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Edgewater-NSB Lodge Holds PER Veterans Day Ceremony

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Edgewater-New Smyrna Beach Elks Lodge #1557 held their PER Veterans Day ceremony. Veterans were honored by PER Bobbi Savasuk while PER Gary Sanford paid homage for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.


Zephyrhills Lodge Holds Veterans Day Tribute

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On Nov. 11, Zephyrhills Lodge hosted a Veterans Day tribute to recognize veterans within their lodge and all veterans who have served our country in every branch of the military. Ken Fabiani, Exalted Ruler, planned and hosted the event. Colonel Jack Van Allen, retired, was the keynote speaker. He has an overwhelming background in the U.S. Army and is a lodge member as well. Trustee Cliff McDuffie closed the program with a poem he dedicated to veterans.

Keynote speaker, Colonel Jack Van Allen, retired, speaks at Zephyrhills Lodge’s Veterans Day tribute Nov. 11.


Quilts of Valor Presentation Held at St. Augustine Lodge

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On Nov. 7, St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 held a special ceremony honoring three World War II veterans and one Korean War veteran with quilts from Quilts of Valor. Honored were William Pruitt, Herbert Naumann, Michael Romano and Joseph Papilia. Quilts of Valor Foundation, which began in 2003, awards quilts to U.S. military service members and veterans who have been touched by war. The quilts are made throughout the country by quilting groups who volunteer their time and materials to make the quilts. Since inception, over 200,000 quilts have been awarded.

WWII veteran Mike Romano, Korean War veteran Joseph Papilia, WWII veteran Herbert Naumann and WWII veteran Colonel William Pruitt are awarded quilts from Quilts of Valor at St. Augustine Lodge Nov. 7.


Vero Beach Elk Earns Award for Cookies for Soldiers Program

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At the president’s visit to Vero Beach Lodge, President Frank Malatesta presented Rose Tufano with a plaque as Southeast Central District Elk of the Year for her work with the Cookies for Soldiers lodge program which has been providing cookies and other treats to troops in southwest Asia for over 10 years. On the third Thursday of every month, Tufano and a dedicated group of volunteers meet at the lodge to receive donations from members of homemade or store-bought cookies for soldiers. The group carefully wraps the cookies to withstand shipment and mails them to designated locations.


St. Petersburg Elks Donate to Two Veterans Causes

On Nov. 15, St. Petersburg Lodge presented $6,575.48 to veterans causes. The money was raised from three lodge events: a jerky/chili cook-off, a trivia dinner and game night, and the USA Show and veterans appreciation dinner. The first donation was for $4,500 and it was presented to Nathan Witt, Chief of Voluntary Services, and D’Onna Lee from the Army’s Auxiliary at C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center in Bay Pines, Fla. Witt said the money would be used to help sponsor veterans from the facility to the upcoming National Golden Age Games, the premier senior adaptive rehabilitation program in the United States and the only national multi-event sports and recreational seniors’ competition program designed to improve the quality of life of all older veterans including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. The games are open to veterans ages 55 or older who receive health care from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The games will be held June 5-10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. The second donation of $2,075.48 was given to the Florida State Elks Association Historical Commemorative Projects and it was accepted by their liaison, Rudy Masi Sr., PDD. The funds will assist with expenses that were incurred during the Parade of Heroes which took WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans to a celebration Nov. 8-10 in Washington, D.C. All expenses were paid for the veterans and their companions by FSEA Historical Commemorative Projects.

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Johnny Miller, Grand Lodge Deputy Representative to C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center; Dolly Masi, PER; Nathan Witt, Chief of Voluntary Services at C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center; Cathy Shriver, Exalted Ruler; and Ken Peel, veteran.

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1224 vet 2: Albert Wiggins, veteran; Dolly Masi, PER; Rudy Masi, PDD, FSEA Historical Commemorative Projects liaison; D’Onna Lee, veteran and Army auxiliary member; Cathy Shriver, Exalted Ruler; and Ken Peel, veteran.


Cape Coral Lodge Veterans Ride in Veterans Day Parade

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Cape Coral Elks Lodge #2596 participated in the city's Veterans Day parade. Pictured riding in the parade are lodge members and veterans Ignazio Fragione (World War II) and Joe Talamo (Korean War). Not pictured is Vietnam veteran John Nugent, the lodge’s representative at the Vietnam Veterans memorial ceremony in Washington, D.C., Nov. 10.


Message from Historical Programs Liaison

Parade of Heroes Welcome

A message from Rudy Masi Sr.

Historical Programs Liaison/Endorsed Florida Elks State Association VPAL


Greetings, 2018 Parade of Heroes attendees.

We hope everyone thoroughly enjoyed participating in this historical event! Once again, Florida Elks thank each of you for your service! We are proud of you and pleased to be able to offer you this wonderful experience!

Your group leaders shared with me how your flexibility, camaraderie and fun attitude contributed to a successful trip! Please join me in thanking Toni Goodrich, PDD, Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services Board member; George Scribner, Southwest Central District Vice President and Veterans Services state chairman; and Carol Barkalow, St. Petersburg Lodge Esquire, for their leadership this past weekend.

