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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Mary Lou Scribner

Arcadia Elks Sponsor Suds and Stories Event

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Arcadia Elks Lodge #1524 is doing their part to encourage Florida’s DeSoto County youth to read – one quarter at a time. On Aug. 24, the Elks partnered with the Florida Department of Health in DeSoto County, the DeSoto County School District, the U.S. Census Bureau and All Faiths Food Bank to offer a morning of free laundry, storytelling and resources at the Supermatt Laundry located on Hickory Street in Arcadia, Fla. Over 250 loads of laundry were washed and dried free of charge while children enjoyed stories being read to them and took part in various activities provided by the DeSoto tutoring bus and bookmobile. This event was made possible through a grant written by Mary Kay Burns, FDOH DeSoto Administrator and Elks lodge officer who is dedicated to making an impact in the reading levels of DeSoto County youth and improving the health and well-being of DeSoto County residents. The skills children develop early in life through reading are vital to a successful future.


Sebring Lodge Continues Support of Summer Theatre with Beacon Grant

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For the sixth year, Sebring Lodge has used the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to sponsor the Highlands Little Theatre summer camp. This year there were 86 children from the fourth through 12th grades participating. The camp was for four weeks, Monday through Friday for three hours a day. Ages 11-18 were at camp for four weeks and ages 8-10 attended the last week. From June 27-29, they participated in a play called “Seussical Jr.” The directors, Tracy Schuknecht, Laura Wade and Christi Hagen, teach them “to appreciate the arts, grow in personal confidence, develop effective communication skills, become problem solvers, and to collaborate well with others.” Lodge members Jim Mason and George Quel presented the $2,500 check, and Quel explained that the Elks order was started in 1867 by eight theatrical men led by Charles Vivian from England and called themselves the Jolly Corks. In 1868 the name was changed to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

Jim Mason, left, and George Quel, right, present Sebring Lodge’s Beacon Grant to the Highlands Little Theatre summer camp.


Lake Placid Lodge uses Anniversary Grant to Provide Car Seats to Families

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Lake Placid Elks Lodge #2661 used the $1,500 Elks National Foundation Anniversary Grant to provide several car seats to those in need of financial help in their community. Members partnered with the Lake Placid Police Department who contacted these families. As the families received their car seats, lodge members obtained contact information of the families to be kept at the police department in case of any recalls. Members assisted the technicians as they showed them the proper way to install the seats.

Lake Placid PD’s Officer Mostyn Mullins helps install car seats for community members that were purchased using Lake Placid Lodge’s Anniversary Grant. Pictured with him is a recipient of a car seat.


Lakeland Lodge Makes Donation to Jean O'Dell School

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On May 16, Lakeland Elks Lodge #1291 made a donation of $500 to the Jean O’Dell School to purchase printing supplies and paper. This school is for kids who have autism and special needs. Pictured are Jamie Yost, assistant principal; Ashley Grupi, special-needs teacher; and April Summer, principal. Harry-Anna Trust Fund State Chairman, Mark Daniels, and Lakeland Exalted Ruler, Rick Burton, were at the presentation and received a tour of the school.


Sebring Lodge Supports Highlands County Sheriff's Youth Camp

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In mid-May, Ronna Mason from Sebring Elks Lodge #1529 presented a $1,200 check to Col. Mike Brown, undersheriff of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office. This donation was earmarked for the sheriff’s youth camp located at Inglis near Crystal River which is for troubled youth ages 10-15. 


Lake Placid Lodge Holds Mystery Theater to Benefit K-9 Unit

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Lake Placid Lodge members were involved in planning and presenting a mystery theater fundraiser which was well attended by the community. All proceeds were given to the Highlands County Sheriff Department K-9 Unit. Sheriff Blackman, the officers and their dogs were invited. They demonstrated the special training that goes into the obedience and drug-sniffing techniques of the dogs. The audience participated with many questions about these dogs. A check for $2,900 was presented to the K-9 Unit for the improvement of their training facility and supplies.


Sebring Elks Support Sebring High School JR ROTC


On May 3, the Air Force JR ROTC held its 26th annual awards ceremony and military ball. Sebring Elks Lodge members George and Darlene Quel and Jim and Ronna Mason were in attendance along with retired Senior Chief Petty Officer Doug Deierlein who was the guest speaker. Sebring Lodge sponsored a golf tournament Feb. 23 and raised $5,384. These monies were given to Sebring High School for the JR ROTC program in February but the formal presentation was made at the awards ceremony. Pictured is Camila Norona, Cadet Commander, and Sebring Elks Jim Mason and George Quel. 


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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