The Florida State Elks Association, Inc. is a non-profit corporation founded in 1904. It is a voluntary association of Elks Lodges and all Florida Lodges are eligible for membership.

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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Richard E. Bardsley, PDD

North Central District News

Apopka Lodge 2422

Apopka Elks Lodge #2422 held their third annual Breast Fest which helped raise $2,582 for the Debbie Turner Cancer Resource Center of Apopka, Fla. Also, the lodge helped sponsor the annual Miss Apopka scholarship pageant and joined with the Boy Scouts to build the lodge’s float for Apopka's annual Christmas parade.


Inverness Lodge 2522

Pictured with Drug Awareness chairman, Jim Manos, are the winners of the poster contest: Aliva Tassetto, Savannah Hinde and Autumn Lighthill. The winning posters will be submitted for entry into the annual national Elks contest for possible inclusion in the Elks Drug Awareness Program (DAP) Coloring Book, on, the online coloring book and/or in Elks National Foundation or DAP publications.

Drug Awareness Awards were presented to Victoria Lantzy, Evelyn Larsen and Andrew Schaak by Chairman Jim Manos and Principal Brian Lancaster in keeping with the Elks commitment to eliminate the use and abuse of illegal drugs and a belief that it is essential that our children be raised in a drug-free environment.



South Marion-Villages Lodge 2730

A joint Thanksgiving dinner was held by St. Theresa Social Services and South Marion-Villages Lodge #2730 in hopes that this will become an annual community event. Jimmy Johnson coordinated the activity with the thought that “no one should be alone or hungry on this holiday,” so everyone was welcome no matter what their social or economic status. Attended by over 150 people, Santa greeted the children and provided a small gift for those children who are less fortunate.


South Marion-Villages Lodge held their annual Christmas party with approximately 90 children from various organizations attending. Each child received a gift with their name on the package since they had requested the gift. Each child also received a stocking stuffed with goodies. The stockings were furnished by Carol Relyea again this year. The kids had a great time sitting on Santa or Mrs. Claus’ laps and getting their presents. Susan Sansone enjoyed painting children’s faces. Three Star Wars characters showed up to entertain the kids: a fighter pilot, storm trooper and one of the sand people.The children were treated to a lunch of hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and macaroni and cheese and had fun making their own sundaes. PDD Bruce Henry provided the Christmas music. A very large part of the credit for a successful party again goes to Treasurer, Patty Connolly, for arranging the financing and organizing the activities. Thanks go to Winter Park Lodge for their generous donation and to all the volunteers who helped make the day a success.


South Lake Lodge 1848

As 2016 came to an end, South Lake Elks Lodge #1848 completed several major events including participating and helping coordinate a music festival with four stages and 40 musical acts, a golf tournament which raised money for Habitat for Humanity Lake-Sumter’s Veteran's Village, and the Christmas for Kids 2016 which gifted 52 children for Head Start and another 80 children and their families from South Lake County. Recently, the lodge received the keys to their new facility and are excited to be moving furniture and offices in and welcoming members. They have been truly blessed this year and they thank the Florida State Elks Association for all of their help and support.


Winter Park Lodge 1830

Winter Park Elks Lodge #1830 participated in the 38th annual Goldenrod Fall Festival Parade sponsored by the Goldenrod Historical Society. ER Ron Goluba and First Lady Sue Jovi greeted the crowds from a convertible while Elks therapist Diane Norton and Tom Norton rode in the newly wrapped Elks therapy van and distributed therapy brochures. Several Lake Howell High School student volunteers marched in the parade with the lodge and passed out drug awareness red ribbons while Barbara Rozanski escorted Elroy the Elk in the parade.

Winter Park Elks Lodge raised $725 in cash donations and over 100 items for pets in need at Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. The cash was raised through raffle items and individual contributions. Donated items included dog and cat food, treats and toys.


As it does each year, Winter Park Lodge supported the remembrance of deceased veterans from the Civil War through recent wars in a brief ceremony at a public Orlando cemetery. The Does and Elks attended and helped lay over 600 wreaths on veterans’ graves at Greenwood Cemetery. The national program called Wreaths Across America ( was begun in Harrington, Maine, to honor veterans at Arlington National Cemetery and it has spread across the country.


Inverness Elks Hold Hoop Shoot Competition

Inverness Elks #2522 Hoop Shoot chairman, Joe Suzi, organized the first Hoop Shoot competition in many years for the lodge Dec. 17 at the Inverness Middle School gym. Winners will advance to the district competition in January. A thank you goes to school superintendent, Mrs. Sam Himmel; the Citrus Country School Board; and Mr. Ernie Hooper of Inverness Middle School for the use of their facilities. A special thanks goes to Mr. Rick Darbt, Assistant Principal of Inverness Middle School, for his assistance and for facilitating the event.










Inverness and West Citrus Elks Team Up for the Holidays

For the second year in a row, Inverness Elks Lodge and West Citrus Elks Lodge teamed up to sponsor a Christmas holiday party for the children served by the Citrus County Foster Parent Association. West Citrus Lodge hosted the event and provided dinner prepared and served by their volunteer staff. Using an ENF Promise Grant, Inverness Lodge purchased individual gifts for the children and provided the entertainers for the event that included a professional face painter, a DJ and a visit from Santa and his seven merry (volunteer Elk) elves.








Eustis Elks Support Hoops Life Basketball Program

Eustis Elks Lodge held their Hoop Shoot at Pat Burke’s “Hoops Life” training facility. Burke is a retired NBA Orlando Magic player who now runs a training program for kids. This nonprofit program is dedicated to teaching life skills to our youth through the game of basketball. While they do learn about the game, the focus of Burke’s curriculum is dedicated to teaching self-awareness, leadership and skills to overcome adversity. His mission is to provide our community’s youth with the skills necessary to overcome life challenges both on and off the court.

As his mission so closely mirrors our own as Elks, the lodge decided to partner with Burke and his program. Eustis Elks are proud of the work he is doing in the community and they hope to maintain this partnership for many years to come.

Photo: ER Patsy Despain and Hoop Shoot chairman, Myke Wharff, present Pat Burke with a donation of $3,500 to Hoops Life.


Eustis Anna Miller Circle Continues its Support of the Haven

Kelly Smallridge, Executive Director of The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties, gratefully accepted the Anna Miller Circle #1578 quarterly donation valued at $4,023.75 which included 200 adult personal hygiene welcome kits and 38 children's hygiene kits plus clothes, suitcases and other items. The total contributions in 2016 to this very worthy cause was $15,854.25. The Haven provides assistance to abused women, children and teens.


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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