Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
 
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Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049
352-669-9443

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            1224 Chaplin 1 1224 Chaplin 2

As of June 19, St. Petersburg Lodge member and Americanism Chair, Katherine "Kat" Chaplin, has made and given away 900-plus face masks for free to friends and fellow Elks. The masks are located in a bin in the lodge lobby and are also available for pickup at her residence. Recipients come from some of the lodge’s 1,500 members who also have spouses, kids and family. Chaplin lives in a mobile home park and gives them out there and has left word at their clubhouse. The lodge also posts the information on Facebook to contact the lodge or Chaplin for a mask and it is also posted in the lodge bulletin. Each mask takes 15 minutes to make; that’s more than 225 hours of Chaplin’s time. She donated all the material and labor to contribute to the St. Petersburg, Florida, community during these trying times. The masks are made of 100% cotton and are to be worn to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Pictured April 17 are Delaney Hall, Kat Chaplin and Geneva Hall, Delaney’s mother and a lodge member. Not only did they receive free masks from Chaplin but they were also picking up masks for volunteers who were working on Wednesdays for the Pinellas County school system making sure kids from low-income familes had meals during the weekends.

 

1224 kind mouse

On April 14, St. Petersburg Lodge donated $2,000 to The Kind Mouse which will cover the cost of 330 mouse nibble sacks for kids who do not have food sources outside of their school lunch program. The sacks include milk, juice boxes, cereal, tuna snack packs, pasta and meat snack packs, fruit cups, and much more. The lodge used their $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to applied for by PER Dawn Lieber, lodge grant writer, to make this donation.

The Kind Mouse Productions Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Petersburg, Florida, that assists families and children in Pinellas County with food insecurities and chronic hunger. According to their website, thekindmouse.org, “more than 7,000 children in Pinellas County live with chronic hunger and more than 36,000 live every day with food insecurities.” With schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, food demand at the Kind Mouse is at its peak. Before the pandemic, children in their program received one bag each weekend of the year with an additional three to five bags for Thanksgiving, spring break and the Christmas vacation. Now, these children and additional children need fed seven days a week.

Pictured are Dan Masi, Leading Knight and the Florida State Elks Association Development Director, and Gina Wilkins, Founder and CEO of The Kind Mouse.

 

1224 easter 2020

On April 3, St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224 donated Easter basket supplies to Sallie House and Children's Village which are part of the Salvation Army. Items included candy, yo-yos, trucks, balls, bubbles, earbuds, cellphone holders and more. The items were delivered so baskets could be put together for the 36 children and teenagers housed at these facilities. Pictured are Michael “Doc” Cook, Exalted Ruler; Nicole Brown from Sallie House; and Kirk Martin, Inner Guard.

 

1224 dogs

On March 11, the St. Petersburg Ladies of Elks Auxiliary made a $1,000 donation to the Southeastern Guide Dogs walkathon and the lodge added an additional $250. The walkathon is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year and is relied upon to bring in more than $1 million annually to fund their mission. The organization does not accept government funding and depends on private donations and grants to provide its life-changing guide and service dogs to the people who need them at no charge. Pictured are Jan Giallourakis, St. Petersburg Ladies of Elks Auxiliary Vice President, and Tracy Horrell, PER, a member of Tampa Elks Lodge who is representing Southeastern Guide Dogs. She raises puppies and Sandy, pictured with Horrell, is under her charge right now being trained. She teaches puppies the basics including house manners and basic obedience, and they then go on for further training.

 

1224 NWYB

On Feb. 28, St. Petersburg Lodge donated $1,500 to Northwest Youth Baseball (NWYB) in St. Petersburg, Florida, to sponsor youth baseball teams. NWYB does not receive any funding from the city and relies strictly on donations they receive from their sponsors. The donations allow NWYB to operate their park, make necessary purchases such as new equipment and uniforms, and finance other park expenses including field maintenance and field lights. In addition, because of sponsors’ generosity, NWYB can maintain affordable registration costs.

 

On March 7-8, St. Petersburg Lodge sponsored member Chris Boland in Bike MS: The Citrus Tour 2020 with a donation of $1,000. Bike MS is the fundraising cycling series of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and raises more money than any other cycling event for any other cause. Their mission is to end MS. Routes included 23, 50, 75 and 100 miles.