Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
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Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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Residents from The Highlands at Scotland Yard in Dade City, Fla., donated clothing for veterans in need at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Fla., May 15. At the hospital, members of the volunteer services handle the distribution of the clothes. Pictured at the donation presentation at The Highlands are Jim Sullivan, Zephyrhills Lodge member; Scott Brown, manager of The Highlands; and Ken Fabiani, PER, Veterans Services lodge chairman.


2520 cars

On May 18, members of Aripeka Elks Lodge #2520 held a car show at the lodge with 65 show cars. The event was open to the public; over 100 people attended. More than $1,000 was raised to support the Parade of Heroes, a program in which the Florida State Elks Association participates that allows veterans to visit Washington, D.C., for three days where they are honored for their military service in defense of this country.


2731 furnishings

On May 15, Zephyrhills Lodge helped furnish the home of veteran John Reese (second from left) who has moved out on his own. When a veteran leaves the domiciliary, they are only provided with a place to live, so the lodge has taken on the task of collecting donations of home furnishings to help the veterans in their transition. Members Dave Crotty, PER Ken Fabiani and Tom Pete are pictured delivered the furnishings.


2787 VFW

On May 27, members of Holley-Navarre Elks Lodge #2787 participated in the annual VFW Memorial Day ceremony hosted by the Navarre VFW at Navarre Park in Navarre, Fla. Over 100 members of the public attended this annual ceremony. Every year, the lodge participates in the flag ceremony along with local Boy Scouts, Krewes and other charitable organizations. Lodge members held full-size flags during the prayer and during the honoring of our fallen heroes. Along with wreaths from the other organizations, Holley-Navarre Lodge placed a wreath at the base of the town's flag in Navarre Park.


2378 vet lunch May 2019

On May 17, Englewood Elks Lodge #2378 hosted a luncheon for community veterans from area nursing facilities including Gran Villa in Englewood, Fla.; Englewood Healthcare and Rehab; Heritage Oaks in Englewood, Fla.; Springs of South Biscayne in North Port, Fla; and Brookdale Rotonda Senior Living in Rotonda West, Fla. A total of 101 veterans and their helpers attended. The meal concluded with a veterans-themed sheet cake.


2731 clothing

Zephyrhills Lodge members donated clothing to James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Fla. Pictured at the delivery are Ken Fabiani, PER; Tammi Clarke, Chief of Voluntary Services; and Steve Czerneski, member. 


2731 vet house renovation 5 5 email

On May 3, members of Zephyrhills Elks Lodge #2731 donated and delivered necessities for a veteran’s new home including pots and pans, dishes, personal hygiene items, towels, sheets, lamps, a television and a television stand, a bedroom set, a recliner, and a microwave. A member also donated $100 to help him with food purchases. Pictured are Tom Pete, lodge volunteer; Joe Rowbashaw, veteran; and Ken Fabiani, PER.


1770 Honor Flight

On May 11, 58 Vietnam veterans, 16 Korean War veterans and seven World War II veterans were welcomed home from an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., which is sponsored by the nonprofit organization Southeast Florida Honor Flight based in Stuart, Fla. These flights are four times a year and the Delray Beach Elks Lodge Veterans Committee (Chairman, Laurie Rogers, and members Phyllis Baxter, Bonnie Permenter and Patti Lydon) goes to Palm Beach International Airport to welcome home these veterans.


2731 Recreation therapy

Zephyrhills Elks Lodge #2731 presented a donation of $225 to the Chief of Recreation Therapy at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Fla. Pictured are Ron Ellison, lodge member; Geoff Hopkins, Chief of Recreation Service; and Ken Fabiani, PER.


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St. Petersburg Lodge member Ed White recently chaired an event that raised $1,060 for veterans. The lodge presented $500 to the C.W. Bill Young VAMC’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) unit. The lodge will use $100 to purchase hats for veterans and the remaining $460 will be used to purchase and distribute canteen books for visiting veterans used at the BX or canteen at Bay Pines. The Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) was created in 1946 to provide articles of merchandise and services at reasonable prices to veterans enrolled in the VA health-care system, caregivers and visitors. 

Pictured at the St. Petersburg Lodge presentation of $500 to the C.W. Bill Young VAMC’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) unit are Jessica D’Allesio, PRRC recreation therapist; Ed White, lodge event chairman; Johnny Miller, Deputy Representative to C.W. Bill Young VAMC; and Chrissy Agenor, PRRC program manager.


1224 blankets

The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System hosted a stand down for homeless veterans March 30 in the Veterans Courtyard at the C.W. Bill Young VAMC campus. Hundreds of veterans were provided with a broad range of necessities including food; clothing; medical, legal and mental health assistance; job counseling and referrals; and companionship and camaraderie. As in years past, St. Petersburg Lodge hosted a table and handed out 500 double-layered fleece blankets. The blankets were made during the course of the 2018-2019 lodge year by Kat Chaplin and other lodge members. The lodge held multiple fundraisers throughout the year and received donations from members and the lodge’s Ladies of Elks organization to purchase fleece material at a cost of $19,200.

Pictured at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System’s veterans stand down March 30 are St. Petersburg Lodge members Debbie Rase, Kat Chaplin and Cathy Sosa.


1224 PRRC

St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224 donated their hall and hosted seven veterans graduating from C. W. Bill Young VAMC’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) program along with 75 of their relatives, friends and staff in attendance. Graduation from PRRC is a milestone and an outward demonstration of each veteran’s commitment to the recovery process as evidenced by their achievement of goals and acquisition of considerable knowledge, skills and abilities. St. Petersburg Lodge is proud to host and take part in this event twice a year.

St. Petersburg Lodge hosts PRRC graduates (back row) James Sollars, Jack Northrop, Dan MacDonald, Gail Leonard, Craig Brodeur, Juan Collazo and Joel Scully. Pictured in the front row are Chrissy Agenor, PRRC program manager, and Stacey Delong and Jessica D’Allesio, PRRC recreation therapists.