Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Linda Witt

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

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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

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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 brotherhoodride.com/our-story.

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.


Titusville Lodge Sponsored State Drug Awareness Essay Contest Winner

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Titusville Lodge is proud to announce that Raquel Ellis won the 2016-2017 Drug Awareness essay contest for all of Florida. Her winning essay was selected by Len Wenzel, State Drug Awareness Education Chairman. Raquel’s essay will now compete at the national level. She is a sixth grader at Apollo Elementary. The Elks lodge presented her with a Kindle Fire for winning the contest. The award was presented in front of her teacher, classmates and principal. Also in attendance were Exalted Ruler, Ron Allen, and Lodge Drug Awareness Education Chairman, Lynn Barnette.

Celebrating Raquel Ellis’ statewide winning Drug Awareness essay are Ron Allen, PER; Lynn Barnette, Lodge Drug Awareness Chairman; Mr. O’Leary, principal; Raquel Ellis, essay winner; Jacque Ellis, Raquel’s mom; and Mr. Diaz, sixth grade teacher.


Titusville Elks Celebrate 30 Years at their Location

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On April 22, Titusville Elks Lodge held its 30th birthday bash to celebrate the groundbreaking of their current location. The dinner dance was attended by over 80 people including the Titusville mayor, Walt Johnson, and his wife. Two original groundbreakers, PER Buck Cowen and PER Andy Lawrence, gave a brief history of the lodge and its members. Music for dancing was provided by Singing DJ Sammy Haddad.


Palm Coast Elks Lodge News

Palm Coast Lodge held their Day at the Races Saturday, May 6. It was an afternoon full of fun and action where you were be able to win prizes, place wagers (with funny money) and show your skills. There were 10 races of 10 horses and a daily double. The day finished with the running of the Kentucky Derby. There was a buffet available for a donation of $15. This event was open to Elks and their guests.

On Saturday morning, May 13, the lodge hosted a classic car cruise-in for critters. Whether you wanted to show off your classic car, admire your neighbor’s car or if you knew someone looking for a furry companion, it was the place to come. Even those who were not able to adopt an animal came and gave them some attention. Some found their new best friend. Admission was free and open to the public.


Edgewater-NSB Elks Host Fundraising Event for Major Projects

On April 22, Edgewater-New Smyrna Beach Lodge hosted a luau in partnership with BELONG, a Christian Women’s Outreach. During the event, Elliott Gilbert, program director for the Florida Elks Youth Camp, and Elizabeth Thiers, occupational therapist with Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services, gave presentations about their project. Through the generous donations from many local businesses, over $2,300 was raised for Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services and the Florida Elks Youth Camp.


Edgewater-NSB Elks Support Service and Therapy Dog Program

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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.



Ormond Beach Elks Award Americanism Essay Winners

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Fifth-grade students at Osceola Elementary School recently participated in the Americanism Essay Contest sponsored by Ormond Beach Lodge. The class was invited to submit writings on the topic, “Why is it Important to Vote?” Winners were presented with a plaque and the first-place winner was awarded a $50 Visa gift card.

Ormond Beach Lodge Americanism essay winners were presented awards by Mr. Flassig; Isabella Campanaro, third place; Rocco Anastasio, second place; Eva Ball, first place; Patricia Gehring, PER and Mrs. McAndres.


Ormond Beach Elks Put $6,000 in Grants to Good Use

Thanks to the generosity of Ormond Beach Lodge member donations to Elks National Foundation for 2016-2017, the lodge has been awarded $6,000 in grant money. The $2,000 Beacon Grant is being used for the Fun Time Bowlers, a mentally challenged bowling team of various ages. This is the lodge’s fifth year sponsoring the group. They provided T-shirts with their logo, awards, pizza, and cake and paid their bowling fees for the fourth coming term. The Florida State Elks Association matched the $2,000 grant. A $2,000 Gratitude Grant was also received for reaching their lodge per capita in 2016-2017 and is being shared with four causes. Ormond Elementary School was presented with $500 at the end of the school year. Boy Scout Troop 403 was given $500 at the lodge Flag Day ceremony. The Girl Scouts will be presented with $500 at the VP dinner July 29. Emory Bennett Nursing Home veterans will receive $500 for the annual Christmas-in-July visit. Finally, the lodge is eligible for a $2,000 Promise Grant which will be used for their annual children’s Christmas party for less fortunate children ages 5-12.


DeLand Elks and Scouts Celebrate Flag Day

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On Saturday, June 17, DeLand Elks held their annual Flag Day ceremony. Cub Scout Pack 531 and Boy Scouts and leaders from Troop 531 displayed all the changes to the American flag throughout the years. Members, families and friends attended this event. A complementary lunch followed the ceremony in the pavilion.


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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