On July 13, Tampa Elks Lodge #708 voted to award a $400 scholarship to Kristina Chowning, Ph.D. The scholarship will help her attend an invitation-only course to become a certified educational trainer, which means she will be certified to train other educators on the processes outlined in her recent doctorate dissertation.
Pictured July 21 are Douglas Grant, five-year trustee; Dr. Kristina Chowning; and Camden Lynn, Leading Knight.
An Eagle Court of Honor for Troop 53’s Will Richter was held at International Moose Lodge 912. George Hilficker, Tampa Lodge’s House Committee Chair, presented him with the Elks Eagle Certificate. Richter did his Eagle project on MacDill Air Force Base (AFB) at the camping pavilion. The pavilion sits on a beach on Old Tampa Bay and had sustained some storm damage over the years. He led a team that rebuilt the fire pit, replaced some benches, rebuilt the roof of a wooden storage shed and pressure washed the concrete pavilion.
Pictured are Rich Jackson, Troop 53’s scoutmaster; Will Richter, Eagle Scout; and his mother, Karla Richter, who has just retired from active duty at MacDill AFB. Her son is the third Eagle Scout from Troop 53 this year.
Tampa Lodge held its annual Flag Day ceremony June 14, with all the lodge Ritual officers participating. There were approximately 40 Elks, members of the community and scouts in attendance. Each received an American flag lapel pin. BSA Troop 53 assisted in the ceremony, showing up an hour early for a practice. The scouts did a great job presenting the flags at the proper time and in the proper order. Richard Florance, PER, Lodge Americanism Chair, read the mandatory Response. The ceremony was filmed and shown on Fox 13’s 11 p.m. news. Following the ceremony, lodge trustees served hot dogs, baked beans, macaroni salad, watermelon, cake, soft drinks and water, all at no cost to attendees.
Pictured are Rita Smith, Exalted Ruler, and scouts.
Club Chivalry’s last event of the year was April 29. Member Tommy Moore and Rita Smith, Exalted Ruler, joined teacher/club sponsor Caroline Hand for the senior meal field trip to Fred’s in Riverview. They left the school at 9:30 a.m. with 13 seniors and arrived in time for the students to visit the breakfast buffet. When breakfast closed, they held a small ceremony to give out honor cords to the seniors who did four years of Avid classes, to the seniors who were Club Chivalry officers, and to the seniors who participated in Relay For Life and had $150 in fundraising. The students then went to the lunch buffet and were back at the school by 12:30.
On April 22, Club Chivalry, the high school group sponsored by Tampa Elks Lodge #708, formed a team and participated in the Relay For Life of Tampa, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society which was held on the Robinson football field. The American Cancer Society’s director, Tammy Schoonermaker, spoke about the event at a club meeting and gave out a T-shirt to each student who signed up. Club Chivalry members walked the track and one sophomore worked in the booth. Lodge members participated in planning and handling the booth. This year the lodge was a Bronze Sponsor and sold about 40 luminaires at $10 each. During the event, they sold sandwiches, chips and soda. Nina Carrol provided the specialty sandwiches and donated soda. Chris Miles, Jimmy Dreby and Cole Miles set up the booth. Robert Bordonaro and his family and Patty Volpe and Dean Wilson assisted with sales. Christien Elkins showed up at 11 to break the booth down and pack everything into a vehicle.
Pictured are the luminaires; Patty Volpe, Robert Bordonaro, and Dean Wilson at the booth; and Principal Bhoolai; Rita Smith, team captain and Exalted Ruler; and senior Brianna Sterns.
On May 5 during Youth Week, the lodge honored Ismeny Ramirez, a Club Chivalry student at Robinson High School, as Teenager of the Year. She is a junior who is dual enrolled at Hillsborough Community College, has a weighted grade-point average of 4.65, is president of the Spanish Club, and was just awarded Student of the Year in Business Technology.
Rita Smith, Exalted Ruler, is pictured presneting the award to Ismeny Ramirez.