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

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1224 quilt 1 

1224 quilt 2

On Oct. 27, on behalf of St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224, lodge member Kat Chaplin visited the offices of Music Sweet Music Inc. (MSM) to deliver a quilt that she spent many hours making for MSM’s Facebook fundraiser. The handmade queen-size quilt valued at $379 featured a uniquely designed military-theme. In the center of the quilt was an eagle in flight looking at three soldiers. Each edge of the quilt named a military branch of service — Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. Chaplin also donated a double-sided fleece throw for the silent auction fundraiser valued at $75. Pictured with Chaplin is Ted Wagner, lodge member and MSM president and founder Ted Wagner.


708 DrugAw

In October, red ribbons were passed out to Tampa Elks Lodge members to wear to promote Red Ribbon Month. The last week in October was Drug Awareness Week. Tampa Lodge #708 partnered with two elementary schools, Lanier Elementary and West Shore Elementary, to promote Red Ribbon Week and to give back to the community. Volunteers had not yet been approved to visit Tampa’s elementary schools, so the lodge gave each school 250 Drug Awareness coloring books to use while teaching the students to "Be a Hero and Say No to Drugs." Each school was also given 300 red ribbons to pass out to the students to wear during Red Ribbon Week. Pictured are Loyd “Tommy” Moore, Drug Awareness Chair, and Linda Drawdy, West Shore Elementary principal.


        1224 Azalea 1224 Westgate

To help give children the tools they need to succeed, St. Petersburg Lodge members donated school supplies including backpacks, pens and pencils, notebooks, crayons, handwriting paper, watercolors, colored pencils, glue sticks, scissors, highlighters, supply boxes, dividers, tissues, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes. On Sept. 16, the supplies were distributed to three neighboring schools — Azalea Elementary School, Westgate Elementary School and Pinellas Park Middle School. Each school received over $250 worth of supplies for teachers and students. Pictured in the first photo are Yaritza Ramos, Azalea Elementary’s office liaison; Jan Giallourakis, lodge member; and Brian Denson, head of plant operations for Azalea Elementary. Pictured in the second photo are Susan Baker, Westgate Elementary’s community liaison, and Kirk Martin, Inner Guard. Doc Cook, Exalted Ruler and Pinellas Park Middle School science teacher, is pictured in his classroom.

1224 doc


1912 bin 1 1912 bin 2

During July and August, Holiday Isles Elks Lodge #1912 started the wishing well food drive for local charities and local veterans’ administration programs. Sandra Gann, Joan May and Larry Schear are the Elks volunteers who handle collection and delivery of the items. As of Aug. 17, over 100 pounds of food have been delivered to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, which provides food, shelter and health care to the community. In addition, approximately $1,000 worth of food, calibrated for backpacks, has been provided to the Ready for Life program in Largo, Florida. This program helps children who have aged out of foster care. Also, $850 worth of food and $650 of clothing was provided to the Bay Pines Veterans Administration in St. Petersburg for their Veterans’ Donation Center for families and for the veterans’ outreach efforts. Pictured are the wishing wells that are placed outside the lodge on Tuesdays and Saturdays for drop-off of nonperishable food.


       708 road 1 708 road 2

Tampa Elks Lodge #708 has adopted 1.1 miles of Himes Avenue from Gandy Boulevard to Bay Avenue as part of the Mayor’s Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful program. This participation was initiated by Melissa Bertoch, lodge chaplain. Their first cleanup was held Aug. 15; nine members each collect an average of 1.5 bags of trash. Firefighters at the station on this route and neighbors were thankful for the cleanup. Bertoch is pictured with Rita Smith and Theresa Seibert, PDD.


1224 PPMS brightened

St. Petersburg Lodge member Kat Chaplain made 64 cloth face masks that were distributed to Pinellas Park Middle School (PPMS) teachers Sept. 4. Michael “Doc” Cook, Exalted Ruler, one of the recipients of the masks, delivered the rest of them to PPMS teachers on Chaplain’s behalf. Cook teaches seventh grade science at PPMS and he has five classes that are taught simultaneously, which means that he is teaching students that are present in his classroom as well as teaching students who have chosen to do online learning. He also has one class that's only face to face in a classroom. Masks are now a necessary tool in teachers’ daily routines and represent the most recent efforts by the lodge to support the school district and its teachers as the new school year begins. Cook is pictured wearing his new mask Sept. 4 at PPMS.