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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2022 by the
Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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1892 barnabas

On Nov. 11, Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 hosted a dinner to recognize veterans and their families. The guest speaker represented Operation Barnabas, an organization that provides support and assistance to local veterans. The lodge’s Past Exalted Rulers Association donated $1,000 from its charity bingo funds to Operation Barnabas. Pictured are Past Exalted Rulers presenting the check to Operation Barnabas members. 


829 lunch

The annual USO/St. Augustine PAL Military Appreciation Day took place Dec. 4. During this event, local attractions offer free admission for all active-duty service members and their families. St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 participated by providing lunch and handing out goody bags to the children at the lodge. The lodge served 177 lunches with the assistance of 10 lodge members and 23 USO and Ladies of the Confederacy volunteers.

Pictured are military families enjoying lunch at the lodge.


From Oct. 15 to Oct. 30, Venice-Nokomis Elks Lodge #1854 participated in the Clear your Stash project of California. Knitters made hats and scarves for active-duty military members. On Nov. 11, the lodge presented Sherpa blankets to veterans. Between Nov. 15 and Nov. 23, the lodge collected items for active-duty military members in South Korea such as puzzles, candy and books. During December, they collected items such as candy, jerky, socks and hats for other overseas troops.


Through Nov. 17, South Hillsborough Elks Lodge #2672 raised $1,680 for Wreaths Across America. This allowed the organization to place 112 wreaths at veterans’ gravesites at Bay Pines and Sarasota national cemeteries.


2734 village

For the fourth consecutive year, Manasota Elks Lodge #2734 prepared and served Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 25 at Veterans Village in Bradenton, Florida. The lodge served 30 people with four turkeys and side dishes. Veterans Village temporarily houses veterans who are homeless with addiction or mental health issues. The staff works with the veterans to provide access to counseling, education and a place to live until they can become self-sufficient. Pictured is lodge member Karen Potter.


1529 vet 1  1529 vet 2

Sebring Lodge held its annual Christmas luncheon Nov. 15 for 25 veterans who are residents at three local nursing homes —The Pines, Sunny Hills and The Palms. Santa Claus (Patrick Sullivan who is not a member) presented each guest with a gift and card purchased by the lodge. After the meal, each veteran who chose to was given the chance to speak about his or her participation in the service. Pictured are Santa giving a gift to a veteran and another veteran speaking about his time in the service.


Warrington Lodge members volunteered to prepare hamburgers and hot dogs and to stuff goody bags for veterans in attendance at the Veterans Stand Down held Oct. 22 in the west Pensacola-Brownsville area of northwest Florida. The lodge used its $2,000 Elks National Foundation Promise Grant to purchase the food as well as the snacks and personal hygiene kits for the bags. The event served more than 300 veterans. This is an annual event and the whole community comes together to ensure its success.


2731 haley

On Sept. 29, more than $4,000 from Zephyrhills Lodge’s Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant and Florida State Elks Association matching funds were donated to the following sections of James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida — Women's Veterans, Caregiver Support, Oncology and Veteran Centers. Pictured are Paul Nutting, PER, Exalted Ruler; Shirley Crawford, Inner Guard; Judy Osgood, Lodge Elks National Foundation Fundraising Chair; Michael Evans, Director of Tampa Veterans Centers; Angela Reinhardt, administrative assistant; and Ken Fabiani, PER, Lodge Veterans Chair.


2731 dom

At the end of September, Zephyrhills Lodge used $1,415.55 from its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant and $1,415.55 from the Florida State Elks Association matching funds to purchase items for the Domiciliary at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida, including five Samsung Chrome laptops, four 4 Black and Decker irons, 50 collapsible laundry bags and 50 $10 Walmart gift cards. Also, because the veterans own bicycles rather than vehicles for transportation, they were given 10 automatic-opening umbrellas, 10 ponchos and 10 bicycle locks. Pictured are Roy Leonard, RN; Shorley Crawford, Inner Guard; Paul Nutting, PER, Exalted Ruler; Ryan Nitzsche, recreation therapy; Judy Osgood, Lodge Elks National Foundation Fundraising Chair; Ken Fabiani, PER, Lodge Veterans Chair; and Mark Ruiz, M.D.


On Nov. 12, Lakeland Lodge held a fundraiser that turned out to be the lodge’s most successful fundraiser for veterans, raising $22,117. There were 130 meals served of barbecue ribs, sides and dessert. Along with the meals, funds were also raised with raffle baskets, auction items, and member and corporate donations. This fundraiser makes it possible for the lodge to continue their work as Elks to assist and support veterans, doing such things as inviting veterans and support staff to monthly dinners, like they did Dec. 8 for the first time since the pandemic; donating items and sending cards to patients James. A. Haley Veterans Hospital; and more.


On Oct. 24, Lakeland Lodge provided meal from Mission BBQ to a few patients at James A. Haley Veterans. Hospital. While this seems like a small token, the recreational therapy leader, Kathryn Bryant, thanked them, saying, “…thanks again for sponsoring our ‘in’ house Polytrauma (PREP) patients with a special treat to Mission BB-que. They are not able to have visitors or passes at this time, and to be treated in such a manner links them not only to the community, Elks and your mission, but fills their souls with warmth and cheer.” The veterans sent a thank-you card with messages thanking them for their generosity, for remembering them and for giving them an option other than hospital food.



1898 2

On Thanksgiving, members of Pompano Beach Elks Lodge #1898 served 450 dinners at St. Elizabeth of Hungary parish.

Pictured are Nee Cee Anderson; Bud Legere, Exalted Ruler; Frank Sellers, PDD; Teresa Orr; Charlotte Burrie, PDD; Sandy Legere; and Joe Mahoney.