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

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1224 baseball

On Feb. 29, St. Petersburg Lodge donated $700 to the Dixie Hollins baseball team to thank the team members for assisting during a lodge event. The money will be used for baseball equipment and help with travel expenses. Pictured are head coach, Ralph Rogers; assistant coach, Dave Neverline; and team members.


2284 pitch

New Port Richey Lodge Exalted Ruler, Dave Marcinkowski, throws the first pitch at a West Pasco Little League game Feb. 22, 2020. The lodge sponsors the West Pasco Mets Juniors.


1224 law and order

On Feb. 1, St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224 recognized 14 first responders at their annual law and order awards event. Three additional responders who could not be present were recognized Feb. 29. In attendance at the first event were 151 officers with their families and 71 Elks and guests. The lodge provided a free dinner to the first responders and their families. The awards recognize the outstanding contributions of top law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical personnel. Honorees are nominated by their peers and represent departments throughout Pinellas County. “We remain indebted to the men and women first responders who work every day to keep the people of our community safe,” stated Toni Goodrich, PDD, Lodge Secretary. After the ceremony, the lodge presented Pinellas Park High School JRROTC a check for $1,000 in support of the school’s four-year high school magnet program with emphasis on law education to Cassandra C. Bogatz, program director for the Criminal Justice Academy. The JRROTC served the dinner to all 222 in attendance. After the check presentation, the St. Petersburg Police K-9 unit presented a demonstration by Officer Dixon & Officer Herring with K-9s Johnny and Blaze. Officers selected to become K-9 handlers must complete a 16-week school with their K-9 partners. K-9 activities include building, article and tracking searches. Demonstrations included obedience exercises, mock drug searches, simulated criminal apprehension and an agility test. Pictured are Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sgt. Rich Trump who presented awards to Deputy Bryan Beeler, Deputy Colin Roper, Deputy Jayson Young and Deputy Rita Bison (not pictured).



At the request of Wheelchairs 4 Kids, the lodges of the West Central District donated $2,200 to purchase an adaptive tricycle for 5-year-old Marli who has cerebral palsy. Wheelchairs 4 Kids is a nonprofit organization that assists children with physical disabilities by supplying wheelchairs, modifying vehicles, and providing other assistive and therapeutic devices. Erin Wilson, Programs Coordinator for Wheelchairs 4 Kids, describes Marli. She “endures numerous obstacles as a result of the illness. She is nonverbal. Marli uses a G-tube for nourishment. She also cannot walk. The little girl, however, is happy despite her limitations. Many things make Marli smile. Every day she learns something new by watching ‘Sesame Street.’ Her favorite movies include ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Wildcrats.’ Marli also listens to children’s music, but her favorite artist is the reggae superstar Bob Marley. On special occasions, she and her family visit Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Her must-go-on ride is the Carousel of Progress. Most of all, Marli loves playing with her brother. They can be silly and goofy, and at day’s end, a bit of silliness is Marli’s best medicine.” Pictured are Chris Miles, Tampa Lodge Exalted Ruler; Toni Goodrich, PDD of St. Petersburg Lodge; Bonnie McManus and Rhonda Smith from Holiday Isles Lodge; Dave Marcinkowski from New Port Richey Lodge; physical therapist Nick Hamilton from Charlie’s Champs (the other partner in the purchase); Erin Wilson from Wheelchairs 4 Kids; Raquel Scott, Marli’s mother, holding Marli; Mozes Scott, Marli’s brother, sitting on the tricycle; and Garrett Scott, Marli’s father.


2159 safe harbor 1 2159 safe harbor 2

On Jan. 30, Largo Elks Lodge members shopped for nonperishable food items to be delivered to Pinellas Safe Harbor, a homeless shelter in Largo run by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Using the Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant, they used $1,000 to purchase food at Sam’s Club. The lodge also holds clothing drives and couples the clothing donations with clothing purchased with the remaining $1,000 from the grant. The facility has at least 425 people, primarily men, pass through their doors every day. Members Jeanne Reinhart, PDD; Alice Wallace and Barbara Hennessey are pictured after purchasing the food. Pictured at the delivery are members Ed Cabana and Alice Wallace; Sergeant Debra Knighton; Jeanne Reinhart, PDD; and CJS Nunez.


2020 02 0 Logo Pinellas Academy

On Dec. 2, St. Peterburg Elks Lodge #1224 donated $250 to the Pinellas Academy of Math and Science, a charter-public school in Clearwater, Florida, in Pinellas County. The school serves 611 students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. The mission of the school is to provide students with a well-rounded elementary and middle-school education through a challenging program focused on mathematics and science using innovative, reform-based, instructional methods in a stimulating and nurturing environment that fosters maximum student achievement. The donation will be used to purchase school supplies.