Florida Elks News Online

district ec
District Reporter: Brian Estus

West Citrus Lodge Initiates 12 New Members in September


West Citrus Lodge #2693 initiated 12 new members in September. Pictured with Exalted Ruler, Tony Schiappa, are Larry Picard, Steven Gamache, Shirley Gamache, Zigmund Laska, Gary Sheldon, Edward Stevens, Adrian "Andy" Phaneuf, William Mears Jr, Murielle Heath, Michele Conley, Janis Winter and Nickholas Crnek Jr.


Kissimmee Elks Serve Breakfast at Give Kids the World

1873 Give Kids the World

Kissimmee Elks Lodge #1873 continues to volunteer at Give Kids the World by serving a monthly breakfast. Pictured are PDD Bob Barry, Fran Barry, Kathy Webb, Joyce Thimgan, DD Bill Misczak, Susan Secrest, Pat Snyder, PER Ken O’Brien, Bill Snyder, ER Etta Jean Platt and PER Jim Platt.


News from Kissimmee Elks

Kissimmee Elks hosted Osceola Cub Scout Day Camp June 12-16 for 82 scouts. In addition to sports activities and a bounce house, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office provided a crime scene with canines and fingerprinting. Scouts also worked on rank requirements and helped the Elks by cleaning up the flower beds. The lodge continues to support the USO Station at Orlando International Airport every Sunday with three members working a four-hour shift.


Zephyrhills Elks Lodge Grows Summer Lunch Program

2731 Luau

Three years ago, Zephyrhills Elks Lodge’s Exalted Ruler at the time, Donna Moyer, and her husband, David (current ER), took on a passion for feeding the community’s less fortunate children. Many may have been forced to do without meals after school recessed for their summer vacation.

Initially, the lodge was involved in the program sponsored by Pasco County serving cold meals. However, it did not include the adults who transported them to the lodge (either their parents or guardians). It was obvious how unsatisfied the children were with the cold meals nor did the lodge want to turn away the adults.

The lodge then started their lunch program, serving nutritious, hot, homecooked meals from scratch including fruits, vegetables, milk, an entrée and dessert. At this point they invited the parents or guardians to join them for lunch, no registrations and no questions asked. In week three of their third year, they had surpassed the total children fed the entire year before. It’s sad to see that the need has increased from year to year, but they are very satisfied to be reaching out to so many.

This year the lodge provided over 3,500 meals over the summer; the program ran Monday through Friday from June 5 through August 11. In addition to feeding the families, the lodge added some activities. The entertainment director from Westbrooke Manor Assisted Living & Memory Support volunteered on Mondays to come in with crafts for the children. On occasion, ice cream sundaes and snow cones were provided. On Wednesdays they held a reading circle; they received many donations of new and mildly used books from Elks and children’s learning centers. Children were allowed to take a book with them. The program has encouraged literacy and reading interaction within the family. Many of the students did not have books at home. On Thursdays and Fridays, the lodge had visitors come in to read to the children, color with them, or answer questions for them or their family. Some visitors included Interim Police Chief, Derek Brewer; Capt. Reginald Roberts Sr. and Officer David Wainright. The firemen came in for a visit with a fire truck and allowed the children to climb on board, ask questions and toot the air horn.

This year’s program came to a close with a luau for the kids and their families with food, dancing and entertainment. Each child was given a backpack filled with school supplies. Joining the party were members of Zephyrhills Police Department, Zephyrhills Fire Rescue, Westbrooke Manor Assisted Living & Memory Support, and East Pasco Meals on Wheels. Susan H. Longman of Midlife Crisis Entertainers of Brooksville provided music.

The lodge hopes to grow the program each year. None of this would have been possible without the overwhelming support from the Elks and local volunteers giving their time and donations and the partnerships that helped with the food donations.


Brotherhood Ride Makes a Stop at Orlando Elks Lodge

1079 Brotherhood Ride

The Brotherhood Ride continues the tradition of honor, dedication and pride. Over the past nine years, they have honored the memory and sacrifice of 511 emergency first responders which includes firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical personnel. The Brotherhood teams have traveled over 7,700 miles through 16 states on bicycles, have been hosted by over 40 Elks lodges nationwide, and have been assisted by countless emergency first responders who have shown the true meaning of brotherhood. Through year-round fundraising efforts, the Brotherhood Ride has been able to honor the memory of fallen heroes and provide emotional and financial support to their families. Past Brotherhood Rides have honored fallen first responders from South Carolina, Texas, New York, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts and raised over $379,000 for the families left behind.

