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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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Florida Elks News Online

Gallant Colleen 2018 for web

Welcome to summer!

Wow. What can I say about the last few months? I don’t think any of us could ever have imagined what we would go through when we left officer training at the Marriott Orlando in mid-March.

It was like entering “The Twilight Zone,” and here we are three months later and things have only gotten worse – over 10,000 people a day testing positive for COVID-19.

As of today, we continue to be in Phase 2 and we are making plans for the therapists to be able to go back in homes and treat our patients. During our management meeting in June, it was decided that we would wait for Phase 3 to allow therapists to go into homes. Obviously, we do not want to do anything to put our therapists or their families in harm’s way. We have taken the steps to prepare them, including the purchase of masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant. Many are purchasing smocks to wear since it would be impossible to supply everyone with surgical-type gowns. We have also asked them to purchase inexpensive tools and toys that they can leave in the home rather than taking them in and out of several homes. They already do a great job of keeping their equipment sanitized. Before going into any home, they will ask the COVID questions and then once they go into a home, they will take everyone’s temperature.

Over the last three months, therapists have done their best to stay in touch with their families and have provided families with exercises and items they can use during therapy. The therapists have used Zoom, FaceTime and other electronic avenues available to them to continue teaching and working with our patients.

We certainly understand that parents who are out of work or working from home helping children with their homeschool assignments as well as working with them on their therapy are overwhelmed.

Argie Criner, our therapist from the Central and Southwest Central districts spoke at the state convention and provided our members with the 2020 therapy goals as well as information on the effects of acute stress because of the global pandemic. We all enjoyed hearing what the therapists have been doing since they cannot see patients in person. In addition to the treatment plans provided to families, they have taken this time to get all of their continuing education so that when they start treating patients in-home, they can hit the ground running.

At the state Convention, we said goodbye to last year’s CHAMP, JJ D’Angelo, and his family. Adella Ashton, President of FLOE, presented the family with a mini Disney World vacation for four nights with meals included as well as presents for both JJ and his sister, Miabella. Thank you very much, FLOE, for this amazing gift to the family.

We introduced our new CHAMP of the year, Emily Bulson, who is 16 years old and lives in Hobe Sound, Florida. We were so pleased to have Emily in attendance with her mother, Talitha; father, Merrill; sister, Alaina; and brothers, Brett and Blake. The family was so pleased to meet so many fine Elks and have agreed to go to various events, particularly in south Florida. If we are able to go to the Rays game in August, the family will join us there.

I would like to thank you all for your continued support as we proceed in these uncharted waters. Please know that the therapists along with myself and Deborah Hall are so pleased to be able to continue to do this very important work in the name of Florida Elks.

Please take care and stay safe.

Colleen Gallant
Florida Elks Children's Therapy Services