On Feb. 12, Bradenton Elks Lodge #1511 donated its $3,500 Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to Manatee County Children’s Services. This organization provides advocacy, support with homelessness, basic medical needs, counseling and tutoring for children who are at risk.
Pictured are Bob Erwin, PDD, Exalted Ruler, and Krista Post, Manatee County Children’s Services development coordinator.
On Feb. 28, Manasota Elks Lodge #2734 hosted a painting party at the lodge. Member Cheri Arciniega was the instructor for 19 members and guests, who chose to paint either a gnome or a jellyfish. There was much fun and laughter at this event, all while raising $100 for the Florida Elks Youth Camp, as $5 per participant and instructor went to the cause.
Pictured with their gnome paintings are Carolyn Hostetler, Dee Babcock (guest), Janet Moyer, Renee Hauck (guest), Marilyn Patton and Jamie Yates.
Pictured with their jellyfish paintings are (front row) Jeanne Wordell, Wanda Burke, Toni Iannuzzi and Diane Davis. In the back row are Stephanie Lund, Carol Femia, Pam McDowell, Robin Hutchins, Guy Mugavero, Monica Wycoff and Jessica (guest, last name unavailable).
On March 5, Manasota Lodge held its annual pig roast fundraiser. This year’s proceeds were earmarked for Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services (FECTS). Members Bobbie and Sonny Woods donated and cooked the pig. There were ribs, barbecue chicken and pulled pork sandwiches and sides. There was also a chance auction, craft vendors and music by JB Carr. The district’s FECTS therapist, Clara Budynsky, did an outstanding job explaining the program and her duties as a Florida Elks therapist. The event raised $2,500.
Pictured are Sonny and Bobbie Woods.
The Past Exalted Rulers of Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge held its annual Day at the Races event Feb. 20. Members pick their favorite horses from a list of 10 races that took place around the country. At this event, $3,500 was raised, which will be used to fund lodge charities.
Pictured are lodge members lining up to place their next bets and members reviewing the horse statistics while waiting for the race to begin.
Jim Lamb, PDD of Sarasota South Elks Lodge #2495 has served as the Sarasota County Coordinator for the Marine Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign for the past 20 years. This year was an especially busy year with all the problems associated with the pandemic and families requesting help for Christmas for their children. A total of 184,769 toys, including bicycles, books and stocking stuffers, were distributed to 17,540 children. Lamb organized the program and 51 lodge members worked 23,340 hours. PER Dave and Sherie Gillum of Venice-Nokomis Lodge #1854 helped, too. Richard Bouchard, PER from Sarasota South Lodge hosted a cruise-themed Toys for Tots fundraiser at the lodge that raised more than $5,000. Other campaign volunteers were from the VFW Post 3233, local schools and the Fraternal Order of Eagles #2756. Multiple businesses also held fundraisers throughout the county to support this year’s campaign.
On Dec. 22, Rick and Kay Thorson, members of Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge (pictured), delivered food baskets purchased by the lodge to the Salvation Army that contained items for 12 complete Christmas dinners. The food was then distributed to 12 targeted families sponsored by Pathway to Hope, an organization working with families that desire to break the generational cycle of crisis and enable a path out of poverty.
Every eight weeks, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge hosts the Sun Coast Blood Center for lodge members and their families to donate their lifesaving blood. Each donated unit can help treat up to three patients.
Pictured Dec. 16 are lodge member JoAnn Reddy and the Sun Coast bus.
South Hillsborough Lodge held its annual Hoop Shoot Dec. 7 at Lennard Hight School in Ruskin, Florida. There were 21 participants. Pictured are first place winners Philip Greene, 12-13 boys; Hailey Palpazer, 10-11 girls; Breanna Gulotta, 12-13 girls; Manuel Rodriquez, 10-11 boys; and Dillon Hobbs, 8-9 boys.
Again this year, South Hillsborough Lodge participated in the Christmas tree program for children in foster care, and on Dec. 15, they provided presents for more than 20 children. The presents completely filled one trailer. Pictured are Matthew Perry from Foster Angels of Hillsborough County; Steve Conrad, Exalted Ruler; Ned Letts, Lecturing Knight; Janet Meyer, Loyal Knight; and Sugar Conrad, Leading Knight.
South Hillsborough Elks Lodge members have continued to provide Meet Me in the Street Ministry with boxes of food. The latest donation given Oct. 8 was donated to Ruskin Elementary School to support the children with weekend food backpacks. The organization is located in Ruskin, Florida, and feeds kids on Wednesdays and send packs of food home on weekends. Pictured are Steve Conrad, Exalted Ruler; Christine Hicks of Meet Me in the Street Ministry; Ned Letts, Lecturing Knight; and Sugar Conrad, Leading Knight.
Bradenton Elks Lodge #1511 presented its $3,500 Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to Manatee Children’s Services Dec. 2. Manatee Children’s Services provides a wide range of support for children and young adults, including child abuse counseling, temporary housing, groups homes, abuse identification, in-home training for parents and reporting assistance. The lodge joins their goal of assisting in the fight against child abuse in their area.
Pictured are Bob Erwin, PDD, Exalted Ruler, and Krista Post, Manatee Youth at Risk Development Coordination of Manatee Children’s Services.
On Dec. 4, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge hosted a reception with a drive-thru drop-off option for the Community Holiday Shoebox Drive. The event benefits Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee to provide shoeboxes filled with gifts ranging from toiletries to holiday trinkets for seniors who are homebound. More than 1,500 shoeboxes, enough to fill two cargo vans, were donated by members of the lodge and community.
Pictured is Maribeth Phillips, CEO of Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee.