On Nov. 29, Bonita Springs-Estero Elks Lodge #2753 volunteers went to the Jacobson House to entertain the veterans with karaoke singers. They also brought $500 worth of handmade blankets along with toothbrushes, toothpaste, crossword puzzle books and socks.
Karaoke singers pictured in the front are Phil Boucher, Phyliss Steelsmith, Pete Thompson and Steve Neelin as veterans watch from the audience. Frank LaBletta told jokes.
Sanford Elks Lodge #1241 hosted its first Swing 4 Veterans charity golf tournament Oct. 29. The tournament was held at the Mayfair Country Club in Sanford and had 121 players, including members and nonmembers. There were 32 hole sponsors and six corporate sponsors. The event raised $10,147 to support the lodge’s various veterans programs.
Pictured are a golfer swinging in front of a sponsor sign and a general view of players and golf carts.
On Nov. 2, the Zephyrhills Elks Lodge Veterans Committee donated 30 pounds of fruits and vegetables to Healing Heart soup kitchen. Healing Heart feeds veterans without homes as well as others in the community and also has a laundry facility. Ken Fabiani, PER, Veterans Chair, has been helping for the past two years.
On Nov. 11, the Veterans Council of Highlands County honored veterans with a parade and day of events. Vendors, bands, JROTC color guards and local organizations were in attendance at Fireman's Field in Sebring, Florida. Sebring Elks veteran Bert Horwitz, left, rode in a convertible along with trustee Ron Schilffarth. The car owner and driver was member Bob Alley. Brenda Walton, Lodge Veterans Services Chair, worked at the Elks tent, where there were brochures, pictures of charity events and applications available. Pictured with Brenda are two unnamed visitors.
In celebration of Veterans Day, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge #2855 held an open house luncheon, with all veterans invited and given a free lunch and drink. The event served 54 veterans, both members and nonmembers.
Tom Sweeney, Lodge Veterans Services Chair, second from right, is pictured with four area veterans.
On Oct. 13, Fort Pierce Elks Lodge #1520 donated $150 worth of food items for the Ardie R. Copas Veterans Nursing Home. Items were used for their cart and candy fall festival gift bags, serving 43 residents. Pictured are Sherika Ayers, activities director/therapy aide supervisor, and Rod Dally, PER, Veterans Chair.
On Oct. 20, Fort Pierce Lodge donated $535 worth of food items to the West Palm Beach VA Healthcare System. Pictured are Rod Dally, PER, Veterans Chair; Machelle Jackson, volunteer service specialist; and volunteer Michelle Toussaint.
Members of Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge #2855 wrote and sent 100 thank you letters to be delivered to veterans coming home from the Parade of Heroes, held Nov. 12 in Washington, D.C.
Pictured are members Laurie Webber, Ron Webber, Faith Frost and Tracey Lapera writing thank you cards.
On Oct. 17, Naples Elks Lodge #2010 donated its $2,000 Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant for the Warrior Homes of Collier County Delta House at the ribbon-cutting. Delta House is a building set up for service members to help them with living quarters and expenses. The donation will be used to purchase many of the needed items to furnish rooms for veterans.
Pictured are Richard Lazell, lodge member and veteran; Brian Kamp, lodge grant coordinator; and Dale Mullen, President of Warrior Homes.
Using the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant, the Sebring Lodge Veterans Services Committee donated 54 $25 gas cards Oct. 24 to the he Highlands County Veterans Services for local veterans who can't afford gas for their everyday use as well as drive to the VA doctors, who are located 2 1/2 hours away.
Pictured are Lodge Veterans Services Committee officers Brenda Walton, Chair; Michelle Rigterink; and Stephanie Ridgley.
On Oct. 17, the Veterans Council of Highlands County held its first awards luncheon. Bert Horwitz, PDD was named Sebring Elks Veteran of the Year and Ronna Mason, PER was named Sebring Elks Non-Veteran of the Year. Pictured are Lodge Veterans Services Committee members: Ronna Mason, PER; Brenda Walton; Bert Horwitz, PDD; Diane Morse; and Ron Schilffarth. Walton presented 50 $40 Publix gift cards to Glenn West, council president. They will be given to veterans in need to go along with turkeys for their Thanksgiving meal, which is being provided by the council. The cards were purchased using the Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant.
Representing New Port Richey Elks Lodge #2284, Veterans Services Committee member Elizabeth Groves attended the dedication of a new Fisher House Oct. 21. This house is part of the Bay Pines Veterans Administration and will provide a home away from home for families of veterans who are inpatients at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center. Groves presented 30 veterans with veterans' creed cards and stars cut from retired American flags mounted to thank you cards. In recognition of the Elks' support and contribution to the veterans at the affair, Groves was presented with a commemorative Fisher House challenge coin by David Coker, president of the Fisher House Foundation.
Pictured are Veterans Services Committee members John Holbert, a Navy veteran, and Elizabeth Groves.
On Oct. 19, six members and guests of Eustis Elks Lodge #1578 made their monthly visit to Fort McCoy Veterans Village. This month’s theme was a Halloween party. There were 45 residents who attended the lunch, which included games and treats. The event was funded by the ENVSC Freedom Grant.
Pictured are Elk Ann Marks, veteran Duffy and Elk Darla Orr.