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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Mary Lou Scribner

Lakeland Lodge Hosts Children's Christmas Party

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On Dec. 15, Lakeland Lodge hosted their annual Christmas party for the Lakeland-Mulberry Boys and Girls Club using an Elks National Foundation Promise Grant. Lodge members donated over $1,000-worth of toys and crafts. Members Leroy and Nancy Bowden again donated 20 bikes to be given to the children who also received multiple toys and clothes handed out by Santa. The children enjoyed a bounce house and pony rides and got glitter tattoos. A pizza lunch including punch and Christmas cupcakes was served. Elroy the Elk made a special appearance handing out drug awareness coloring books and bags with the help of one of many Elk elves. Lakeland firefighters were on hand giving a tour of the fire truck and explaining fire safety to the children. Lodge member Jaime Cook showed up with his Channel 8 News van and let the children view the inside of the van and explained how it all works. Crafts and games were enjoyed throughout the day as well. Each child had their photo taken with Santa and put in a frame to take home. A giving tree was also set up for the children not attending the party.


Sebring Lodge Donates to Domestic Violence Safe House

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Sebring Lodge presented The Champions for Children Foundation of Highlands County Inc. with a check for $1,000. The monies were designated for the safe house which helps protect women and children from domestic violence. Exalted Ruler, Ken Hedges, presents the donation to Carissa Marine, CEO of the foundation.


Brandon Elks Use Anniversary Grant to Assist Limona Elementary

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Using an ENF Anniversary Grant, Brandon Lodge provided assistance to Limona Elementary in the form of new equipment. The school had 14 pieces of equipment that could not be repaired because they were too old (13 years old), so the lodge replaced five of the document cameras. These cameras connect to a laptop to project math lessons, allow students to view science investigations on a projection screen or white board, share read-alouds so the entire class can see, and enable the students to work together on reading and writing projects.

Pictured at the equipment presentation from Brandon Lodge to Limona Elementary are George Thomas, PER; Christine Vogel, Exalted Ruler; MaryLou Bates, principal; Sharon Hammersla, PER; and Jean-Marie French, Media Specialist, Nov. 29.


Lakeland Elks Support Senior Orphans of Polk County

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On Nov. 9, Lakeland Lodge presented their Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant of $2,000 as well as member donations of more than $1,100 to Senior Orphans of Polk County. Founded over 25 years ago, this program assists local, indigent seniors without family support and monthly incomes of $600 or less. Senior Orphans is 100% vol­unteer driven with no administrative costs. They accept donations such as personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and paper goods, and when a case manager contacts the program, they have immediate access to their clients’ needed supplies. The donations help thousands of needy seniors with their day-to-day living expenses. Seniors are screened through qualified agencies such as the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Polk Elderly Services or Peace River Association. Senior Orphans and the agen­cy case managers are careful to ensure that the neediest of the needy receive assistance.

Pictured at the donation presentation from Lakeland Lodge to Senior Orphans of Polk County are Beverly Corneilus, Senior Orphans coordinator; James Crosby, PER, Senior Orphans co-chair; Vicki Baker, Exalted Ruler; John Mathison, trustee chairman; Sher Thrush, trustee and Senior Orphans co-chair; Rick Burton, Leading Knight; Charlene Fisher, grant coordinator; and Carl Hutchcraft, member.


Sebring Lodge Holds Dog Halloween Costume Contest Fundraiser

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Sebring Elks Lodge #1529 had a successful fundraiser for the lodge building fund Oct. 31 called Dogs Night Out which was open to the public. Many volunteers cooked and set up and got donations and prizes for the auction. Elks winners included Cheryl Thomas and Cookie who won best dressed couple and Bill Heaver’s dog, Billy, who won best dressed dog. The event raised $2,000.


Lakeland Lodge Supports Local Youth

During October, the Lakeland Boys and Girls Club of Lakeland received a donation of tickets to Disney. While this donation made it possible for children to visit the park, many of the boys and girls did not have the means to purchase food during their visit. Lakeland Lodge members donated money which was used to ensure that those children would be able to do so.

Lakeland Lodge members donated school supplies for Dixieland Elementary School in Lakeland. Lodge Youth Activities co-chairman, Alice Murray, was nominated as Dixieland's volunteer of the year for her teacher assistance in their kindergarten classes.


Lakeland Lodge Holds ENF Fundraiser

On Aug. 24, Lakeland Lodge #1291 held a shrimp and fish taco dinner to raise money for Elks National Foundation. Eighty members were in attendance for the meal. Through dinner sales and donations, the lodge raised $900. The shrimp and fish were donated and cooked by PER JC Crosby which greatly helped with the lodge's cost and allowed them to increase their donation to ENF. Member Alex Eisenberg donated his musical talents for entertainment.


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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