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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Tracy Carroll

Green Cove Springs Lodge Gives Gifts at City's Christmas Festivities


The Green Cove Springs lodge #1892 participated in the City of Green Cove Springs Christmas festivities.  On December 1st, 14 Elks and 8 helpers packed age appropriate gift bags for infants up to teens. Thanks to the generosity of the Lodge Members and PER Association,  on December 7th, 15 Elks and 10 helpers distributed bags to over 300 local children.  


St. Augustine Elks Donate Teddy Bears for Local Patients

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St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 heard that the St. John’s Sheriff’s Department needed a donation of bears for its Cuddly Care program. Lodge member Cathy Walsh ordered the bears and took donations from lodge members as well. Leading Knight, Connie Sarnowski, delivered the 47 bears to the sheriff’s department. The mission of the program is to raise the spirits of patients at Flagler Hospital and local nursing homes and has been in existence for nearly 20 years. Many organizations, businesses and private citizens have generously contributed to this program by collecting hundreds of thousands of stuffed animals that have brought smiles to numerous patients’ faces.

St. Augustine Lodge Leading Knight, Connie Sarnowski, delivers teddy bears to Deputy Sharon Borra and Community Affairs Specialist, James Desmond, for the St. John’s Sheriff’s Department cuddly bear program.


Green Cove Springs Lodge Offers Free Summer Guitar Lessons

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Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 utilized the Elks National Foundation Promise Grant to fund summer guitar lessons for local students. The lodge purchased materials for 10 students and hired a guitar instructor, Marty Farmer, who provided seven hour-long group lessons throughout the summer. Lunch was provided at each session. On July 24, the students performed a recital for approximately 70 Elks and family members and stayed as guests for dinner after the performance.


Gainesville Lodge Hosts Annual Splash Day for Autism Awareness

          990 dunk booth 990 edmands

On June 20, Gainesville Elks Lodge #990 hosted its annual Splash Day to raise awareness for autism and to benefit the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) which is associated with the University of Florida. There were 156 participants who attended the fun-filled and informative afternoon event. Using the Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant and lodge donations, 33 volunteers, including Florida Elks therapist Val Edmands, helped raise awareness of CARD and its services.

Gainesville Lodge member Austin Roper takes a turn in the dunking booth as Dustin Klein tries to dunk him. Dustin’s father is member Jason Klein. Dustin brought his own money to donate at the dunking booth.

FECTS therapist Valerie Edmands was on hand to share information with families. She is pictured with Margie Garlin from CARD.


FLOE Fashion Show Raises Funds for Major Projects

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Green Cove Springs Lodge hosted the third Northeast District Florida Ladies of Elks (FLOE) fashion show May 6. FLOE Treasurer Linda Rittenhouse and 18 lodge volunteers modeled the casual wear, set up and decorated the lodge, and prepared and served the food to the delight of the show’s 81 attendees. Tiffany Ruff of RESORT FASHIONS presented the fashions for sale aided by six ladies from Green Cove Springs Lodge who modeled the casualwear. The show raised $1,581.46 for Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services and the Florida Elks Youth Camp.

Shirley Orvosh, Nancy Klopfenstein, Joy Elrod, Barbara Giansanti, Joi Thomas and Debi Langeluttig (members and spouses) model fashions at the Northeast District FLOE fashion show held at Green Cove Springs Lodge May 6.


Green Cove Springs Lodge Supports Public Library Kickoff Event

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On June 4, Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 sponsored the summer kickoff for the Green Cove Springs Public Library. This was the lodge’s fourth year of promoting this program. The event was to encourage children to sign up for the special library programs for children of all ages. In attendance were 164 children accompanied by 50 adults. Twenty volunteers assisted the children and provided an age-specific book for each child.

Green Cove Springs Lodge members Lynn Clunk and Deb Langeluttig sign up participants for summer library events June 4 at Green Cove Springs Public Library.


