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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Sebastian Lodge held its 18th annual car and bike show Feb. 20 to benefit the Florida Elks Youth Camp and Florida Elks Children's Therapy Services. The event draws 200 cars annually and hundreds of spectators. This year the event involved community participation by the Sebastian Police Department COPE Unit and the Indian River County Sheriff's Department with the breast cancer awareness car and teen driver challenge. Elroy the Elk made an appearance and the Florida State Elks drug awareness trailer was on hand promoting the Drug Awareness program. The event raised $2,619.26.


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On Jan. 22, the EL-DOEs, which is the ladies auxiliary of Sebastian Elks Lodge #2714, hosted a sale of new and nearly new ladies’ apparel and accessories to raise funds for a scholarship for a local high school senior. The event raised nearly $600.

Pictured are auxiliary members Pam Saracene, also a lodge member; Gail Holt; Diane Lemire, also a lodge member; Mary Fox; Betty Hayes; Debbie Lawrence; and Mary Ducharme, Ladies President. The photo was taken by Pauline Talbott, Ladies Vice President, also a lodge member.



Melbourne Elks Lodge #1744 used its $2,500 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant and partnered with the Melbourne Police to distribute food vouchers for a precooked Christmas dinner meal to 100 food-insecure families. The meals are capable of providing food for 10 people.

Pictured Dec. 10 are Dolores Casella, Exalted Ruler; Officer Shaun Hill; Lieutenant John Grinwis; Nadine Smith, Melbourne Police Foundation vice president; and Tom Wojnar, Esquire and lodge grant coordinator. The vouchers were distributed Dec. 21.


On Oct. 20 during a low country boil dinner at Viera Elks Lodge #2817, Jerry Harrington, Exalted Ruler, presented a check for $2,000 to Kristen Sydney of Genesis House from the lodge’s Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant. Genesis House is a facility that provides transitional shelter for homeless women and their children, long-term housing for student mothers and their children, and shelter for homeless pregnant women and their children.

In December, Viera Lodge members donated 48 gifts to the Brevard County Triad’s Senior Santa Project. This project’s goal is to provide holiday gifts to elderly patients in nursing homes and hospice settings, mainly to those residents who do not have much local support and would probably not receive anything for the holidays. Brevard County Triad is a countywide partnership led by the sheriff’s office, local police and the state attorney’s office, which focuses on senior issues in Brevard County.


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On Oct. 23, Sebastian Elks Lodge #2714 was a silver sponsor of the Sebastian Police Department COPE (Community Oriented Policing Endeavor) Unit’s inaugural Unity Cup Golf Tournament with a $1000 donation. The mission of the COPE Unit is to create partnerships between the community and the Sebastian Police Department, to develop and employ proactive crime prevention strategies, and to promote the department’s resources to the community. The COPE Unit hosts events throughout the city where members meet with citizens, distribute crime prevention materials and build relationships to create a lasting environment of cooperation between the police and the citizens of Sebastian. Pauline Talbott, Southeast Central District and Lodge Drug Awareness Chair, and Mary Ducharme, president of the EL-DOEs, the lodge’s ladies organization, had a display at the 12th hole kicking off Red Ribbon Week promoting the Elks Drug Awareness program. They also shared information on the many projects supported by the Elks such as Florida Elks Youth Camp, Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services, Army of Hope, and college scholarships as well as local community charities such as Little Birthday Angels, Sebastian Elementary Backpack Buddies, and the Ecumenical Food Pantry of Sebastian. Several lodge members participated in the tournament, too.

Pictured are Pauline Talbott and Mary Ducharme and multiple banners.