On Feb. 19 and Feb. 20, Viera Lodge hosted a district visitation for State President Rudy Masi Sr. and his wife, Dolly. Exalted Ruler Jerry Harrington, PER presented a $2,000 check using funds from the lodge’s Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to Tara Pagliarini, Executive Director of Family Promise of Brevard County. Family Promise collaborates with the community to provide families experiencing homelessness with the support and resources they need to put themselves on a path toward long-term housing. Pictured are Masi Sr., Pagliarini, Dolly Masi and Harrington.
On Jan. 13, Viera Elks Lodge #2817 presented $2,000 from the lodge’s Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to Genesis House, a facility which provides transitional shelter for women and their children experiencing homelessness, long-term housing for student mothers and their children, and shelter for pregnant women and their children experiencing homelessness. John Harris, PSP presents the check to Kristin Snyder of Genesis House.
On March 29, Cocoa Elks Lodge members donated 50 Easter baskets to the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida. The club handed out the baskets April 1 to boys and girls ages 6 to 18. The Elks were happy to share the first bit of normalcy the kids have had in more than a year. Pictured outside the lodge are Erin Harmening, Cocoa Elks House Committee Chair; Brenda Jenkins, lodge member; Erin C. Harvey, development officer of Brevard County, Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida; and Beth Scarborough, lodge Tiler.
Lexie Laoutas, principal of White City Elementary School in Fort Pierce, Florida, contacted the Fort Pierce Elks backpack program Friday, March 19, and asked if they could donate small bottles of water for students. Due to COVID-19, all student water fountains have been shut down and many students do not have the funds to bring in bottles of water. Using donated backpack program funds, volunteers immediately went out and purchased 12 cases of 48-packs and 18 cases of 24-packs of water for a total of 1,008 bottles and delivered them to the school Monday morning, March 22. In a thank-you letter from Principal Laoutas, she wrote, “…we are unable to allow students access to the water fountains and rely on parents to send their children to school with their own bottled water. For various reasons that does not always happen and we rely on the generosity of others to fill that need. We are so grateful to the Elks lodge for the generosity and continued support of our students.”
Pictured are Yovanna Perdomo, site foreman; Lexie Laoutas, principal; and Fort Pierce Elks backpack volunteers Patricia Swayngim, PER, Exalted Ruler-elect; PDDs Lenny & Barb Smallacombe; Betty Foster, Leading Knight; and Scott Borror.
Vero Beach Lodge works directly with guidance counselors to select worthy students for scholarships and tends to favorably consider those who want to pursue vocational training. On Feb. 26, the lodge held a fundraiser for these scholarships and $1,800 was raised. The event was a tribute to Dean Martin. Pictured are Felix Deneau Jr., guest artist, and Ernie Simiele, lodge member, doing a Dean Martin songfest.