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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1892 shower 1 

On Feb. 22, Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 hosted a community baby shower funded through the Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant. The lodge partnered with the community including schools and health clinics to reach out to new mothers. Nineteen volunteers helped guests feel welcome, and each new mom received gifts including a diaper bag, diapers, toys, bibs, bottles and a variety of door prizes. Lunch was provided and there were games as well. Each mom also received a home library of eight books to support their child's early literacy learning. Therapists Rae Montgomery and Melanie Sarris from Florida Elks Children's Therapy Services, Sergeant Kim Miller from Green Cove Springs Police Department, and Jennifer Parker, Green Cove Springs Library branch manager, were on hand to provide informational resources to the families. Pictured are new moms having lunch with Jennifer Parker, Rae Montgomery and Melanie Sarris.

                                     1892 shower 2 1892 shower 3


990 shower 2 990 shower

On March 3, Gainesville Elks Lodge, through partnership with the University of Florida’s Healthy Families Organization (HFO) and the Alachua County Library District and with the assistance of an Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant, held a community baby shower. Young first-time parents and expectant mothers were invited to the event and were informed of a vast amount of programs and services that the Elks, HFO and the Library District offer. A literary program was conducted by HFO with attention drawn to the learning capabilities of unborn children and the importance of reading to children even before their birth was discussed. Elks members distributed over 350 board books to the over 25 families in attendance and held a raffle for a large quantity of baby items ranging from diapers to play yards and highchairs. The Elks distributed information on Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services and Drug Awareness and assisted the library staff in providing library cards to the families. The families left with a copious amount of information to assist them in raising healthy children and promoting their children’s literacy skills and development.

Pictured are Elks members Maryann Davis, Linda Califf, and Lisa Cruz and helper Veronica Cruz.



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.  


829 bears

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.


1892 guitar recital

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.