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.
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.
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.
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.
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.