From Dec. 4-7, the Elks’ drug awareness program speaker, Ray Lazano, presented facts of drugs like nicotine and other addictions to local students and their parents. He visited five elementary schools, two middle schools, one freshman campus, the high school and the Okeechobee Achievement Academy. His message reached 3,206 students, 230 adults and 52 Elks members.
Lake Okeechobee Lodge used their Elks National Foundation Promise Grant and Anniversary Grant to host their first Halloween extravaganza. Partnering with other nonprofits, local businesses, first responders and the county commissioners, they hosted 2,238 people at the Agri-Civic Center on Halloween night! There were costume contests, a photo booth, games to play, a hay ride and of course candy! The families enjoyed a safe, fun atmosphere complete with a haunted walk.
PDD Gary Casperson gives hayrides at Lake Okeechobee’s Halloween extravaganza at the Agri-Civic Center Oct. 31.
Jupiter Elks Lodge #2469 hosted their annual Halloween haunted lodge that drew nearly 1,000 public spectators. They gave 13 local student groups and nonprofit organizations more than $2,000 for staging, decorating and acting out the fright scenes.
With the generosity of the members along with support from the local community, the Jupiter Elks supplied 108 local families with turkey dinners for Thanksgiving.
Jupiter Lodge made lots of children’s Christmas a little extra special with their annual Angel Tree project. Children who are less fortunate received a new outfit and toys.
The Clewiston Chamber of Commerce recently recognized Clewiston Elks Lodge as their Nonprofit Organization of the Year. This was a new award for the chamber and the Clewiston Elks are the first local nonprofit to be recognized. This award is in recognition of the many community activities that are supported by the Elks.
Clewiston Elks Lodge #1853 held a fundraiser to help support the local Hendry County Sheriff’s Office with their annual shopping-with-the-sheriff program which aims to ensure that kids who are underprivileged have a memorable Christmas. A member of the sheriff’s department is paired with a selected child who takes them shopping for their Christmas wish list.
Clewiston Lodge Exalted Ruler, Linda Allen, presents a check for $1,000 to Hendry County Deputy, Jeff Nunemaker, for their shopping-with-the-sheriff program.
The 2018 Southeast District Hoop Shoot took place at the Local Boys and Girls Club with participation from all four district lodges. Pictured are District Vice President, George Zocchi; first-place winner for boys ages 8-9, Briyce Wright, from West Palm Beach Lodge #1352; second-place winner, Wyatt Phillip, from Okeechobee Lodge #2871, ages 8-9 winner, Judson Phillip, from Okeechobee Lodge #2871; second-place winner, Isaiah McElroy, from Jupiter Lodge #2469; ages 12-13 winner, Nicholas Mitaro (second row), from Jupiter Lodge #2469; second-place winner, Sadler Soles, from Clewiston Lodge #1853; West Palm Beach Lodge Hoop Shoot director, Brien Morel; girls ages 8-9 winner, Anna Belle Damiano, from Jupiter Lodge #2469; girls ages 12-13 winner, Rylie Tucker, from Okeechobee Lodge #2871; and District Hoop Shoot director, PER Luis B. Oms, from West Palm Beach Lodge.
Jupiter Elks Lodge members recently played in the Tony Boisclair golf invitational in memory of one of Jupiter’s dedicated members who passed unexpectedly earlier this year. A portion of the event proceeds will help fund scholarships for local high school students.
Jupiter Elks donated more than $2,000-worth of school supplies to local schools for their classrooms. Representatives from Jupiter Farms Elementary, Jupiter Elementary, Jerry Thomas Elementary and Limestone Creek Elementary recently attended a lodge meeting to pick up the supplies.
The Clewiston Elks Soccer Shoot was held Thursday, Sept. 13. The medal winners from each age group advanced to the Southeast District Soccer Shoot in Clewiston Saturday, Oct. 13. High scorers were Sebastian Aragus and Nicole Chantang, each with 44 points. Sebastian Aragus and Katelin Aragus are both past state champions.
Clewiston Christian School students participating in the Clewiston Lodge Soccer Shoot were Wildes Redish, Paisley Bellew, Brittney Casique, Brooklyn Sergent, Landon Bellew, Gray Redish and Sean Daniels.
Clewiston Lodge held their annual country boy cook-off and dessert auction in August raising over $2,000 to help meet the Elks National Foundation and Harry-Anna Trust Fund giving goals. This year’s winners were Juanita North and David Monsour of Jupiter Lodge #2469 who gained some revenge on the Clewiston cook crews who placed first and second at this year’s Southeast District championship that was held at Jupiter Lodge. Clewiston and Jupiter lodges have enjoyed this friendly competition for the last several years.
Clewiston Lodge held their annual Golfing for Scholars event with over 70 golfers and additional volunteers. Funds from this annual event fund college scholarships for local high school seniors. Over the last 30 years, the lodge has awarded between $4,000 and $7,000 in scholarships annually. This year’s event raised over $8,000 that will help local students attend the college of their choice.
Lake Okeechobee Elks ran an information booth at a local festival over Labor Day weekend. They held a Soccer Shoot and joined local groups at back-to-school events. With a donation of school supplies, members attended the backpack program hosted by Our Village Okeechobee. On the first day of school, Elks met at an elementary school and welcomed students back to school and cheered them on to success.
Clewiston Elks Lodge #1853, scouts and their families celebrated Flag Day by performing the Elks Flag Day ritual at the lodge. The evening started with a meal that was prepared by volunteer Elks Trip and Brenda Whidden and Esteemed Loyal Knight, Danielle Soles. The ceremony started with a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” followed by the lodge officers telling how the American flag was representative of their respective stations. The scouts then took over the celebration by performing a parade of the flag’s history. Flags representative of different eras of the country’s history were presented one at a time. The history was read by Cubmaster Mathew Aldana. The ceremony was closed by a prayer from Father Samuel Thomas.
Scouts who participated in Clewiston Lodge’s Flag Day ceremony were Zane Ponce, Josh Henry, Isaiah Hinojosa, Easton Henry, Mathew Aldana Jr., Mathew Aldana, Sean Ponce, Legh Ward and Andrew Johnson.
Clewiston Lodge Exalted Ruler, Linda Allen, presented a check in the amount of $3,400 to Debbie Howell, Executive Director of the local chapter of the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation. The Clewiston Elks used the funds from last year’s President Grant to host a fundraiser with all proceeds donated back to the UCP. The lodge is grateful to 2017-2018 President, Carl Gerace, and Kathy for making a difference in their community.
Jupiter Elks Lodge #2469 holds a monthly fish fry membership drive the third Friday of the month and charity bingo every Monday. They also presented six well-deserving high school graduates each with a $500 scholarship.
Jupiter Lodge has a close working relationship with the local scouts and hosted an open house recruitment for the local Cub Pack and also conducted an Arrow of Light ceremony honoring a local Cub Scout for completing the requirements to earn the highest rank in Cub Scouting.
Mother’s Day was a beautiful brunch celebration honoring all mothers, and Father’s Day and Flag Day were celebrated with a classic car show and flag ceremony conducted by the lodge officers, local scouts and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Honor Guard.