Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2023 by the
Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

Share Your Story

We'd love to see & share your Lodge & District Events!

FSEA - Share Your Story

Let's promote what our Florida Elks are doing to support your community


Millenium Walkway Logo

Preserve any person, event, or memory with a personalized brick at your Florida Elks Youth Camp in Umatilla, Florida. 

Learn More

Florida Elks News Online

              708 book 2  708 book 4

Tampa Lodge had plans to celebrate Elks Youth Week with several activities   at a local public elementary school using supplies that had been purchased with the 2019 Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant, but at the last minute, the Hillsborough County School Board restricted visitors to the schools again due to a sharp increase in COVID-19-related absences. With all the supplies already on hand, the Elks were thrilled to be able to pivot to a private school that employs one of the lodge’s officers. Sue Moore took the lead and set up an outdoor activity at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. The Elks sponsored a free book fair May 5 for students in pre-k, kindergarten and first grade. The second graders each picked out a craft. Sue Moore and Shelagh Gombarcik picked up the car full of supplies Monday evening and Moore delivered them to the school Tuesday. Christien Elkins, Rita Smith and Tommy Moore arrived at the school the morning of the event and were greatly assisted by the Holy Trinity’s preschool administrator, Cathy Douglas, with setting up and organizing what the students would receive. The students came through in small groups as they were leaving church that morning and were excited to pick out a book. All leftover books and craft supplies were donated to the school for its summer camp program.

Pictured are Leading Knight, Rita Smith, and Tommy Moore, trustee.


1224 divecare

On April 15, St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224 donated the use of its pool to Divecare instructors to do some run-through exercises for the beginning of the dive season, and elements of it will be repeated once a month during the season at the lodge pool through October 2021. Divecare is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Florida corporation founded in 2007. Through scuba diving, Divecare's professionally trained volunteers teach members of the community with mental or physical disabilities and veterans to “fly” underwater. This gives perfect buoyancy to those who would otherwise struggle on land.


1224 pillow

Charity Works, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is active in numerous philanthropic activities in the Tampa Bay area, donated 400 personal-size chalkboards and 200 heart-shaped pillows to St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224. On April 22, the lodge donated the chalkboards to We Rock the Spectrum Gym, The Kind Mouse and Eisenhower Elementary School. Students at the school also received the pillows. The total value of the donations was $3,000. Both organizations and the elementary school assist children with disabilities or who are in need or have food insecurities in the Tampa Bay community. Pictured are some of students holding their pillows.


Holiday Isles Elks Lodge #1912 has reopened to the Monday and Wednesday Card Club players, and each of those days they make donations to the Harry-Anna Trust Fund by collecting $8 per table. Since opening back up in March, donations have totaled $246. As more players return, donations will increase.


1224 drug scouts

On March 29th, St. Petersburg Lodge held a drug awareness discussion with Boy Scout Troop 209, which included Al Literski, Loyal Knight, and Jan Giallourakis, lodge member and Ladies of Elks Auxiliary President. Having a conversation about drug abuse with children and teenagers can seem scary at first, but as long as everyone involved is nonjudgmental, honest and supportive, the conversation can be productive and beneficial. Each scout also received a drug awareness program bag, which included a red ribbon, several drug awareness pamphlets and two drug awareness themed coloring books. Pictured are Giallourakis and Literski with the scouts.


708 tv

Also on March 29, Tampa Lodge used $629.26 of their earned charity funds to provide a 65’’ TV and portable stand to Grady Elementary School. It will be utilized by office staff for Zoom meetings and other events. The portability of the stand, which was assembled by Elks, makes this a versatile gift that can also be used in a classroom or assembly. Pictured are Nicole Dreby, teacher; Mike Campbell, principal; Alexander Dreby; and Bonnie Atwood, member; Jim Dreby, member; and Chris Miles, Exalted Ruler.