Vero Beach Lodge held its annual Christmas program for Wabasso School, a special-education school serving students ages 5-22 which offers four program models: intensive, integrated, behavioral and transition programs. Staff members provide instruction within a safe and positive learning environment that positively impacts students to develop their academic and independent living skills to meet post-secondary goals and successful community integration. The Elks provide gifts, cupcakes and juice, and Santa Claus distributes gifts to all the students.
Vero Beach Lodge held its annual Toys for Tots drive. The lodge is noted for its donations of bicycles; this year they donated 16 bikes and helmets along with many other gifts.
Vero Beach Elks Lodge #1774 completed its annual dictionary project with Paul Diaz, PER, project manager, and Ray Ketchum delivering 1,000 dictionaries to 12 Indian River County, Florida, schools. Because of the pandemic, the dictionaries were dropped off at the schools and the schools dispersed the dictionaries. Pictured are Diaz and Ketchum with one of the schools’ representatives.
A $1,000 check was presented by Richard Miller, Vero Beach Exalted Ruler, to Rey Navarro, Director of Village Operations for the Hibiscus Children’s Center, a facility that has saved and rescued the lives of children and teens who have been abused, since 1985.
Melbourne Elks Lodge #1744 used its $3,500 Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant combined with the $3,500 matching Florida State Elks Association grant and some additional funds ($7,054.05 in total) to provide 280 families from four area schools with groceries for the Thanksgiving holiday. Groceries were delivered to the schools by two Elks per school. Families arrived later in the day and stayed in their cars. Personnel at the school loaded the bags of groceries into the trunks to keep contact to a minimum. The lodge purchased turkeys that were 60% off and all other groceries were on sale as buy one-get one free. Groceries included a 13-15 pound turkey, five pounds of potatoes, two cans of green beans, a can of cream of mushroom soup, a can of French-fried onion rings, cranberry sauce, dressing, gravy, and bag of cookie mix. Pictured Nov. 19 during packing are an unidentifiable non-Elk helper; B.J. Black, PER; Sam Casella, PER; and Dolores Casella, PSP-FLOE. Elks not pictured are Cathy Underwood, PER; Tom Wojnar, Esquire; and Gerald Leman, grant coordinator.