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Sebring Lodge Holds Canoe Race to Benefit Folds of Honor

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New member Lisa Celentano arranged the dirty dozen canoe race held at Sebring Lodge’s water’s edge Saturday, Sept. 1. The lodge made money on parking and pulled pork sandwiches. Setup was in full swing by 7:30 a.m. with the first of three races starting at 10 a.m. Lodge members volunteered with parking, cooking, working in the dining room, setup and cleanup, and the ROTC from Sebring High School helped with setup and parking. Vendors attended the event as well, and there was a tent that displayed Elks information. Music was provided by a DJ and the national anthem was sung as PER George Quel presented the flag. Approximately 90 canoeists, both new and experienced, participated. Proceeds were given to Folds of Honor, an organization that provides educational scholarships to the children and spouses of fallen and disabled servicemembers while serving our nation.


Kissimmee Lodge Sends Volunteers to National Veterans Wheelchair Games

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Kissimmee Lodge sent volunteers to the National Veterans Wheelchair Games Tuesday, July 31. Pictured are members Cyn Zellner, Bob Barry and Fran Barry who were at the games at the Orange County Convention Center. Cyn Zellner and Fran Barry also volunteered at Gatorland Saturday, Aug. 4. Member Billy DeLuca volunteered Aug. 4 at the Convention Center. According to, the games are sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America. “The games serve veterans with spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis, amputations and other central neurological impairments with the goal to increase their independence, healthy activity, and quality of life through wheelchair sports and recreation. Veterans are being exposed to wheelchair sports at their home VAMC or PVA Chapters as part of their rehabilitation to improve function, independence and getting them active in their home communities in sport and fitness.” Some events included basketball, softball, swimming, cycling and power lifting.


Vero Beach Lodge Car Show Raises Funds for Veterans

1774 VB Fathers Day Car Show 2018

Vero Beach Elks Lodge #1774 held their annual Father’s Day car show! Along with good food and great cars, over $1,100 was raised for Vero Beach veterans.


Florida Keys Lodge Hosts Veterans for Lunch and Bingo

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On July 30, 15 veterans from the VA hospital in Miami visited Florida Keys Elks Lodge #1872 for lunch and bingo as one of their recreational outings. Volunteers from the Elks provided a tasty lunch and prizes for a few games of bingo. The local Girl Scouts gave gifts of sun catchers, thank-you posters and cards which they had made. The veterans also received t-shirts donated by an Elks member.


St. Petersburg Elks and Ladies Auxiliary Donate to Historic Programs

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On Saturday, July 14, St. Petersburg Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler, Cathy Shriver, presented a check from the lodge for $5,000 to PDD Rudy Masi Sr., Historic Programs Liaison for the Florida Elks State Association. St. Petersburg's Ladies of Elks Auxiliary President, Sharon Literski, also presented a donation of $1,060 from the ladies. Historic Programs is a not-for-profit organization committed to remembering people, places and events that have shaped the world. One of their events is the Parade of Heroes, an annual event held in Washington, D.C., during the week of Veterans Day. This event features outstanding bands, choirs and JROTC cadets from around the country paying a special tribute to veterans of WWII and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Pictured are JROTC cadets at the Parade of Heroes.


Tampa Elks Host Veterans for Dinner and No-cost Thrift Store

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On July 20, Tampa Elks Lodge #708 hosted 10 veterans for dinner from the James A. Haley VA Domiciliary, a transitional facility for veterans experiencing homelessness. They enjoyed selecting their made-to-order specialty sandwiches from PER Shelagh Gombarcik and Laura Jones and listening to live music from Limestone Cowboy. The veterans were also treated to a free thrift store where they could fill bags of items they could use when they are rehoused. The lodge’s Veterans Committee, chaired by Patricia Jankiewicz, hosted the event.

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Bradenton Elks Use Gratitude Grant to take Veterans Fishing

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On June 28, Bradenton Elks Lodge #1511 used another Elks Nation Foundation Gratitude Grant to take 30 veterans from all branches of the military on a four-hour inshore fishing trip. The grant paid for the eight captains and their boats who have discounted their normal fees by at least 50%. Bradenton Elks Lodge paid for sub sandwiches from Publix and beverages through their own fundraising and awarded cash prizes for the largest trout, snook and redfish caught. This is the lodge’s sixth year taking local veterans fishing with help from the Gratitude Grant.


Tallahassee Elks Participate in Veterans Stand Down

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The Veterans Stand Down was held again this year at the Leon County Fairgrounds in April with Tallahassee Elks Lodge #937 providing food for the event. With the assistance of Elks National Foundation grants, lunch was provided both days. Members Ron Brown, Dorothy Brown, MaryAnna Mohr, Sharon Coleman, Don Dobson, Karla Jones, Chuck Mohr and Wayne Harrell were on hand to serve food to the veterans in need.


Jacksonville Elks Use Anniversary Grant for Veterans in Hospice Care

Jacksonville Elks Lodge #221 in partnership with Community Hospice and Palliative Care donated $1,500 from a 150th Anniversary Grant to Community Hospice and Palliative Care for their veterans’ flags and pins program. A flag of the veteran’s branch of service is placed outside the patient’s room as a last chance to honor and thank a veteran for their service. The veteran is also pinned with a pin from his or her branch of service in a short presentation.

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Pictured are Dale Farrow, Manager of Community Programs; Toula Wootan, Director of Community Programs; Dave Hosch, Jacksonville Exalted Ruler; and Dick Maloney, PER at Jacksonville Lodge’s donation presentation to Community Hospice and Palliative Care.


Ocala Elks Placed Flags at Florida National Cemetery

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In May, Ocala Elks Lodge #286 participated in "Flags for Fallen Veterans" at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. Even though there was rain in the forecast, their volunteer numbers doubled to 20 from last year, including two children. Many new members got involved as well. On the following Saturday, 17 volunteers returned to pick up the flags which will be dried and stored until next year. 


Winter Park Elks Unveil Purple Heart Recipient Parking Space at Lodge

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Winter Park Elks Lodge #1830 installed a reserved parking space to honor members and visitors who are Purple Heart recipients. Elks National Veterans Service Committee (ENVSC) Representative, Ron Goluba; Sue Jovi; Lodge Veterans Affairs Chairman, Nadine Hardin; Trustee, Ron Cunningham; and Exalted Ruler Pat Kortum, all played a part in completing this project. The Wounded Warriors Purple Heart sign was donated by


Army of Hope Fundraiser Hosted by Sanford Elks Lodge

Sanford Elks Lodge #1241 hosted the East Central District Army of Hope fundraiser April 21. There was live music and great barbecue prepared by Sanford’s members. Port Orange and Titusville lodges donated food. Members from every lodge in the district were in attendance to support this worthy cause. Soldiers from the Sanford Army Reserve Center displayed equipment and greeted guests. A therapist from Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services talked with guests about the program. A car show was held in the street with over 20 antique and exotic cars on display. Sanford Lodge 1241 was proud to host an event to help make a difference in the lives of military families. Through donations from local businesses and individuals, the East Central District raised $11,000 for the Army of Hope.

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Soldiers Rodriguez and Sandoval and their significant others posed for a picture with PSP Vic McClellan, Army of Hope Chairman, during Sanford Lodge’s Army of Hope fundraiser.


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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