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Liberty Manor Receives Donation from Brandon Lodge

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Brandon Elks Lodge #2383 adopted Liberty Manor as their official adopt-a-vet program four years ago under the guidance of PER George R. Scribner, trustee. Liberty Manor is a nonprofit organization founded by Connie Lindsay to fill the much-needed void in housing and caring for homeless veterans.

Through the years, the housed homeless veterans of Liberty Manor have been honored guests of Brandon Lodge’s monthly Wednesday veterans’ dinners as well as picnics and other special events. In addition, the lodge also assists homeless veterans with monetary donations. At the lodge dinner Jan. 23, Liberty Manor was handed a $1,000 donation to assist them in caring for the veterans. This donation was made possible by the Elks National Foundation Freedom Grant.

Presenting Brandon Lodge’s Freedom Grant at the Jan. 23 Brandon Lodge veterans dinner to Connie Lindsay, founder and CEO of Liberty Manor, and her husband, David, are George Scribner, 2017-2018 District Vice President and State Veterans Chairman, and Bob Booker, Lodge Veterans Chairman.


Marathon Elks Provide Lunch to Wounded Warriors

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In conjunction with the Dolphin Research Center (DRC), Marathon Elks Lodge #2139 prepared and fed over 50 veterans and staff from the Wounded Warriors project and DRC. The DRC provided their grounds for the day's events where the veterans participated in teambuilding exercises as well as fun with the dolphins. The lodge used its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to purchase the supplies and food for the luncheons they host about six times a year.

Pictured are Wounded Warriors veterans and staff, DRC staff and Marathon Elks after the day’s events at the Dolphin Research Center.


Zephyrhills Elks Donate TV and Coffee to Veterans Domiciliary

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Zephyrhills Elks Lodge #2731 donated a 65’’ television for the residents’ activity room at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital domiciliary. Coffee was provided as well. These gifts were purchased using funds from lodge 50/50 raffles and generous members. Pictured at the presentation are Roy Leonard, RN, nurse manager; Judy Osgood, Elks National Foundation chairman; Alexandria Novognodsky, clinical coordinator; and Ken Fabiani, Exalted Ruler.


New Port Richey Participates in Wreaths Across America

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New Port Richey Elks Lodge #2284 participated in the Wreaths Across America program Dec. 15. In coordination with American Legion Post #79, lodge officers participated in a program honoring all branches of the military, and members placed Christmas wreaths on the graves of over 600 veterans at Pine Hill and Meadowlawn cemeteries.


St. Petersburg Elks Provide HOEV Residents with Kits and Christmas Dinners

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On Dec. 23, St. Petersburg Lodge volunteers shared Christmas joy with Heaven on Earth for Veterans (HOEV), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in March 2013 which provides quality living, low-cost, safe living spaces for veterans in need. One of the founders is Esquire, retired Army Colonel Carol Barkalow. Volunteers put together 27 veterans’ essentials kits for HOEV residents. Donations were collected from family, friends and lodge members to average $15 per veteran. Essentials collected were shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, razors, deodorant and snacks. Publix donated reusable shopping bags. HOEV board member Ian O’Connell picked up the kits from the lodge and was thrilled to also pick up Christmas food boxes for HOEV’s eight veteran homes. The $20 Publix gift cards which were included in the Christmas food baskets were immediately used for meat purchases so the veterans would receive their complete Christmas dinner.


Arcadia Lodge Partners with Operation Outdoor Freedom Again

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Arcadia Elks Lodge #1524 partnered with Operation Outdoor Freedom (OOF), a program under the Forestry Department, to provide a special dinner at their recent hunt at the Peace River site. This opportunity was funded by an Elks National Foundation grant. OOF provides recreational opportunities to wounded veterans. Areas of Florida state forests dedicated to this effort are fully equipped to accommodate the needs of wounded veterans, providing a unique opportunity for recreation and rehabilitation. This is the second time the lodge has partnered with OOF; last year, the grant provided not only a great evening and meal but a beautiful table and chairs for their gathering place. Arcadia Lodge is also planning another event for 2019.

Pictured at the Arcadia Lodge and Operation Outdoor Freedom event are Mike Porter of OOF, Mary Kay Burns, Ken Katter of OOF, PSP Brian Burns, Nancy Higginbotham and Rodney Morgan.


Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge Donates to Homes for our Troops

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On Nov. 13, Tom Sweeney, Chairman of the Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge Veterans Committee, presented a check for $5,000 to Homes for our Troops for the build project of Army Specialist Michael Monthervil. The funds were raised at a Hawaiian luau held at the lodge. Over 200 people attended and heard from Monthervil how greatly their support is appreciated. His home will be built in Wimauma and will be specially adapted to meet his specific needs. He was injured in Afghanistan and lost the use of his legs and dexterity of his hands. He has limited movement where he is living now and is looking forward to regaining some of the independence he had before his injury.

Deb Kehoe, Homes for our Troops core ambassador, accepts a donation of $5,000 from Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge presented by Veterans Chairman, Tom Sweeney, and Kathi Skelton.


Brandon Elks Deliver Christmas Gifts to VA Spinal Cord Injury Unit

On Dec. 16, a group of elves and helpers from Brandon Elks Lodge #2383 arrived at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital spinal cord injury unit bearing gifts. The Brandon Ladies of Elks and lodge members put together 100 gift bags with mugs, socks, candy, gift cards, pens, pads, Rubik’s cubes and ballcaps. They also took the time to visit with the veterans.


Winter Park Lodge Donates to ENVSC

Winter Park Lodge donated $4,000 to the Elks National Veterans Service Committee (ENVSC).  Just in time for Christmas, ENVSC representative, PER Ron Goluba, purchased and delivered items requested by the Lake Baldwin and Lake Nona veterans living centers, hospitals and domiciliaries. Items included all new clothing, sweat suits, hooded jackets, socks, under garments, tennis shoes, flannel shirts, t-shirts, canned vegetables, microwavable meals, cereals, cake and pancake mixes, juice packs, a large variety of hygiene items, adult coloring books, markers, and personal journals.


Winter Park Elks Participate in Wreaths Across America

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Winter Park Elks and Does supported Wreaths Across America in the Orlando-owned Greenwood Cemetery with Mayor, Buddy Dyer; Commissioner, Patty Sheehan; an Orlando Fire Department color guard; military service representatives; and Channel 9 News as they placed wreaths and read the veterans’ names. Pictured are lodge members John and Lisa Rankin carrying wreaths.


Veterans Receive Visit from Winter Garden Elks

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Winter Garden Elks Lodge members served 120 veterans from the Orlando VA nursing home a Christmas barbecue lunch and delivered a new blanket to each of them. Members also held karaoke for the veterans.


West Palm Beach Lodge Hosts Christmas Dinner for Veterans

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On Dec. 1, West Palm Beach Elks Lodge #1352 used an Elks National Foundation Freedom Grant to host a Christmas dinner for veterans and their families at no cost to them. Hosted by Mary Sassone and Tim Hadsell, this event was attended by 90 veterans and family members. Pictured are veterans who are blind from the VA Hospital of Palm Beach.


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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