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our military and veterans

Thank-you Letter from an Army of Hope Recipient

Thank you for the warm welcome. I wish it was under better circumstances. Being the only community able and willing to help me as a veteran preemptive puts me forever in your debt. I will raise awareness and fundraise for you every chance I get. I have been hiding under a rock for almost 20 years and speaking with your guys has given me the strength to reach out to other veterans. I am putting together an interview packet for veterans cursed with PTSD. I've decided to put a book together for those of us who just can't do group counseling. I'm hoping it will help us be able to read others stories and experiences to help understand what is happening to us and to know we are not alone. I am definitely putting my experience with the Elks in this book. And I want to use its sales to help others and the only true way I see that happening is by donating back to y'all. Thank you for accepting my application for assistance. And I look forward for the first time in a long time to working with a group; your group. 




Eleventh Veteran Receives Donations from Zephyrhills Lodge for New Home

2731 R Malcolm

Roberto Malcolm is the 11th veteran to be assisted with moving into his own home by Zephyrhills Lodge. He was given a love seat, recliner, dish set with six place settings, glasses, silverware, bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, dish towels, dishcloths, placemats, storage bowls and coffee maker. In addition to these items, he was also presented with a laptop to further his education. Malcolm’s gratitude was expressed in his smiles and tears.


Zephyrhills Lodge Provides Veteran with Household Goods

2731 Z Scott

Zachary Scott is the tenth veteran who has been helped by Zephyrhills Lodge and the Veterans Committee with moving into his own place and starting a new life. On Aug. 6, the lodge provided Scott with a laptop, a dish set for four, silverware, towels, bedding, pillows and personal hygiene items.


Bay Pines Veterans Hospital Receives Supplies and Treats from Zephyrhills Lodge

2731 Aug. 1

On Aug. 1, Zephyrhills Elks Lodge #2731 and the Veterans Committee donated clothing to Bay Pines Veterans Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. The donation included Men’s and women’s undergarments, shirts, pants, shoes and pajamas as well as a large backpack and travel duffle bag. The Elks also donated some sweet treats including chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate-covered mints and chocolate-covered caramels. Accepting the donation from PER Ken Fabiani, Veterans chairman, is Edgardo Solivan of Bay Pines Volunteer Services.


Trivia Event at St. Petersburg Lodge Raises Funds for Veterans' Projects

1224 Bronco

The Bronco Babes (Lyn Dexter; “Bronco” Exalted Ruler; Dawn Elaine Lieber; and Penny Rase and Debbie Rase, co-chairmen, put St. Petersburg Lodge brains to the test Aug. 10 with a fun night of trivia, camaraderie and friendly competition which resulted in raising over $600 for lodge veterans’ projects.


Winter Park Lodge Donates Backpacks for Veterans who are Homeless

1830 vet backpacks

Winter Park Lodge ember Kevin Robeson presented Elks National Veterans Service Commission representative Ron Goluba, PER with 50 adult backpacks for veterans who are homeless at the Lake Baldwin VA facility in Orlando, Fla. The Orlando area often has veterans, both men and women, who migrate from other cities but are not residents. The lodge is very supportive of the two local VA facilities (Lake Baldwin and Lake Nona) with donations exceeding $6,000 for necessary items such as toiletries. 


West Citrus Lodge Veterans Committee Donates for Veteran's Honor Flight

2693 Honor Flight

On Aug. 5, the West Citrus Lodge Veterans Committee presented a $400 check to Barbara Mills, an Honor Flight representative, to assist with the cost of an Honor Flight for a former lodge member and World War II veteran and his son to Washington, D.C., Oct. 22. Pictured at the donation presentation are Charlie Mattingly, veteran; Joanne Hepner, lodge chairman of the  Veterans Committee; Barbara Mills, Honor Flight representative; and Jack McKowen and Bill Dennington, veterans. These three veterans are previous Honor Flight recipients.


West Citrus Elks Donate to Mission of Citrus Inc. Homeless Shelter

2693 mission check

On July 15, West Citrus Elks Lodge #2693 presented a $1,000 check to the Mission of Citrus Inc. Homeless Shelter in Inverness, Fla., using the Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant. The donation was very appreciated; the organization does so much for homeless veterans and their families. Pictured at the presentation are Harry Morris and Paul Kissig, veterans; Joanne Hepner, lodge Veterans Committee chairman; Cindy Green, Exalted Ruler; and Katherine Romanowski, Mission Director in Crystal River, Fla.


Handmade Afghan Donated to Aripeka Lodge's Parade of Heroes Fundraiser

2520 afghan

Polly Nichols knitted and donated an afghan depicting the U.S. flag that was auctioned off July 4 at a lodge celebration. The proceeds from the auction were for the Elks Parade of Heroes project. Her husband, Roy, will be on the next flight to Washington, D.C., in November 2019. Cathy Schmidt attends bingo at the lodge nearly every week and won the raffle. Pictured with Schmidt is Jim Warren, bingo chairman. Nichols and Schmidt are not lodge members.


St. Petersburg Lodge Hosts Dinners and Bowling for Veterans

On the first Tuesday of the month at Seminole Lanes, St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224 continues to treat 10-13 veterans to bowling from 5-7:30 p.m. The lodge also takes care of the shoe rental and they give the veterans a $10 voucher for food while they enjoy bowling.

St. Petersburg Lodge also continues to treat veterans and VMC staff members from the Community Living Center and from Bay Pines Domiciliary to dinner on alternating Thursdays. They enjoy singing karaoke, too. The veterans also enjoy fellowship with lodge members who spend time not only tending to the veterans’ needs during mealtime but also take the time to have lively conversation.


Girls Run Iced Tea and Cookie Stand for Veterans

2723 cookie stand

During the week of the Fourth of July, Lexi Kuczkowski and Arial Minor set up an iced tea and cookie stand to raise money for veterans. PER Frank Kuczkowski of Port Orange Elks Lodge #2723 accepted their donation on behalf of the Homeless Veterans Organization.


VA Hospital Veterans Join Florida Keys for Lunch and Bingo

1872 vet lunch July 8

Florida Keys Elks Lodge #1872 hosted 19 VA hospital veterans from Miami for lunch and several games of bingo July 8. The lodge volunteers for the day were Tom Quilter, Linda Sullivan, Pat Ferguson, Angela Sayre, Tracy Fraum, and Lee and Ruth Huenniger (not all are pictured).


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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