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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Linda Witt

Merritt Island Lodge Celebrates 35 Years

2650 Cake

On Dec. 11, Merritt Island Lodge celebrated 35 years. They provided a beautiful cake to all their members.


Merritt Island Elks Hold Party for Handicapped and Mentally Challenged

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On Dec. 10, Merritt Island Lodge sponsored the Country Christmas party at Kiwanis Island Park in Brevard County for handicapped and mentally challenged citizens. The lodge supplied and served food and drinks for over 300 people.


It's Never Too Late to Join the Elks

2650 Initiation

Merritt Island Lodge’s initiation held Nov. 28 was extra notable because among the initiates was Sam Bovalino, a 101-year-old first-time Elk. Seated are Michael Fagan, Versiellen Driver, Samuel Bovalino, Barbara Bowman and Amantha Murphy. Standing are DDGER Robert Swink, ER Kermit Forbes, and VP Rod O’Connor.


Daytona Beach Elks Lodge Opens at New Location

1141 Lodge

After being inactive for several years, Daytona Beach Elks Lodge #1141 has reopened at their new location at 3674 W. International Speedway Blvd. The lodge purchased and refurbished the former Gene’s Steak House, a well-known fixture in the Daytona Beach area. The new lodge is open to members and guests. Lunch and dinner are served Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with days and times subject to change. A full liquor bar is available. The lodge offers a meeting location for local clubs and a beautiful banquet facility for parties and special events for up to 150 people. For more information, please call the lodge at 386-872-6417 or email


DeLand Lodge Hosts Annual Golf Tournament

On Saturday, Oct. 14, DeLand Elks Lodge #1463 held its seventh annual PER Mark & Parke Memorial Golf Tournament at Victoria Hills Country Club. This year, 20 teams competed with approximately 80 players. Afterward, everyone met for lunch and awards at the lodge. This tournament would not be possible if not for the many volunteers involved and through the generous donations of the 64 hole sponsors. The DeLand PER Association received $9,000 in donations and an additional $2,700 from the players. Phil Watercutter, PDD put the event together. Volunteers included PER Bob Sari, PER Tom Hopp, PER Ray Haverty, PER Dean Yeager, PER Bernie Korwes, Barbara Thompson, Debi Dunn, CJ Haverty, PER Randy Long, PDD Joe Rogers, David McCranie, PER Rick Phelps, Larry Beech and photographer Linda Witt.

DeLand 2017 GOLF 1

Phil Watercutter, Davina Jones, and Pam and Gardner Gould

DeLand 2017 GOLF 2

James Webb, Marshall Puckett, Phil Watercutter, Scott Roberson


Lodge #1557 Donates School Supplies

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Edgewater-New Smyrna Beach Lodge donated school supplies to Edgewater schools and gave them a check for $400 for additional supplies. Making the donation to school personnel are ER Rick Phelps, Shirley Baker and Kathy Stanley.


Edgewater-NSB Elks Support Food Bank

1557 Gifts of Love

Gifts of Love, a community-sponsored food bank and local project of Edgewater-New Smyrna Beach Elks Lodge #1557, has received a $2,500 Gratitude Grant from the Elks National Foundation. ENF is supported by all the lodges of the United States. From the interest on these donations, ENF makes available $9.1 million in grants to local lodges for community investments, $4.3 million in scholarships, $1 million for the Hoop Shoot, $1.5 million for veterans programs and $750,000 for drug awareness projects. Gifts of Love, located at 820 W. Park Ave. in Edgewater, is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. -2 p.m. It feeds from 150-200 families per week. There are 13 loyal workers (eight of whom are Elks) who work many hours. While receiving donations from many local organizations, it is still difficult with the need ever increasing. Many thanks go to the Lodge Secretary, Mary Ann Bucci, and Esteemed Loyal Knight, Marci Skates, for their dedication to successfully obtaining the ENF Grant.

Marci Skates, Edgewater-New Smyrna Beach Elks ENF Grant Coordinator, center, is pictured with Gifts of Love Assistant Director, Gwen Schroeder, left, and Sammi Hartwell, Director, right.


DeLand Elks Help Pair Boy and Service Dog

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DeLand Lodge donated $1,000 for a trained service dog to assist a 14-year-old boy named Evan. Evan has several autoimmune disorders, a seizure disorder (a form of epilepsy) which causes generalized nocturnal seizures, a genetic connective tissue disorder, heart issues, severe asthma, anaphylaxis to many foods, an immune deficiency and a sleep disorder. Much of his life since infancy has been filled with medical visits, sickness, ICU, etc. Despite that, he is very active when he is able and happy. The past few years some things have worsened for him and he has developed more problems.

A service dog who could watch over him through the night and respond to nocturnal seizures and when his oxygen levels drop to dangerous levels would be such a relief to his mom. The dog would help Evan with dropped objects when tremors get bad. The dog would also be trained to detect some of his food allergens that trigger his anaphylaxis. The family just needed a little help getting there. Maverick is Evan’s long-awaited helper. The $1,000 donated by the DeLand Elks will go toward the dog and the complete service training by a professional which will take up to two years.


DeLand Lodge Hosts Brotherhood Riders

1463 Brotherhood Ride

DeLand Elks Lodge #1463 hosted the Brotherhood Riders July 25-26. The riders cycled 100 miles and arrived in DeLand around 4 p.m. The Brotherhood Riders are police officers, firefighters and other first responders who ride in tribute to members of their ranks who have fallen in the line of duty the previous year, raising funds for the families left behind. In DeLand, the event began Tuesday evening as the riders came into town with local police, firefighters and first responders cheering them on. The Elks Lodge hosted a buffet dinner with contributions from local restaurants. Tom Pollard provided music and karaoke for the evening before the riders settled down for the night at the lodge. On Wednesday morning, members of DeLand Elks Boy Scout Troop 531 made and served pancakes and sausage for breakfast, with other breakfast fare provided by the Elks and Let’s Party & Catering. The riders headed out early to begin another 100-mile journey to their next destination. To learn more about their trip, visit

Rachel Sieg, Exalted Ruler of DeLand Lodge, presented Jeff Morse, founder of the Brotherhood Riders, with a $1,000 donation from the lodge to support their effort to help the families of fallen police officers, firefighters and other first responders. Sieg accepted a thank-you poster signed by the riders and their support team.


Edgewater-NSB Elks Support Service and Therapy Dog Program

1557 dogs

My Angels with Paws is committed to expanding public understanding and knowledge of the needs of children and adults with physical disabilities through the breeding, training, placement and continuing education of service and therapy dogs. The lodge has been collecting aluminum pull tabs and has collected over 184 pounds of aluminum which equals about $100. Roxy’s puppies will soon start their training.



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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