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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1912 award

Holiday Isles Lodge donated the use of its banquet room to the Santa’s Angels organization to host its annual volunteer awards ceremony. The lodge does this every year for them. The lodge received a sponsorship award for their yearly donation.

Pictured are lodge members Rich DeBlasio, Mike Brown, Paula DeBlasio and Sandra Gann.


1912 golf

On March 7, Holiday Isles Lodge donated $1,000 from its charity account for a golf tournament sponsorship held by the Military Order of the World Wars and the Military Officers Association of America to benefit the Pinellas County Schools’ JROTC units.

Pictured are Noreen Hodges; LTC Steve Hodges, retired, MOWW and MOAA member and tournament chair; Paula DeBlasio and Bob Behm, lodge members; and LTC David Mason, MOWW.  


   1912 cg 1912 cg2

On Feb. 23, Holiday Isles Elks Lodge #1912 presented a $5,520 donation to the Seminole High School Color Guard (SHSCG). These students have been servers for lodge events since they were in middle school. The lodge learned of a shortage in their annual donations and donated $5,000 from the charity account. The rest was donated by lodge members.

Pictured during a practice session for a state competition are color guard members Sophia Ridge, Gracie Evans, Lauren Basara, Arianna Rosado, Aubrey Murray, Selene Levith, Savannah Smith, Ava Engelberger, Hailey Westfall, Ella Picion, Maddie Vinci, Christina Hills, Tanner Diederich, Arianna Sterling and Courtney Kirouac. Also pictured are Paul Smith, incoming Exalted Ruler; Rhonda Smith, PER, District Vice President-elect; and members Regan Zink and Kristin Baker.


708 dics

On March 2, Tampa Lodge donated a Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus to each third grade student at Holy Trinity Lutheran School in Tampa, Florida. The dictionaries were purchased during the pandemic and could not be distributed when planned. The students were surprised to be allowed to put their name in the book and were excited to read the definitions, synonyms and antonyms. Lodge trustee Loyd Moore handed out the dictionaries while Rita Smith, Exalted Ruler, had the students look up three words.

Pictured are the students with Taylor Meyer, third grade teacher; Loyd Moore, lodge trustee; and Kelly Reilly, principal.


                                        708 camp 2 708 camp 3 

708 camp

Students of Club Chivalry, a high school group sponsored by Tampa Lodge, took a field trip to the Florida Elks Youth Camp (FEYC) Feb. 16. Joining the 29 students were Elks Mike Volpe; Robert Maloney Jr.; Melissa Bertoch; Caroline Hand, teacher and club sponsor; and Rita Smith, Exalted Ruler. Before the bus ride, each student was given a Drug Awareness bag filled with a red ribbon and snacks. After about two hours, they arrived at the camp and went to the ropes course shelter, where they were met by three FEYC staff facilitators. After instructions, the students were taken in one group to start working on low element teamwork. They were passing a large loop rope with the directions and instructions changing every few minutes. Then, they were divided into three groups, where they had to either run through a moving jump rope, balance on a long pivot platform, or reverse a tarp, all as a team of about 10. Each time one failed, they all had to start over, so team strategy was on full display. After 20 minutes or so, they were divided into two teams that had to compete in a hilarious game involving jumping through hula hoops and playing Rock Paper Scissors with the goal of one whole team changing sides. At 12:30 they had lunch in the pavilion. Afterward, the students were again divided into two groups and outfitted in harnesses and helmets for the high elements. One group did an exercise in which they pulled a classmate into the air by using a pulley; then the classmate was released for a wild swinging ride through the sky. They were then slowly lowered until they could be caught by the instructors on the ground, brought to an upright position and lowered some more until their feet were on the ground. The other group was climbing a pole tower that was at least four stories high, using rock wall pieces as climbing steps. When they got as high as they dared go, they rappelled down. Most made it to the very top. This one took an incredible amount of upper body strength. After each student had completed their assigned teamwork, they switched activities so everybody who wanted to give it a try did both of the high elements. On the trip home, they had dinner from Subway.


           1224 flag 1  1224 flag 2

On Jan. 22, St. Petersburg Lodge held its annual flag retirement ceremony, led by St. Petersburg Boy Scout Troop 209. Flags were provided by lodge members and nonmembers from the troop. The scouts demonstrated the proper way to retire an American flag and explained why they are retired this way. Lodge members and guests were invited to participate.