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Florida Elks News Online

Anthony Melcher Scholarship Gets Fundraising Start at St. Petersburg Lodge

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Dixie Hollins’ Interact Club members were the servers for St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224 during the Not-So-Beauty beauty pageant Oct. 13 and the USA show and veterans appreciation dinner Nov. 3. The club members received $520 in cash donated by attendees of the pageant and an additional $500 was giving by a lodge member who wishes to remain anonymous. The members received $480 during the USA show and dinner.

The Interact Club is a service group that helps the surrounding community and the students earn volunteer hours toward scholarships. Nine members volunteered at each event so they could earn cash to start the new scholarship, the Anthony Melcher Memorial Fund. This scholarship will be available to senior track and cross country athletes. This scholarship is being established by Diana Melcher, Anthony’s sister, and the Melcher-Baer family along with the Interact Club. Their focus is to increase awareness about suicide prevention while raising money for scholarships for young athletes at Dixie Hollins High School. Anthony Melcher graduated with honors from Dixie Hollins High School in 2009 where he was captain of the cross country team and won many awards. He was also the captain of his team in Ragner Relay Races. Melcher, 20, of Pinellas Park, Fla., died by suicide, July 24, 2011.

This scholarship is available to graduating seniors who participated in track and cross country for a minimum of two years, must have a minimum GPA of 3.3, must have demonstrated a minimum of 50 hours of school and community service, and be seeking a four-year degree. The scholarship winner will receive $1,000.

Diana Melcher, second from left, stands with several members of the Interact Club. Behind them are Anthony’s cross country shirt, medals and awards. She and the club established the Anthony Melcher Memorial Fund and started its fundraising at St. Petersburg Lodge Oct. 13.


Green Cove Springs Lodge Hosts Art Auction for GCSPD Trunk or Treat

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On Saturday, Sept. 8, Green Cove Springs Lodge hosted over 200 people for the Green Cove Springs Police Department’s annual art auction gala. The very enjoyable evening consisted of a dock party, live music, gift baskets, and a lively auction of art created by city employees and police officers as well as several pieces donated by Elks family members. This event raised funds for the police department’s annual Halloween Trunk or Treat event which is expected to be attended by approximately 2,000 community members.

Pictured are Detective Barbara Luedtke; Lieutenant John Guzman with daughter Olivia; Sergeant Chris Hess; Councilman, Mitch Timberlake; Assistant to City Manager, Kim Thomas; Exalted Ruler, Lucie Barnette; Chief of Police, Derek Asdot; Sergeant Kim Miller; Secretary to Chief of Police, Leah Wojnar; Lieutenant Shawn Hines; Officer James Ottomeyer; Evidence Custodian, Gerrilynn Barton; and Sergeant Tammy Perry.


Florida Keys Lodge Holds Hurricane Relief Event

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The Elks National Foundation Anniversary Grant helped make possible a fantastic community event to benefit Keys Strong for Hurricane Irma recovery. Many people in the Florida Keys are still without homes and other essentials. Local musicians donated their time and talent to entertain during the complimentary community dinner July 14 at Florida Keys Elks Lodge. Approximately 200 people attended and $1,022 was raised. Eight new applications for membership were submitted as well because of this event.

Pictured is Dennis Tarbell, Florida Keys Lodge Exalted Ruler, and Frazier Nivens of Keys Strong.    


Viera Elks Host Monthly Birthday Party at Genesis House

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Viera Lodge hosted their monthly birthday party at Genesis House. Genesis House provides transitional shelter for homeless women and their children, long-term housing for student mothers and their children, and shelter for homeless pregnant women and their children. Genesis House Inc. is committed to providing a safe, supportive, caring environment which promotes independence from the welfare system through education, self-discipline and self-reliance. The lodge has supported Genesis House by providing computers and assisting in their thrift shop. Shown in the picture is Elks helper Carol Marshall. Funding for Genesis House support is provided by an ENF Beacon Grant.


Have News You Want to Share?

We want to hear from you! The Florida Elks News Online site is a timely way to tell the world all about the good things happening at your Lodge. You can keep your members up-to-date in between the printed quarterly FEN editions by sending your news articles here. The online FEN version is already one of the most popular pages on the FSEA website so you don't want to miss out on this terrific way to promote your Lodge with members and the general public. As we receive news and pictures from you, we will post them here immediately. You will also want to visit this site frequently so be sure to bookmark it as one of your favorites right now!

As an added bonus for sending articles for publication on the Florida Elks News Online site, we will also post them to the FSEA Facebook page which regularly has over 15,000 unique weekly viewers. You heard right! You will get double the coverage to a wide audience!

There are a couple of ways to submit online articles. For the more adventuresome, you can make a submission by going to the FSEA online submission webpage at This page can also be accessed anytime via the NEWS CENTER menu link at the top of the FSEA website page. For those of you who prefer email, please send articles and pictures to Rachael King at It's just that easy!

Let's hear from you and work together to get your lodge recognized for its outstanding community programs!


Louisiana State Legislature Increases New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax

The Legislature of the State of Louisiana has acted to increase the New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax from 13% to 14.75% effective April 1, 2014. This will affect our convention room rates and they will go from $128.56 to $130.52 per night.

Convention Attendees With ADA Transportation Needs Urged To Contact Grand Lodge

In order for the Grand Lodge to support the transportation needs of attendees with disabilities you are urged to contact the Grand Lodge if you require special assistance. Special coaches capable of kneeling to accommodate wheel chairs will be placed along the routes for those in need. If you require assistance please contact Tina or Jessica at the Grand Lodge as follows:


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