Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
 
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497 CHS

On Feb. 10, Pensacola Beach Elks Lodge #497 made a $3,000 donation to the Children’s Home Society in Pensacola, Florida. This organization provides childhood and family counseling and adoptive services and support. Making the donation to Cynthia Vick, Children’s Home Society board member, are Scott Field, Leading Knight; Milton Andress, Loyal Knight; and Roy Carlisle, trustee.

 

On Dec. 17, Pensacola Beach Elks Lodge #497 donated $2,000 from its charity account to Favor House, a local agency providing shelter and counseling to women and children experiencing domestic abuse. Scott Field, Leading Knight, presented the donation to Taylor Ware, counselor at Favor House.

 

1795 elf

Fort Walton Lodge held its annual children’s Christmas party Dec. 19 and donated gifts for the kids. In attendance were Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus along with several elves, including the most famous elf, Buddy the Elf. The lodge offers this annual Christmas party for children of Elks families who are less fortunate and in need of assistance for celebrating the holidays.

Pictured are Marcia WrightReynolds, chaplain; Mary Barz; Mrs. Claus (Deb Fisher); Buddy the Elf (Taz WrightReynolds, PER, Exalted Ruler); Gaylon Barz; Santa Claus (Roger Fisher, lodge manager); Marcie Tingler, trustee; Mark Wynn, Inner Guard; Diane Winsor, Lecturing Knight; Jamie Clemons, Lodge Secretary; Tom McLaughlin, Loyal Knight; and Boudreaux Schriver, member.

 

1795 ball

On Dec. 11, Fort Walton Elks Lodge #1795 held its annual charity ball to benefit the Harry-Anna Trust Fund, which supports Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services and the Florida Elks Youth Camp. The event raised $5,355. The lodge holds this annual ball as a way for members to come together to celebrate the holidays and to have another venue to support the Harry-Anna Trust Fund. This year, Plant City Lodge’s Past State President Tom Ludwick and his wife, Joyce, who is the Treasurer & 365 Club Coordinator for the Florida Ladies of Elks, were in attendance, as was Colleen Gallant, PDD, Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services Director. Baskets and items were placed into the silent auction, which raised the bulk of the money.

Pictured with the check are Marcia WrightReynolds, Chaplain; Marcie Tingler, trustee; Dennis Abair, Tiler; Michele Packham, Leading Knight; Jamie Clemons, Lodge Secretary; Paul Willey, PER, trustee; Taz WrightReynolds, PER, Exalted Ruler; Kevin Clemons, PDD, Northwest District Leader; Diane Winsor, Lecturing Knight; Kathy Pacheco, trustee; Jamie Hutchins, treasurer; Tom McLaughlin, Loyal Knight; and Mark Wynn, Inner Guard.

 

497 wknd

Pensacola Beach Lodge made a $2,000 donation to the Gulf Breeze Weekend Food Program Dec. 13. This program provides food for children in need in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The packages go home with the kids on Fridays so they have food for the weekend. Accepting the donation is Mike Stahl, program director, from Dan Smith, Exalted Ruler.

 

497 school

On Dec. 16, Pensacola Beach Lodge donated $2,000 to Pensacola Beach Elementary School. Accepting the donation is Susan McLeod, principal, from Dan Smith, Exalted Ruler. 

 

2688 harvest

On Dec. 16, Destin Lodge awarded the $1,750 from its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to Harvest House, which provided Christmas dinner to 80 local families. Their mission is to supply food, clothing and shelter to those at a point of need in their life. Harvest House has a food pantry and a thrift store. Their services are provided to the community members of Destin and Miramar Beach, Florida. Pictured are Terri Griffin, lodge grant coordinator; Lori Joyner, Harvest House director; and Robert Griffin, lodge treasurer.

