The St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 Community Outreach Committee presented funds from the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to two deserving charities. Home Again St. Johns, which provides temporary housing, training and additional resources to those experience homelessness, received a check for $1,750, plus an additional $1,100 in lodge donations. Pictured March 16 are lodge members Kevin Walsh, Liz Bastedo, Rich Bastedo, Cathy Walsh, Rachel Fulghum (case manager) and Randy Cook, PER. Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition, which provides support to families experiencing homelessness, received a check for $1,750. Pictured March 29 are Debi Redding, director, and Kevin Walsh, trustee chair.
On May 19, Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 hosted a sixth grade graduation luncheon for the students at Charles E. Bennett Elementary School This annual event is held to celebrate the students' accomplishments and wish them success as they move to middle school. The lodge was decorated in the school colors. In attendance to speak to the students and assist with the luncheon were Mary Bolla, school board chair and lodge member; John Guzman, local police chief; and Steve Kelley, city council member. Eighty students, 10 school faculty and staff members, and 20 volunteers were in attendance as well. Sixth grader David Robinson was presented with the Student of the Year award. Rick Kunze, PER attended a later event at the school to present an award to sixth grader Paisleigh Blankenship, who was unable to attend the luncheon at the lodge. Pictured are David Robinson and his parent as he is presented the Student of the Year award by Rick Kunze, PER; Al Williams, Exalted Ruler; Gene Rittenhouse, PDD; Chief Guzman; and Councilman Kelley. Also pictured are Chief Guzman addressing the students and the lodge volunteers.
On March 9, Susan Senterfitt, Exalted Ruler of Gainesville Elks Lodge #990, presented a $500 check to Mackenzie Shaw, a Legacy Scholarship recipient attending the University of Florida. The donation, from the Exalted Ruler’s stipend, will support Noah’s Endeavor, a nonprofit which provides activities such as bowling and field days for those with special needs. Through her course and volunteer work at UF, Shaw and others have partnered with Noah's Endeavor to secure sponsors and donations.
On May 5, Gainesville Elks Lodge #990 was presented with the Elks National Youth Week proclamation by the City of Gainesville City Commission.
Pictured are BJ Sullivan, chaplain; Louis Mallory, Exalted Ruler; Becky Spence, PER; and Bonnie Mott, trustee.
To show appreciation for all they do, St. Augustine Lodge and Bridge City Realty hosted their annual Heroes Night Out for first responders Nov. 13. More than 150 St. Johns County first responders and their families along with lodge members enjoyed a barbecue meal catered by The Saucy Pig. There was music by The Saltones and a drawing for gifts provided by Bright Realty, Movement Mortgage and Landrieu of America.
Pictured are first responders and their families enjoying dinner and music.