Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2023 by the
Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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On Dec. 16, Tampa Elks Lodge #708 collected hundreds of toys from Walgreens collection boxes from the Walgreens-Elks Community Gift Drive. With the toys, they stocked a “store” during the lodge’s Christmas party for local children in need. Patty Volpe, Youth Activities Chair, maintains a database of families in need and had an impressive number of families, including some large foster families, respond with an RSVP. The children enjoyed a parade, played games and won prizes, had a photo visit with Santa, made pirate-themed crafts, and sang songs. They also enjoyed spaghetti, salad, applesauce and ice cream. Meanwhile, one adult from each family visited the staged store and “shopped” for presents for age-appropriate gifts for their children. Those presents were wrapped by volunteers for the Academy of the Holy Names Rowing Club, placed in a large black sack, and hustled out to the parking lot to be stowed in trunks. Each child received approximately five gifts. Some families even won a bike as part of a raffle. There were about 150 children and adults involved.

Pictured are Santa (George Hilficker, House Committee Chair) and Adonis.