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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Carol Aitchison

Naples Lodge Donates Facility for Lacrosse Team Car Wash

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Naples Elks Lodge #2010 donated the use of its facility and resources as part of its ongoing support of youth programs in the community to the Naples Lely High School girls’ lacrosse team. They ran a car wash Dec. 1 to raise funds for non-funded equipment and uniforms needed for the team. Pictured are student team members Thascha Renard and Litzy Lopez; head coach, Brad Bissell; and lodge trustee, Roger Marx. The team raised $850.


Bonita Springs-Estero Lodge Donates to Food Bank

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On Nov. 6, Bonita Springs-Estero Elks Lodge #2753 presented a check for $7,340.25 to the Harry Chapin Food Bank to benefit the Florida Hurricane Michael Relief Fund. The lodge held 50/50 raffles, passed the hat at several events and asked the membership for donations. The Elks also matched the single largest donation.

John Kuhn, Special Events Manager of the Harry Chapin Food Bank, accepts a donation on behalf of Bonita Springs-Estero Lodge from Dianne Wilhelm, Exalted Ruler; Frank Scandale, Esteemed Lecturing Knight; and PER Steve Cicak, Trustee and Lodge Advisor.


Rotonda Elks Hand out Halloween Bags to Youth

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Rotonda Elks Lodge #2710 distributed trick-or-treat bags outside Walmart in Englewood, Fla., Halloween afternoon. Bags contained candy, coloring books, crayons, pencils, ribbons and drug awareness reminders. Elks Cathy Redman, Debbie Sommers and Sam Besase distributed drug awareness brochures and booklets along with candy to teenagers and their parents.

Rotonda Lodge Exalted Ruler, Phil Sommers, hands a Halloween treat bag to Luke Wilson and his mother outside an Englewood Walmart Oct. 31.


Englewood Elks Buy Books for Second- and Fourth-Graders

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Englewood Elks Lodge #2378 donated $1,088 to Myaaka Elementary to pay for the purchase of a book for children in grades two and four (162 children). Estelle Dichazi, Elks member, presents the check to Jackie Hamilton, Media Specialist. Also pictured are principal, Mrs. Shepard, and students Emily Atherholt, Emily Elkins, JT Ralston, Amelia Bernicchi and Peyton Horn.


Rotonda Lodge Hosts Special Olympics Event

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On Saturday, Sept. 12, Rotonda Elks Lodge’s property once again evolved into a large playing field for their third Special Olympics event. Elkette President, Ginny Perry, hosted this event for 55 children and young adults. Before the games began, the American Legion 113 Honor Guard presented the flag. The athletes enjoyed soccer, track, softball toss, bocce, putting golf balls and a beanbag toss. After the competition, volunteers served lunch to some very hungry athletes. Exalted Ruler, Phil Sommers, conducted the award ceremony and distributed medals to all the hardworking athletes. At the closing, one young adult mentioned that he would be back next year. The lodge members were proud to be a part of the 50th year’s celebration of Special Olympics.

Rotonda Lodge’s Bob Humphreys, PER raised the flag with one of the athletes competing in the Special Olympics.


Punta Gorda Elkettes Bring Generous Donations to FLOE Conference

Twenty-three Punta Gorda Elkettes attended the 55th annual Florida Ladies of Elks conference in September. They brought with them a $5,000 donation for Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services, a $600 donation from the Elkette bocce league for the Florida Elks Youth Camp wish list, and bed pillows and linens for the camp cabins.


SSW District PERs Sponsor Benefit for Ron Rehner

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The South Southwest District Past Exalted Rulers sponsored a spaghetti dinner hosted by Punta Gorda Lodge Sunday, Sept. 10, to benefit Ron Rehner who has been afflicted with a life-threatening ailment. He is the son-in-law of Don (deceased) and Colleen Roll. Don Roll was the first Exalted Ruler of Punta Gorda Lodge and his daughter is Jacquie Rehner, SWC District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler and ENF grants coordinator. In addition to proceeds from the dinner, raffles and donations including $250 from the Punta Gorda Elkettes, a check in the amount of $4,500 was presented to help with medical bills.


Greater Pine Island Elks Honor 9/11 with Service

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Greater Pine Island Lodge honored the anniversary of Sept. 11 by preparing and delivering a lasagna dinner to their neighboring first responders.


Englewood Elks Participate in Shipwreck Dance

On Aug. 24, Englewood Elks Lodge participated in the Shipwreck Dance, a pre-Labor Day youth dance, held at Sky Academy, an Englewood school. Their booth exhibited information on Elks programs and they distributed drug awareness material to approximately 200 youngsters between the ages of 8-12.


Rotonda Sponsors Shop-with-Firefighters Event

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Using an Elks National Foundation grant, Rotonda Elks Lodge #2710 sponsored its first children's shop-with-firefighters/first responders event. A group of children from kindergarten through seventh grade gathered at Walmart to shop for Father’s Day with members from the lodge and firefighters and first responders from the Englewood Area Fire Control District Station 71. They helped the children select gifts for their fathers.

The firefighters took time to explain fire safety in the home, safety in the pool, helped children consider a fire plan in the event of a house fire and demonstrated how they put on their gear. Two hook and ladder trucks were available for the children to walk through. The kids were thrilled and had many questions.


Cape Coral Elks Hold 5K Fundraiser for FECTS

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Cape Coral Elks Lodge #2596 held a 5K run and open house June 2 which raised $2,000 for Florida Elks Children's Therapy Services. The open house also generated 31 new member applications. The donation was presented to Colleen Gallant, FECTS Director, by Patti and ER Richard Kampf at the national convention in San Antonio in July. Pictured at the 5K are therapist, Jeanne Martin; therapy patient, Alex Collazo; Alex’s mother, Elizabeth Pineda; trustee, Jim Fraser, and his wife, Kate, who were the 5K organizers; and Richard Kampf, Exalted Ruler.


Greater Pine Island Lodge Supports Meal-Delivery Program for Seniors

2781 Beacon Bites

Greater Pine Island Elks Lodge #2781 used its Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant of $2,000 to support the Beacon Bites program. In November 2016, the Beacon of Hope created a program, Beacon Bites, to deliver freshly made lunches to low-income and disabled seniors on Pine Island. Island Café is preparing the meals for this program and community volunteers deliver the meals and check on the seniors during the week. Frozen meals are delivered on Saturday for the weekend meals.

“The Elks National Foundation through its Gratitude Grant is providing us with the opportunity to give back to our community,” says Exalted Ruler, Judy Hopkins. “It is our way of helping to build a stronger community. By partnering with the Beacon of Hope we can provide additional meals to those in need on the island. We want  to serve our community in ways that will raise the lodge's profile, energize our membership, encourage former members to return to the fold and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that is doing big things.”

Pictured are Greater Pine Island Elks Lodge representative, Lee Wilbur, and members George Yorkston, Gerry Goyette, Ed Pfister and Frank Virts presenting a check to Beacon representative Peggy Hoffrogge for $2,000.


Louisiana State Legislature Increases New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax

The Legislature of the State of Louisiana has acted to increase the New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax from 13% to 14.75% effective April 1, 2014. This will affect our convention room rates and they will go from $128.56 to $130.52 per night.

Convention Attendees With ADA Transportation Needs Urged To Contact Grand Lodge

In order for the Grand Lodge to support the transportation needs of attendees with disabilities you are urged to contact the Grand Lodge if you require special assistance. Special coaches capable of kneeling to accommodate wheel chairs will be placed along the routes for those in need. If you require assistance please contact Tina or Jessica at the Grand Lodge as follows:


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