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Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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2855 blood 1  2855 blood 2

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.


2672 hoop

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.                       


2672 foster

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.


2672 meet

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.


1511 manatee

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.


Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Elks Lodge members Rick Thorson, PER; Kay Thorson; Joanne DiCarlo; and Mary Uris delivered 1,008 cookies Nov. 24 to first responders including the county sheriff and the State Highway Patrol office in the lodge’s jurisdiction. The trays included a message from the lodge thanking them for their service. This is an annual event.


On Aug. 15, South Hillsborough Elks Lodge #2672 presented Meet Me in the Street Ministry with 14 boxes and sacks of food. This organization located in Ruskin, Florida, feeds children and families in need on Wednesdays and sends packs of food home with them on weekends. Members, guests and friends of the Elks donated items such as individual applesauce and fruit cups, single-serve ravioli, macaroni and cheese and canned spaghetti, granola and snack bars, and so much more. The lodge will continue to collect donations for this project.


2855 dog

On Sept. 22, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Elks Lodge #2855 donated $5,000 to Southeastern Guide Dogs and was matched by the Canine Care Council. Southeastern Guide Dogs provides guide and service dogs to people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities and children with significant challenges. These premier dogs and lifetime services are provided at no cost to the recipient. Pictured are lodge members Barbara Christopher, Mary Bilkie, and Tom Sweeney; Sean Brown of Southeastern Guide Dogs; and lodge member Pat Morocco.


1854 lori

Venice-Nokomis Elks Lodge #1854 used $826 from its Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to purchase needed supplies for children in three local schools who are underprivileged — Laurel Nokomis, Island Village Montessori and Venice Elementary School. Supplies such as headphones, compositions books, notebook binders, folders, glue sticks, markers and colored pencils were donated and delivered. Pictured Sept. 2 is Lori Christie, guidance counselor at Venice Elementary School.


2672 gibsonton

On Sept. 2, South Hillsborough Lodge donated shoes for kids in need, (especially tennis shoes and closed-toe shoes, to Gibsonton Elementary School. This project will continue for several months because the local need is tremendous. The Elks also donated two big boxes of school supplies to the school. While the lodge’s supply of goods is small, when combined with others, it will help many kids.

Pictured delivering to the school is Jan McCleery, PER, Esquire.


1511 horse

On Sept. 24, Bradenton Elks Lodge #1511 donated $3,500 to Hooves with H.E.A.R.T. (Horse Education and Riding Therapy), an animal therapy organization in Bradenton, Florida. They maintain six to eight horses and donkeys of various sizes and ages on approximately 10 acres. Animal therapy has been very popular recently. Hooves with H.E.A.R.T. invites children with conditions or disorders such as Down syndrome and autism to partner with the animals for rides and other training including walking, leading, cleaning and proper care of the animals. The donation was made from the Florida State Elks Association’s matching funds for the lodge’s Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant. Pictured at the donation presentation are Danielle Curtis, executive director; Darrin Simone, Southwest District Vice President; Dan Tabor, Past State President and District Leader; Bob Erwin, PDD, Exalted Ruler; Mason Cramer, therapy recipient; and Willow.