On April 9, Delray Beach Elks Lodge #1770 awarded 2020 awards to Delray’s first responders of the year. Ten Elks officers and committee chairs gathered at the Delray Fire Department’s open-air garage for a more COVID-safe ceremony. Pictured are members John Van Zant, Kim Van Sant, and Mary Wilson; Driver Engineer Eric Varano, Delray Beach Firefighter of the Year (presented by Division Chief Sean Gibson); member Kristina Lebrevelec; Captain Matthew Fick, Delray Beach Firefighter of the Year (presented by Division Chief Sean Gibson); member James Eaton; Lifeguard Julia Sheffer, Delray Beach Ocean Rescue of the Year (presented by Division Chief Phil Wotton); Officer Damien Ferraiolo, Police Officer of the Year (presented by Delray Police Chief Javaro Sims); member Carol Eaton; Exalted Ruler, Roger Cope; member Nancy Handler; and commissioner and member, Ryan Boylston.
On Feb. 11 using the Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant, Hollywood West Elks Lodge #2365 presented $2,000 in Publix gift cards to the Hope Outreach Center to assist those in need. Pictured in the front are John Allison, Exalted Ruler, and Joanne Robinson, Hope Outreach Director. In the back are Jim Blanchard, District Vice President; Peggy Felthaus, Treasurer; JoAnn Caliendo, Secretary; Gerry Goodwin, Lecturing Knight; and Ed Scanlon, House Committee Chair.
Boca Raton Elks Lodge #2166 was used as a polling place for the elections this year, and many members were trained to be poll workers. To thank the Elks for the use of the hall, the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections donated $1,980.00 to the lodge. Pictured are Tito Young, Exalted Ruler; Vic Weliky, member; Catherine MacDonald, member; Shirley Board, Loyal Knight; Judy Lamey, media relations specialist for the Palm Beach County Elections Office; and John DeCicco, trustee.
Delray Beach Elks Lodge #1770, using a donation of $500, donated 18,000 books to elementary schools in Delray Beach, Boca Raton, and Boynton Beach, Florida. On Dec. 5, the lodge donated $1,000 to the Palm Beach County Food Bank’s Empty Bowls fundraiser. On Dec. 14, the lodge donated $2,000 for the city of Delray’s holiday toy drive and to Heroes and Helpers. These projects fund Christmas presents for children and families in Delray Beach. On Dec. 15, the lodge sponsored ADVA’s (Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence) 21st annual Race for Hope with a donation of $500. The race took place Jan. 21.
On Nov. 26, Pompano Beach Elks Lodge #1898 used $500 from its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to help St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church deliver meals to community members who are shut in and to provide a curbside service. In all, 400 meals were distributed on Thanksgiving. In addition, 50 families received baskets of food from the pantry. Pictured are Bud Legere, Exalted Ruler; Sandy Legere, trustee; Charlotte Burrie, PDD; and Frank Sellers, PDD (back).
Boca Raton Elks Lodge members donated three bicycles, a scooter, a skateboard and over $400 worth of toys to the American Association of Caregiving Youth. This organization helps children who care for ill parents. In addition to these gifts, members donated another $936 in cash to help the organization supply needed items to these caregivers. Members also helped wrap and distribute the gifts to the children at the association’s gathering. Pictured are Ian MacDonald, PER; Shirley Board, Loyal Knight; and Tito Young, Exalted Ruler.
Delray Beach Elks Lodge #1770 supported the City of Delray’s Delray Reads Day, hosted virtually Oct. 29. Pictured is lodge member and teacher Leslie Schneider reading “Evelyn Del Ray is Moving Away” to her students at Plumosa Elementary in Delray, Florida.
Boca Raton Elks Lodge #2166 received the Elks National Foundation Beacon and Spotlight grants totaling $5,500 and used the funds to purchase school supplies for Orchard View Elementary School and Silver Lake School such as folders, notebooks, pens, pencils, markers and scissors for the use in the classroom. Because of this year’s unique circumstances due to the pandemic, they also supplied masks, hand sanitizer and classroom cleansers. Pictured at Orchard View Elementary School Aug. 26 are Shirley Board; Tito Young, Exalted Ruler; Ian MacDonald; Catherine MacDonald; John DeCicco; Tony Young, teacher; Vic Weliky; Susie Christensen; Jerry Christensen; and a faculty member whose name was unavailable. In the front are Mrs. Lee, principal, and Mrs. Sarnelli, teacher. Pictured at Silver Lake School Sept. 2 are Ian MacDonald; Shirley Board; Tito Young, Exalted Ruler; Mrs. Lopez, principal; and Pat Maher, lodge member and teacher.
Delray Beach Lodge donated $1,750, half of its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant, to Living Hungry, an organization that partners with other groups to help feed those who are hungry. Lodge member Maura Plante founded the organization and puts a large focus on feeding children. Living Hungry is based in Delray Beach, Florida, and has a warehouse in West Palm Beach, Florida. During the pandemic, they are providing 2,774 families in Delray Beach with 20 pounds of fresh produce, milk, cheese and meat every week. Living Hungry receives donated food boxes from the USDA Farmers to Families Food Boxes program but still is responsible for covering the expenses during the food distribution events such as forklift and pallet jack rentals, equipment, water, snacks and insurance; the lodge’s donation will help with these costs. Gregg Simpson, lodge member, and Becky Knapp, spouse of member Tim Knapp, packed cars with boxes twice a week for two months. Pictured Aug. 27 during a distribution event are Cecil Broderick, Exalted Ruler; Plante; and Carol Eaton, lodge treasurer, along with the many volunteers of the day.
Bud Legere, Pompano Beach Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler, has applied for the Gratitude Grant to provide nonperishable supplies for St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry which is sponsored by St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church. There has not been any activity since the closed out the Beacon Grant March 31 due to the coronavirus. Prior to the pandemic, though, Legere and his wife, Sandy, spent many volunteer hours purchasing nonperishables and replenishing and distributing food from the pantry. The Pantry serves needy families and those who are homeless in the depressed area of the city. This will be the third year that the lodge has supported the pantry. “Bud and Sandy Legere have served as volunteers for over seven years, including a three-year term as Treasurer and Vice President, respectively. Even though they “retired” about a year ago, they continue to help us, especially with obtaining the generous grants they have gotten from the Elks Club. They have been invaluable and reliable volunteers throughout these years,” says Joseph Maloney, president of the St. Vincent de Paul Conference.
Pompano Beach Elks Lodge #1898 sponsored two Elks National Foundation scholarship winners. Daniel Ardity placed second nationally in the 2020 Top 20 Most Valuable Student scholarship and has been awarded $40,000 for his college career. Allysa Howitt, granddaughter of members Jennie and Stu Howitt, PER, is a recipient of the Legacy Award, receiving $4,000. She is required to participate in three service events and submit a detailed report. She is attending the University of Florida.
Oakland Park Elks Lodge #2407 had a Cinco De Junio celebration dinner June 5 with music while practicing correct social distancing. A total of $211 was raised for the Elks National Foundation.