Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
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Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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2734 cereal

Manasota Lodge donated cereal June 24 to The Food Bank of Manatee for their summer’s cereal drive. On Fridays during the summer months, the food bank provides Food 4 Families bags at break spots to families in need of vital nutrition. These bags contain breakfast, lunch and dinner to feed a family of four two or more days, keeping these families fed through the weekend during the nine-week summer break. The lodge placed the food bank’s yellow barrel in the lodge for collecting the boxes. To date, the barrel has been filled three times and they’re still donating.

Pictured are Wanda Burke, Activities Committee Chair, and Justin Eveland, Exalted Ruler.


2734 abel

Fifth grade students from Abel Elementary School participated in the Americanism essay contest, with 32 essays submitted to Ken Davis, Manasota Elks Lodge Americanism Chair. The top three essays were written by Khloe, Aylin and Jahmeiyer, and Khloe’s was forwarded by the district to the state level. On April 5, Justin Eveland, Exalted Ruler, and Diane Davis, trustee, presented awards and gift cards to the three students.

Pictured are Diane Davis, trustee; Jahmeiyer; Justin Eveland, Exalted Ruler; Khloe; Mary Dalton, fifth grade teacher; and Samantha Webb, principal.


1511 bay

On April 19, Bradenton Lodge bingo players donated $1,000 for two gold sponsorships for the Bayshore Elementary School fifth and sixth grade field trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa.

Pictured are Melanie Ambrose, lodge member and chaperone; Charolette Richardson, student; Elsha Duquet, PER; Danny Tabor, PSP; Ariana Kennedy, assistant principal; and Dr. Melinda Lundy, principal.



On March 6, Manasota Elks Lodge #3734 donated $1,000 from the 2023 golf tournament charity fund to the Manatee High School girls lacrosse team, which will help with their coaches, referees and transportation costs.

Lodge member Sherman Patton is pictured with members of the team.


2855 essay

On March 29, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Elks Lodge #2855 awarded students from fifth through eighth grades with money prizes and certificates for their Americanism essays on "What the Bill of Rights Means to Me.” Selected essays were then sent on to the district contest.

Pictured are Kathy Dattilo, essay committee chair; Amir King Williams; Nathan E. Williams; Nora Hoyt; Manhesh Solano Persaud; Catherine Puentes; Mia McLauchlan; Faith Frost, Exalted Ruler; Kassandra Palacios; and Liam Pacheco.


2449 mayor

On Dec. 19, Palmetto Elks Lodge #2449 donated $2,500 from the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant’s Harry-Anna Trust Fund matching funds to the Mayors Feed the Hungry program.

Pictured are Barbara Nolan, Helen Sexton, Mayor Shirley Bryant, Steve Baker and Lorraine Baker.


2855 meal 1 2855 meal 2

On Dec. 2, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Elks Lodge #2855 collected more than 1,000 wrapped shoeboxes for Meals on Wheels PLUS, which were filled by lodge members and community businesses. The lodge also held a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels during this collection. Volunteers and staff of Meals on Wheels PLUS delivered the shoeboxes to seniors throughout the holidays.

Pictured are Jerry Ditty, PER, event chair; Brett Davis, PDD, Lodge Secretary; and Maribeth Phillips, Meals on Wheels PLUS CEO. Also pictured are some of the wrapped boxes.


2855 santa

On Dec. 9, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge held a Christmas party for the Miracle League team that the lodge sponsors. Lunch was provided for 40 people, including team members, family members and coaches. Team members received gifts from Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Miracle League of Manasota provides opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to play baseball.

Attendees are pictured with Mr. and Mrs. Claus (Ron and Barbara Lee), seated, and Joanne DiCarlo, far right.


2855 tray

On Dec. 20, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge delivered trays of cookies to 10 area fire and rescue squads around Manatee County to thank first responders for their service.

Pictured are personnel from Station 6 along with lodge member Leon Duis, third from left. Not pictured is member Mary Duis.


2855 hoop

Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Elks Lodge #2855 held its Hoop Shoot Dec. 6 at Carlos Haile Middle School in Bradenton. Eighteen kids competed and six lodge committee members conducted the event. 

Committee members pictured with participants are Randy Volkart, Tony Lapera and Joe Valarie. Members not pictured are Bonnie Sietman, Bob Sietman, and Nancy Volkart.


On Nov. 18, Parrish Elks ran their first Hoop Shoot, held at New Hope Baptist Church, with seven young participants. The winners were Patrick Deery, first place boys 8-9; Alexis Kempker, first place girls 8-9; and Jaxen Jimenez, first place boys 10-11. Dave McCarthy, Lodge Hoop Shoot Chair, and his wife, Heather, ran the tournament.


2672 hoop

South Hillsborough Elks Lodge #2672 hosted its Hoop Shoot Nov. 12 at the Spurlino Family YMCA. This contest was the first one after 2019, due to the pandemic. Trophies were awarded to the first, second and third place winners. All participants received were given an achievement certificate and a basketball-themed gift bag. The winners were Amylah Wilson, first place girls 8-9; Aumal Richardson, first place boys 8-9; Maddson Arroyo, first place girls 10-11; and Barry Griffis Jr., first place boys 10-11. They didn’t have any 12-13-year-olds, which will be a focus for next year. Tom and Lisa Anderson chaired the event. The YMCA director, Jarrod Williams, was excited about the Hoop Shoot Event because their objectives align perfectly with the Elks. The lodge recognized Coach Izabella Maxwell with flowers. She has coached children to compete in the Hoop Shoot for 17 of the past 20 years. She has been to regional and state competitions with her talented players and acknowledged that this was one of the best organized shoots she has attended.

Shown are Tom Anderson, Hoop Shoot Lodge Chair; Sugar Conrad, Exalted Ruler; Coach Izabella Maxwell; and Lisa Anderson, Hoop Shoot Lodge Chair.