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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2605 ortega

On May 10, Orange Park Lodge presented its $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to Ortega Elementary to be used for renovating their library. The lodge began a relationship with the school last year, providing school supplies for the children and teachers. Pictured at the presentation are Gwen Parker-Downs; Lisa Green; Lara Mathis, Exalted Ruler; Shannon Rose-Hamann, principal; Beth Bergmann, Lodge Secretary; and Tony Bergmann.


   221 fire  221 educator

221 law  221 mvs

Jacksonville Elks Lodge #221 held its annual awards ceremony at the lodge April 10 and honored outstanding community members who have made a difference. These are chosen by the Exalted Ruler, this year by William Watson III, PER. The lodge’s Elks National Foundation MVS scholarship winner was also recognized. The Firefighter of the Year award was presented to Lt. Mike Belcher by Watson for saving the life a of baby from a burning home this past year. The Educator of the Year award was presented to Nadine Ebri by Dave Hosch, PER. Ebri is an inspiration to many for her vision to help students nationwide learn math through her website and Facebook account. She also wrote a book, “Go Next Door,” to help teach kids to regroup with addition. Cindy Pearson, Duval County School Board member of District 3; Rachael Tutwiler Fortune, executive vice president of Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF); and Dr. Dana Krizner, deputy superintendent of Duval County Schools, were in attendance to see her receive her award. The Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award was presented to Officer Stephen Lutze by lodge member Bob Morgan, who is also retired from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, for helping another agency apprehend a suspect who fled the scene of a January traffic stop. He is pictured with his family; Morgan is on the left. The Enrique S. Camarena award was presented by lodge member AJ Jones to a local Drug Enforcement Officer who is currently working undercover, so their identity needs to stay private. The Most Valuable Student Award was presented by Watson to Brandon Griggs, who was sponsored by the lodge in the Elks National Foundation contest. Griggs was a national top 20 finalist. He will receive $5,000 a year for four years.


      1892 walk  1892 walk 2

From generous donations and fundraising efforts of Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 members, Exalted Ruler Ed Weston presented a check for $1,000 March 24 to Howie Brigance in support of the Borland Groover 5K team participating in the March to Get Screened Colon Cancer Awareness Walk.



On April 1, members of Northeast District Elks lodges donated 500 pairs of unicorn slippers to Wolfson's Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, on behalf of the district. The slippers were provided by the Florida State Elks Association.

Pictured are Dana Severidt, hospital volunteer coordinator; Jamie Sallas, nurse supervisor; BJ Sullivan, Gainesville Lodge Loyal Knight; Keith Eppes, PDD, Orange Park Lodge; Bella, granddaughter of , Joe Smith, St. Augustine Lodge Exalted Ruler; Ed Weston, Green Cove Springs Lodge Exalted Ruler; Louis Mallory, Gainesville Lodge chaplain; Scott Wilson, PER, endorsed Northeast District Vice President; and Joe Smith, St. Augustine Lodge Exalted Ruler.


990 golf

On March 21, the 40th annual Gainesville Elks golf tournament took place after two prior cancellations due to the pandemic. Seventy-four players attended and more than $5,000 was donated to charities from this event.