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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New Port Richey Lodge donated 45 food boxes and turkeys to residents in need in the community a few days prior to Thanksgiving. The food was from the lodge food pantry, which is stocked using funds from the Elks National Foundation Beacon and Gratitude grants. Each box was valued at approximately $50.The boxes were assembled by Rebecca Soto, grant chair, and her membership team. This is an annual project for the lodge. 

Pictured are recipients Sarah and Avdo Thompson and Rebecca Soto.


New Port Richey Lodge members donated more than six pickup truckloads of personal care items, cleaning supplies and other emergency necessities to aid those who were severely affected by Hurricane Ian in southwest Florida. A local roofing company made the delivery with its vehicles in early October, soon after the hurricane hit. The roofing company got involved because it will be putting a new roof on the lodge.



On Oct. 24, New Port Richey Elks Lodge #2284 donated hygiene backpacks and hoodie sweatshirts to the Pasco County Sheriff's Department for distribution to individuals who are experiencing homelessness. 

Pictured are Marilee Mills, Exalted Ruler; a Pasco County Sheriff's detective; and Rebecca Soto, grants coordinator.


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On Oct. 24, Tampa Elks Lodge #708 held its monthly Club Chivalry meeting for students at Robinson High School. There were 33 club members present. Lodge members provided students with T-shirts at no cost to them. The Elks used lodge funds and funds from the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant. Lodge member Robert Maloney Jr. was a guest speaker and spoke about his 43 years as a nurse. At these meetings, the student officers make most of the plans, while the Elks handle refreshments, raffles and any needed support.

Pictured are Rita Smith, Exalted Ruler, and Carolyn Miller sorting the club shirts for distribution. Also pictured are Antwon Austin, the winner of a $25 gift card; Robert Maloney Jr.; and Jasmine Martin, Club Chivalry student president.



On Aug. 17, New Port Richey Elks Lodge #2284 donated 15 backpacks filled with school supplies to Richey Elementary School. The backpacks were donated by members Rebecca Soto and Walter Weishaar Jr.

Pictured are Marilee Mills, PER, Exalted Ruler, and Margaret Smith, Loyal Knight, at the school. 


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On Aug. 21, George Hilficker, Tampa Lodge House Committee Chair, presented an Eagle certificate to scout Ethan D'India of Troop 53 at his Court of Honor held at American Legion Post 139. His project was to build and install bat houses along the 9.2-mile Upper Hillsborough Trail. 

Pictured are lodge member Frank Smith Sr. and Commander of the Post, who was there presenting a certificate from another organization; Ethan D'India; and Geroge Hilficker.