On June 2, Vero Beach Elks Lodge #1774 donated $500 to Sunday Strong for the purchase of team T-shirts featuring the lodge logo on the sleeve. Sunday Strong is a Vero Beach-based organization that unites the fitness industry and adult athletes with intellectual disabilities by working with fitness facilities to provide one group class per week for these athletes at no charge to them. Pictured in the back row at the donation presentation with the Sunday Strong athletes are Richard Miller, Vero Beach Lodge Esteemed Leading Knight (third from left); Laura Radocaj, Sunday Strong founder and president (fifth from left); and Paul Diaz, Exalted Ruler (seventh from left).
On Jan. 8, Lenny Smallacombe and his wife, Barb, attended the St. Lucie Public Schools board meeting. At the meeting, the good works of the Fort Pierce Elks’ backpack program were shared with the board and everyone in attendance. Smallacombe later accepted a special appreciation award from Superintendent E. Wayne Gent and board members on behalf of all the dedicated team members of the backpack program and on behalf of all those who donate to the program. Pictured are Katherine Hensley, Vice Chairman; Carol A. Hilson; Debbie Hawley, Chairman; Dr. Donna Mills; Troy Ingersoll; Superintendent E. Wayne Gent; and Lenny & Barb Smallacombe. The program utilizes an Elks National Foundation community grant which helps Fort Pierce Elks Lodge make a difference in children’s lives in their community.
On Dec. 9 with 32 volunteers, Fort Pierce Elks Lodge #1520’s pantry/food backpack program packed food items in backpacks for 13 St. Lucie County public elementary schools. More than 600 homeless children will have an ample supply of food during the long holiday school vacation. The lodge partners with school officials and they agreed to send a large truck to pick up and deliver the food to the schools Dec. 12. While this was going on, the lodge visited three schools most in need and donated boxes of school shirts, belts, shorts and Christmas gifts for homeless families whose children attend these schools. All the schools that the lodge helps are provided free breakfast, lunch and now snacks before leaving school. This successful program is fueled by 39 dedicated team members.
Lenny Smallacombe and Fort Pierce Elks delivered clothes, backpacks and Christmas gifts to Lakewood Park Elementary Dec. 12.
Vero Beach and Sebastian Elks lodges collaborated to donate stop-the-bleed kits to every school in their district. Stop-the-bleed kits allow bystanders to become equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. The total cost of $2,435 was shared by both lodges. Richard Miller, Vero Beach Lodge Community Activities chairman, said, “traumatic injuries at schools have become a new reality. We hope that the kits are never needed; however, it is better to be prepared to administer aid as quickly as possible. Elks care – Elks share.”
Vero Beach Lodge’s Richard Miller and Sebastian’s Anthony Kisielewski present stop-the-bleed kits to Indian River School District’s Jon Teske.
Vero Beach Lodge is making children’s wishes come true at Hibiscus Children’s Center. These children have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. The lodge used $750 from the Elks National Foundation Promise Grant to deliver the wishes in time for the holiday season. Lodge Community Activities chairman, Rich Miller, said the children have also been rewarded with “Hibiscus dollars” for doing extra “chores” and acts of kindness.
Vero Beach Elks Lodge #1774 members, along with their mascot, Elroy, presented dictionaries to every third-grade student in the Indian River School District. For the second year, well over 1,000 dictionaries were distributed. These special dictionaries include an encyclopedia, multiplication tables, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, U.S. presidents, the planets, sign language, Braille and so much more! The Elks included a ribbon in the dictionaries to remind students to stay drug-free!