The annual Parade of Heroes was held in Washington, D.C., during Veterans Day week. This event featured outstanding bands, choirs and JROTC cadets from around the country in a special tribute to our veterans at the WWII, Korean War and Vietnam memorials. The Parade of Heroes is a moving timeline of American military history where we recognize and celebrate historical moments in the history of our nation helping to ensure that the sacrifices made by many in our nation are never forgotten and that they are passed on to future generations of Americans. 

A story with photos will be posted on our state and national Elks Facebook pages.

Please join me in thanking PSP Frank Palladini; COO/Secretary, Carl Seibert; West Central District Deputy, Theresa Matthews; and the many Elks who were at Tampa International Airport to welcome you home!


St. Petersburg Lodge Holds Veterans Appreciation Dinner

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On Nov. 3, the St. Petersburg Ladies of Elks Auxiliary and lodge held their annual USA show and veterans appreciation dinner honoring the dedicated men and women of service of all our United States Armed Forces who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the first Gulf War and beyond. The show’s theme was "A Walk through the 1940s” and was a full-scale patriotic event paying tribute to our military. The evening provided a look back at the war with music, skits, food and entertainment. Presentation of colors and the Pledge of Allegiance were led by veterans of the Korean War Color Guard Chapter 14. There was also a parade of military flags carried by veterans who had served in those branches. The co-chairs for this event were Dolly Masi, PLP and Adella Ashton, PLP along with emcee Bob "Rudy Masi, PDD" Hope.

Attendees included retired Major General Jack O’Connor and his wife, Andrea, and C. W. Bill Young VAMC guests Nathan Dewitt, Chief of Voluntary Services; 10 veterans; and their driver. Ervin Stark, an Elk from Largo Lodge #2159, was the oldest veteran present. He is 96 years old and had the honor of cutting the cake representing all branches of our military. Representing our youngest veteran was 35-year-old Jennifer Perron, U.S. Army, who served in Iraq in 2004 and was one of the guest veterans from the VAMC. Stark served cake to Perron as a symbol of the oldest veteran passing on his knowledge from the old to the new and emphasizing that he cares for our young before he looks to his own needs. Proceeds from this event and several others held during the October will benefit C. W. Bill Young VAMC and the Florida State Elks Association Historical Programs partnership.


Lakeland Elks use Freedom Grant for VA Veterans

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On Sunday, Oct. 14, 26 members from Lakeland Elks Lodge #1291 went to James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, Fla., and utilized their Freedom Grant to cook and serve lunch to approximately 400 patients and some staff for a total of 600 meals. Meals were delivered to the patients’ rooms for those who were not able to get out. Music and karaoke were also provided. In addition, approximately $1,500-worth of shoes, underwear and personal-care items as well as $1,010 in various gift cards were donated to the hospital for use in the patients’ care and rehabilitative therapy.


Veterans Visiting Zephyrhills Lodge See Thank-you Banner

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Zephyrhills Elks Lodge members Diana & Dee Mauro donated a banner that bears a message of thanks to veterans. It is mounted over the lodge doorway and is the last thing veterans see before boarding their bus after their Friday dinners at the lodge. On the first and third Friday of each month, veterans from James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital are served dinner. On the second Friday, veterans from the James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital Domiciliary attend dinner. The domiciliary provides opportunities for motivated but at-risk veterans to participate in a residential rehabilitative therapeutic community. The goal is to return each veteran to independent living. On the fourth Friday, veterans from Westbrooke Manor Assisted Living receive their dinner.


Florida Keys Elks Support Local VFW

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Florida Keys Elks Lodge #1872 donated $650 to the Upper Keys VFW Post 10211 for their building project. The VFW has currently been just a dingy bar, but their new commander, Dennis Ward, who is also an Elks member, has taken over a building project to add rooms for therapy, classes and yoga so it will no longer just be a bar. The reopening is scheduled for Nov. 10.

Dennis Tarbell, Florida Keys Lodge Exalted Ruler, presents a $650 donation to Dennis Ward, Commander of the Upper Keys VFW Post 10211, for their building project.


Englewood Elks Donate to Fish'n for Heroes

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On Oct. 17, Englewood Elks Lodge presented a donation of $500 to Fish’n for Heroes Wounded Warriors Inc. This organization takes veterans on a fishing trip; afterward, the veterans are taken to a restaurant where the fish they caught is prepared for them. The lodge’s donation covers four veterans and a helper. This donation was possible in part from the lodge’s Elks National Foundation Anniversary Grant with additional ongoing fundraising to support veterans projects.

John Dichazi, Englewood Lodge Exalted Ruler; James O’Brien, President of Fish’n for Heroes; Debbie O’Brien, Treasurer of Fish’n for Heroes; and Paul Colicci, Veterans Committee Chairman, take part in Englewood Elks’ donation presentation to Fish’n for Heroes Oct. 17.


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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