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Florida Elks News Online

Graduating Seniors without Homes Receive Gift from Rotonda Elks

2710 graduating seniors

On Oct. 25, Rotonda Lodge used their $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to pay for the gold graduation package for seniors at Lemon Bay High School who are homeless. The remaining funds will be used to offset the cost of graduation caps and gowns for other seniors in need. The funds will ensure that these seniors can take part in all the senior activities and opportunities. In addition, it will pay for their graduation tassel, Lemon Bay High School medallion, senior class photo, class T-shirt, yearbook, senior class video and all other senior sponsored events. The lodge recently learned that the Charlotte County School District has a population of over 400 teenagers who are homeless. Most of these students are considered "sofa surfing" which means that they don't have consistent places to sleep or reside. They bounce from the homes of friends and other acquaintances and sleep on sofas without the benefit of a bedroom or family home. The lodge members hope this project will decrease the isolation and hopelessness for seniors who have few resources and that it will encourage other seniors who are homeless to set attainable goals throughout the school year knowing they will have the opportunity to walk across the stage at graduation. This is the second year in a row that the school has covered these costs for these very deserving students.

Liz Marsicovetere, Lemon Bay High School social worker, and Bob Bedford, principal, accept a check for $2,000 from Rotonda Lodge presented by Sheri Toth, lodge trustee, and Geri DelTorto, member and bar manager.


Fort Myers Elks Serve Meals at Salvation Army

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With funding from an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant, several members of Fort Myers Elks Lodge #1288 served meals to approximately 75 people at the Salvation Army on Edison Avenue in Fort Myers, Fla., Nov. 13. The lodge will continue to serve the meals that are prepared by the Farmer's Market Restaurant on the second Wednesday of each month until their $2,500 grant is depleted.

Serving meals are Fort Myers Elks PSP David Lake, Alan Anderson, Janet Helm-Adams, Diane Hendrick, Gail Mascari, PER Frank Mascari and PER Susan Avis.


Two Elementary After-School Programs Receive Donations from Sebring Lodge

1529 Woodlawn 2019

Sebring Elks Lodge #1529 presented two $500 checks to local elementary schools for their after-school programs. Member Bob Funk presented the donation to Avon Park Elementary Sept. 23 and members Ken Hedges and Ronna Mason presented the check to Woodlawn Elementary Sept. 26. Avon Park’s program teaches all aspects of putting on a play to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Woodlawn’s program is Leaders in Arts. Approximately 30 children from third and fourth grades stay after school to learn different styles of art for eight weeks.

Sebring Lodge members Ronna Mason and Ken Hedges present a check for $500 to Woodlawn Elementary teacher Denise Franza and Asst. Principal Wright Sept. 26.


Viera Lodge Hosts Back-to-School Party for Family Promise of Brevard

2817 Family Promise

On Aug. 4, Viera Elks Lodge #2817 hosted a back-to-school party for Family Promise of Brevard, an organization whose mission is to end family homelessness in Brevard County by collaborating with the community to provide families the support needed to put themselves on a path toward long-term housing stability. The lodge provided lunch for everyone in attendance and supplied backpacks filled with school supplies and gift cards for shoes to the children in the program. During this party, the children were also provided with a free wellness screening along with a free haircut if desired. This event was funded by an Elks National Foundation Promise Grant and was hosted by members Bill Orblych, PDD, Secretary, and Vinnie and Patti Traviglia.

Viera Lodge hosts a back-to-school party Aug. 4 for Family Promise of Brevard, an organization focused on ending family homelessness. Pictured at the right are hosts Bill Orblych, PDD, Secretary, and Patti Traviglia.


Plant City Teams with Community to Aid The Bahamas Hurricane Survivors

    1727 hurricane 3 volunteers 1727 hurricane students

On Sept. 14, Plant City Lodge Exalted Ruler, Ron Johns, along with member Judy Wise and her granddaughter Charlise, joined forces with the local Lions Club and Woman’s Club along with the help of local high school students to collect items for The Bahamas survivors of Hurricane Dorian. As a result of teaming with the community, the group filled a large rental moving truck that transported the much needed items to the local small airport where the Aviation Club donated their private planes and fuel and transported the goods to The Bahamas. Approximately $8,000 in donated goods was collected. The combined expenses of the plane transportation and fuel donation by the Aviation Club was approximately $5,000. Eight Elks worked shifts between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. They set up a drop-off collection point at the parking lot of the Southern Hospitality and Hardee’s restaurant on Collins Street in Plant City, Fla. The lodge was instrumental in pulling the community together and combining forces to aid The Bahamas survivors who are in desperate need after the hurricane.


Sebring Lodge Donates Mosquito-Repellent Soap to The Bahamas

1529 OSANA

On Sept. 7, Sebring Elks Lodge #1529 participated in the collection of supplies heading to The Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. Items were trucked to St. Petersburg, Fla., and then flown to the islands. Lodge members Reggie Lemmen and Ronna Mason were instrumental in procuring of 584 bars of OSANA © mosquito repellent bars of soap donated by the OSANA company. These bars are meant to assist in the prevention of mosquito-borne illnesses other illnesses caused by the lack of sanitation.


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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2018 by the
Florida State Elks Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

Millennium Walkway

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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