeds going to the chorus to help cover the cost of travel to the festival. The fundraiser collected $300 in donations and the lodge presented an additional $500.
Nine Eustis Anna Miller Circle members and four Eustis Lodge Elks met March 29 to pack a $4,397 donation for The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties. The donation included 277 adult welcome kits and 118 children's welcome kits. The Haven, a shelter for abused women and their children as well as teens and rape survivors, provides a welcome kit of toiletries to each new client when they arrive at the shelter. The children's kits also contain hand sanitizer, a small toy and lip balm. In addition to the kits, this packing also included 69 items for school children, 17 birthday cake packets for children who find themselves in safe housing on their birthday, and 169 full-size toiletries.
Winter Park Elks Lodge #1830 is sponsoring 10 camperships at $180 each for children to attend a summer session at the Florida Elks Youth Camp. The lodge also purchased two tables at the Florida State Elks Association Harry-Anna Trust Unmasking Autism Gala of Hope at $2,500 each and was a gold sponsor for the softball tournament.
Patsy Despain, Eustis Lodge Exalted Ruler, presents a $500 scholarship to Bionca Young for her LPN certification earned at Lake Tech State College. Pictured with them are Bill Stomp of the Eustis Lodge scholarship committee and Kimberly Frazier, Dean of Student Services at Lake Tech.