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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Carol Aitchison

Rotonda Lodge Recognizes Americanism Essay Winners

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Bob Humphreys, Americanism Chairman of Rotonda Elks Lodge #2710, proudly presents certificates and prizes to Americanism essay contest winners Bethany Vo, fourth place, $10; Raja Patel, third place, $15; Monica Heeg, second place, $25; and Ansley Miller, first place, $50. Also pictured is Nadine Clough, retired teacher and committee member. The theme was, “What Makes you Proud of America.”


Deep Creek Elks uses Gratitude and Anniversary Grants for Children

Deep Creek Elks Lodge #2763 used its Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to take two groups of nine children from Genesis House homeless shelter shopping at Walmart for school clothes and shoes. The lodge used its Elks National Foundation Anniversary Grant for The Academy, an alternative school for high-risk students. School spirit T-shirts and gift cards were provided for their positive reinforcement program.


News from Punta Gorda Elks Lodge

Punta Gorda Elks Lodge #2606 held its 12th annual bocce tournament with 19 teams consisting of 70 players. Proceeds from the sign-ups and raffle tickets totaling $1,002 were donated to Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services.

Punta Gorda Lodge hosts a blood drive every 56 days. At a current blood drive, 48 pints were donated. One pint saves three lives, so lodge members saved 144 lives.

The Punta Gorda Lodge Past Exalted Rulers Association donated $500 in January to the 40th annual Powder Puff charity golf classic which benefits Tidewell Hospice. Tidewell Hospice provides care for terminally ill patients and their families.

Punta Gorda Lodge donated $1,000 in food products in January and February to St. Vincent de Paul food pantry. Additionally, the proceeds from bar bingo of $1,400 were contributed to the lodge scholarship fund.

Punta Gorda Lodge purchased and installed three security doors at Hope Academy at Crossroads using funds from a grant. The project was completed at the end of March. Hope Academy is the name of the school at Crossroads, a nonprofit 501(c)3 home and charter school for foster boys who have had multiple failed placements in the Florida foster care system. 


Rotonda Lodge uses Beacon Grant to Provide Clothes to C.A.R.E. Clients

        2710 CARE  2710 CARE Becky Kelly

Rotonda Elks Lodge #2710 used their $2,000 from the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant and the $2,000 from the Florida State Elks Association’s matching grant to help C.A.R.E., the Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies. Their mission statement is “to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes in Ch​arlotte County. C.A.R.E. works to create safety in our community by helping survivors and by promoting nonviolent and healthy relationships by education and example.” Lodge members’ spouses shopped for women’s and children’s clothing for the center’s clients.

Carol Stuppleben, Sharon Linton and Becky Kelly, spouses of Rotonda Lodge members, shop for clothes to donate to the Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies using the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant and the FSEA matching grant.


Greater Pine Island Lodge Donates Basketballs to Elementary School

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In December 2018, Pine Island Elementary School hosted the Hoop Shoot sponsored by Greater Pine Island Elks Lodge #2781. During the competition, SRO Cpl. W. Rivera noticed that the school’s basketballs were worn and in need of replacement. After the Hoop Shoot, Rivera was speaking with a lodge member about the school’s need for new basketballs. Lodge Exalted Ruler, Judy Hopkins, overheard the conversation and agreed to help with the purchase and donation of 10 new basketballs. The balls were purchased with funds from Greater Pine Island Lodge’s charitable trust and presented them to the school Jan. 24.

Pictured at the basketball presentation to Pine Island Elementary School by Greater Pine Island Elks Lodge Jan 24 are Cpl. W. Rivera, SRO; Judy Hopkins, Exalted Ruler; Lee Wilbur, Treasurer; S. Hook, principal; and J. Whitt, coach/PE teacher.


Englewood Lodge Hosts Children's Christmas Party

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Englewood Lodge hosted their children's Christmas party Dec. 15. Each of the 115 children in attendance received a gift.


News from Deep Creek Lodge

Deep Creek Elks Lodge #2763 included 14 people from the Janet Jones Group Home for adults who are physically and mentally disabled for their Thanksgiving dinner. The lodge includes members of this home in their special events.

The Deep Creek Ladies of the Elks held a very successful garage sale in November and made donations to Alex’s Lemonade Stand and Elks National Foundation. They also made a donation so Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services therapists could purchase Christmas gifts for their patients.


Punta Gorda Lodge Co-hosts Christmas Party for Foster Families

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On Dec. 15, nine members of Punta Gorda Lodge assisted the Punta Gorda Police Department in hosting a Christmas party for 25 foster families consisting of 90 children and 40 parents. A turkey dinner with all the trimmings was cooked by the members and brought to the church.  Santa Claus brought gifts for all the children as well as a family gift bag.


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.


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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