This year this amazing group of riders spent the night at Orlando Elks Lodge #1079 after having traveled from DeLand Elks Lodge. They arrived at approximately 1:00 p.m. and after having dropped their beds and personal items in the lodge room, they were transported to the Orlando Fire Station where they could shower. That night the lodge served dinner to the Brotherhood participants along with the families of fallen officers Lieutenant Debra Clayton of the Orlando Police Department and Deputy First Class Norman Lewis of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. After enjoying good food and fellowship in the ballroom, the riders retired for the night. The next morning after being served breakfast, they headed to Vero Beach Elks Lodge.


West Citrus Lodge Holds Flag Day Ceremony

2693 Flag Day 2693 flag folding

For Flag Day, the Veterans Committee of West Citrus Lodge presented the flags during the ceremony. The ladies of West Citrus Lodge presented a flag-folding ceremony. The event was attended by a near-capacity crowd including veterans from a local nursing home. Everyone enjoyed the ceremonies and the light lunch which followed.


West Citrus Elks Receive Membership Award

2693 plaque

At the 2017 Florida State Elks convention (FECON ’17) in May, Tony Schiappa, Exalted Ruler, accepted a plaque awarded to West Citrus Elks Lodge #2693 for a positive growth in membership for the past 13 consecutive years.


Orlando Elks Lodge Celebrates Flag Day

On June 11, Orlando Lodge held a Flag Day ceremony. Flag Day falls within National Flag Week, a time when Americans reflect on the foundations of the nation’s freedom. The flag of the United States represents freedom and has been an enduring symbol of the country’s ideals since its early days. During both events, Americans also remember their loyalty to the nation, reaffirm their belief in liberty and justice, and observe the nation’s unity. Orlando Lodge did this in conjunction with Boy Scout Troop #290, who presented the flags through the years, and the lodge drill team. Following this event, approximately 40 members enjoyed a potluck dinner that members had provided.


Kissimmee Elks Support Children Locally and Globally

The Kissimmee Elks continue their commitment to helping kids. The lodge committee that serves breakfast at Give Kids the World based in Kissimmee, Fla., made three recent visits serving 1,476 guests staying at this facility from all over the world. On May 19, the lodge also honored students who were winners of the Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student scholarship contest and the Hoop Shoot contest.


West Citrus Elks Deliver Generous Donation to Florida Elks Youth Camp

2693 campOn March 18, the lodge held its annual bus trip to the Florida Elks Youth Camp. The camp hosts more than 325 campers per week during the seven weeks of summer. Campers are welcomed regardless of ability to pay thanks to the generous donations from the Florida Elks. On this trip, the West Citrus Elks donated more than $10,400 in support of the campers.

Presenting checks totaling more than $10,400 for the Florida Elks Youth Camp are Bill Cloke, West Citrus Elks Harry-Anna Trust Fund chairman; Nick Miller, camp director; Carolyn Hoskins of the West Citrus Ladies of Elks and Doreen Vaughan representing the Vaughan Family Trust.


Orlando Elks Hold Pinewood Derby

pwd logo

Orlando Elks Lodge #1079 hosted the Cub Scout pinewood derby which was attended by approximately 30 children along with their families. The derby is a racing event for Cub Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America. Cub Scouts, with the help of parents, build their own cars from wood, usually from kits containing a block of pine, plastic wheels and metal axles. The first pinewood derby was held May 15, 1953, at the Scout House in Manhattan Beach, Calif., by Cub Scout Pack 280C, presently called Pack 713. The concept was created by the pack’s Cub Master, Don Murphy, and was sponsored by the Management Club of North American Aviation. Murphy’s son was too young to participate in the popular Soap Box Derby, so he came up with the idea of racing miniature wood cars. The cars had the same gravity-powered concept as the full-size Soap Box Derby cars but were much smaller and easier to build. The pinewood derby had a sensational first year. Murphy and the Management Club of North American Aviation sent out thousands of brochures to anyone who requested more information. The idea spread rapidly and competitions were held across the country, mainly with recreation departments and nonprofit organizations including the Los Angeles County Department of Recreation. Of all that early enthusiasm, however, only the Boy Scouts of America made it part of an official program. The National Director of Cub Scouting Service, O. W. Bennett, wrote Murphy and said, “We believe you have an excellent idea, and we are most anxious to make your material available to the Cub Scouts of America.” Within the year, the Boy Scouts of America adopted the pinewood derby for use in all Cub Scout packs.


Orlando Elks Super Bowl Party Garners Five Membership Applications

Orlando Elks Lodge hosted a Super Bowl party in an effort to bring in new members. A $2 charge to each member made it possible to purchase sandwiches for this event while some members brought in chili and desserts. Approximately 65 people attended and the lodge received five applications for membership. Almost $250 was made at this fundraising event.


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:




My Element

Together we can do great things!

Already a Member?  Welcome Back!