St. Augustine Lodge Awards $10,000 in Scholarships to Local Seniors

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St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 awarded 10 $1,000-scholarships to 2019 graduating Seniors. Scholarship recipients are chosen based on academic achievement, school activities, community service and financial need. These are this year’s recipients: Nicholas Barlow (Florida Atlantic, finance/medical), Oliver Capp (Sante Fe State/UF, business), Alexandra Petrilli (Anderson University, biology/business), Emily Gober (University of Florida, physical therapy), David Lee (scholarship chairman), Mike Hughes (Exalted Ruler), Emily Jackson (University of Florida, biomedical/med school), Mackenzie Simon-Collins (Johns Hopkins University, neuroscience), Joshua Gould (University of North Florida, mechanical engineering), Zoe Wilson (Florida State University, sports medicine) and Mary Roy (First Coast Technical College, nursing). Not pictured is Susanna Matza (Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting – film/TV/media).


Green Cove Springs Lodge Hosts Kids' Fair

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On Jan. 12, Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 used funds from an Elks National Foundation Promise Grant to host a kids' fair for the youth of the community. Participants spent a fun-filled afternoon learning the importance of fire safety, bike safety, exercise, nutrition, goal setting and drug awareness. They also had their pictures taken with Elroy the Elk. Twenty-four lodge members and volunteers, including Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services therapist Janet Bryant and members of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Clay County Fire Department, were on hand to assist the children and their parents. Lunch was provided, and participants left with educational materials including Elks drug awareness education items and prizes to encourage active lifestyles.

Participants are pictured with Clay County firefighters; Elroy the Elk; and Exalted Ruler, Lucie Barnette, at Green Cove Springs Lodge’s kids’ fair Jan. 12.


Santa's Workshop Sponsored by Green Cove Springs Lodge

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On Dec. 1, using funds from the Elks National Foundation Promise Grant and from the lodge's PER Association, Green Cove Springs Lodge continued their tradition of sponsoring Santa's Workshop. This event is held in connection with the city of Green Cove Springs’ annual Christmas parade. After visiting with Santa, children and their families are greeted by lodge members and volunteers who happily hand out gift bags packed age-appropriately for infants through teens.


Elementary School Students Receive Books and Sweatshirts from Lodge #1892

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On Dec. 6, Green Cove Springs Lodge used the Elks National Foundation Anniversary Grant to donate sweatshirts and books to the first-grade students at Charles E. Bennett Elementary School. Each of the 88 students received two books and a sweatshirt just in time for winter vacation. Remaining funds were donated to the school's resource teachers for classroom supplies.

Pictured are Green Cove Springs Lodge’s Rick Kunze, PER; Penny Kunze; Lucie Barnette, Exalted Ruler; and Clyde Mixon, project coordinator, delivering books and sweatshirts to Charles E. Bennett Elementary School’s Erika Gallo, art teacher; Sarah Lawson, principal; and several first-grade students.


Library Receives Tables and Chairs from Green Cove Springs Lodge

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Green Cove Springs Lodge donated four folding tables and 16 chairs to the Green Cove Springs Branch Library for use with their many preschool children’s programs. The lodge used the Beacon Grant matching funds received from the Florida State Elks Association to make the purchase. Linda Rittenhouse, FLOE Treasurer; Exalted Ruler, Lucie Barnette; and Gene Rittenhouse, PER, delivered the gift to the library’s branch manager, Jennifer Parker, and Friends of the GCS Library VP, Dee Pratt, Nov. 5.


Green Cove Springs Lodge Sponsors First Responders in Golf Tournament

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The charity bingo funds from Green Cove Springs Lodge’s PER Association sponsored a team in the local annual Quigley House Purple Ribbon golf tournament. Quigley House is Clay County’s only domestic violence and sexual assault center. Its services are provided to survivors free of charge. The donation of $1,000 allowed the lodge four entries in the tournament. The lodge has the tradition of inviting first responders to use the entries. This year’s players were from Green Cove Springs Police Department and Public Works.

Green Cove Springs Lodge’s PER Association sponsored James Ottomeyer and Shawn Hines of Green Cove Springs Police Department, Steve Thomas of Green Cove Springs Public Works, and Mel Acres of GCSPD to play in the Quigley House Purple Ribbon golf tournament.


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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2018 by the
Florida State Elks Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

Millennium Walkway

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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