 

2624 Annabelle Brush and Ella Brush Showing their Chick Chain Chickens

Crestview Elks Lodge #2624 sponsored the 2021 Okaloosa County 4-H Chick Chain and Poultry Show Oct. 21. There were 381 children involved in the program leading up to this show, which was nearly a yearlong program. After 20 weeks of care and training, the poultry show was held. Elk member and Okaloosa County 4-H/Director with the University of Florida IFAS, Ronnie Cowan, was so pleased with the success of this year’s program. Crestview Lodge donated more than $300 toward it as well as in-kind donations valued at more than $10,000 for volunteer hours, cost of eggs, delivery and travel. The Chick Chain was open to all Okaloosa County youths ages 5 to 18. The program targeted the agriculture chain, life science, responsibility and life skills. The 4-H Chick Chain program provided students with hands-on experience that covered the life cycle of the chicken from incubation to hatching including care for the chickens for 20 weeks. This program teaches leadership, responsibility and civic understanding. Annabelle and her sister, Ella, showed their chickens at the poultry show, where Annabelle sold her chickens. When Ella did not sell her prize-winning birds, she was notified that she couldn’t keep them because of a city ordinance not allowing them in city limits, so Annabelle jumped into action. She wrote a letter to her city council member explaining her experiences in the 4-H Chick Chain and how much she learned. She also addressed the city council members in person about the city ordinance. Because of her efforts and involvement in 4-H, the city of Crestview now allows backyard poultry. The partnership of the Elks and 4-H not only teaches 4-H lessons but also helps young people learn civic-minded leadership.

Pictured are Annabelle Brush and Ella Brush showing their Chick Chain chickens.

 

2688 aed

Destin Lodge donated $1,500 Nov. 3 to the brand-new Destin High School which opened its doors in August 2021. The donation will cover the costs of two automated external defibrillators (AEDs). These AEDs are portable, lifesaving devices designed to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, a medical condition in which the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. Pictured are Christine Cruickshank, principal; Robert Griffin, treasurer; Terri Griffin, Elks National Foundation lodge grant coordinator; and Gloria Meade, chaplain.

 

2688 cath

On Oct. 28, Destin Lodge awarded the $2,000 Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida. Their mission is to work and assist the poor and vulnerable. Many community neighbors are facing eviction or unable to pay their utility bills due to a job loss or reduced hours. Many are going to bed hungry because they don’t have enough food to feed their families. By caring about the individual needs of those they serve, they are transforming lives and providing hope for the future. Pictured are Arielle May, volunteer; Eva Wise, executive director of Catholic Social Services; Robert Griffin, treasurer; Terri Griffin, Elks National Foundation lodge grant coordinator; Gloria Meade, chaplain; and Nick Hutchinson, volunteer.

 

2688 SC

On Oct. 28, Destin Elks Lodge #2688 awarded $1,750 from its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to Sharing & Caring Inc. of Okaloosa County. The mission of Sharing & Caring is to serve the community as an emergency food bank, providing a basic staple of foods for individuals and families in need who qualify. It is available to anyone who resides within the area of Hurlburt Field on the west, to Destin on the east and to Eglin Air Force Base on the north. Their clients include families, children, seniors, those without homes and those who are unemployed. The majority of clients are often referred to them by churches, social agencies or word of mouth.

Pictured at the check presentation are Robert Griffin, treasurer; Terri Griffin, Elks National Foundation lodge grant coordinator; Michele Seitz of Sharing & Caring; and Gloria Meade, chaplain.

 

Weekend Food Program Oct 2021 pic

Pensacola Beach Elks Lodge #497 donated its $2,000 Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to the Gulf Breeze Weekend Food Program to benefit children in local schools. The program provides weekend food for children in need at Gulf Breeze elementary, middle and high schools. Also included are Oriole Beach Elementary and Woodlawn Beach Middle schools in Santa Rosa County, Florida. Presenting the donation Oct. 4 is Dan Smith, Exalted Ruler, to Mike Stahl, program director.