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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Phyllis Bonser

Orange Park Lodge Sponsors Events to Help Youth Groups

2605 Car Wash

Orange Park Elks Lodge #2605 sponsored the JAX NAS Sea Cadets’ car wash to help them raise money for their annual field trip to visit a historical site. The lodge previously presented this group with a $2,500 ENF grant to help defray expenses for the annual trip.

2605 Workshop

Orange Park Lodge also sponsored the Atlantic Coast Young Marines for a drug and alcohol awareness workshop held at the lodge. Approximately 70 people attended. Drug and alcohol awareness information was handed out to all attendees. The lodge previously presented this group with the $1,000 anniversary grant.


Mandarin-St. Johns Lodge Donates Pet Food for Animals in Need

2866 Pets

Mandarin-St. Johns Elks Lodge #2866 collected and delivered 400 pounds of dry pet food plus some wet food to the No More Homeless Pets organization. Their mission is to end the killing of shelter cats and dogs. Lodge members Steve and Christie Easton made the delivery.


Jacksonville Elks Donate Dinner Tickets to FOP

221 FOP

Jacksonville Elks Lodge #221 donated 50 of their annual barbecue dinner tickets to the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police. The dinner consisted of barbecue chicken, beans, slaw and a roll. This annual dinner raises over $3,000 which the lodge uses for their various charities. FOP distributed the tickets to local patrol officers.

Pictured are City Councilman Scott Wilson, PER and Steve Zona, President of the Jacksonville FOP.


Green Cove Springs Elks Use Anniversary Grant to Enhance Program

On Nov. 16, Green Cove Springs Lodge used its ENF Anniversary Grant to continue its tradition of providing the first-graders at Charles E. Bennett Elementry School, a Title 1 school, with an Elks sweatshirt and a book to read. Member Clyde Mixon has been the project director for over 10 years. The ENF Anniversary Grant made possible the addition of a second book for this year’s 96 students and a donation of $750 to the school’s art progam, which is in its first year. The money will be used to add much needed art supplies for the entire school.

1892 Sweatshirts

Students from each of the five first-grade classrooms model their new Elks sweatshirts and show their new books for their 96 classmates. In the back row are ER Tracy Carroll, Principal Sarah Lawson and project director Clyde Mixon.

1892 Art

ER Tracy Carroll presents art teacher Erika Gallo a $750 check for art supplies as project director Clyde Mixon looks on.


Green Cove Springs Lodge Thanks City Employees after Hurricane

Green Cove Springs Lodge sponsored a thank-you picnic for all city employees at Spring Park Nov. 8. Mayor Mitch Timberlake had requested a donation from the lodge in October to help thank the city’s employees for their hard work during Hurricane Irma. During this period of chaos and damage, many of the employees worked double shifts protecting its citizens and aiding them in the cleanup. After careful consideration, the lodge decided to show its support and gratitude to these faithful employees by funding 80% of the picnic with a donation of $1,200. Exalted Ruler Tracy Carroll and other lodge members attended to thank the employees.

1892 City employees group pic

City leaders and Elks at the beginning of the city employee thank-you picnic for Hurricane Irma city recovery are, front row, City Councilwoman Pam Lewis, Vice Mayor Connie Butler, Mayor Mitch Timberlake, Councilman Steven Kelley, City Manager Danielle Judd and Exalted Ruler Tracy Carroll. In the back row are City Attorney Jim Arnold, Police Chief Derek Asdot, Councilman Van Royal, PER Kathy Thompson, PER Gene Rittenhouse and Leading Knight Lucy Barnette.

1892 City employees

The first group of city employees enjoy their appreciation picnic sponsored by Green Cove Springs Lodge.


Green Cove Springs Lodge Supports Quigley House

1892 Golf

First responders Jessie Mancino, Jeff Vlasin, Brad Rodgers and Kyler Voetz represented Green Cove Springs Lodge in the golf tournament for Quigley House.

Green Cove Springs Lodge supported Quigley House’s 18th annual Purple Ribbon golf tournament Oct. 26. Quigley House is Clay County’s domestic violence and sexual assault center which provides shelter and services for 2,000 women, men and children each year. Elks charity bingo was an advocate-level donor with its $1,000 contribution. It has been a tradition to have a first responder team to play for the lodge each year. This year the team was from Clay County Fire & Rescue Station #20 in Green Cove Springs.


Green Cove Springs Elks Put Matching Grant to Use

Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 used ENF Beacon Grant matching funds from the Florida State Elks Association to continue its support of the Green Cove Springs Public Library’s children’s outreach programs. They purchased a Nintendo Switch plus four additional controllers and a left right Joy-Con along with two games for the teenagers to use at the library. They also purchased 20 Kindle Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablets for the library to use in its Early Literacy Program’s afterschool story hour. They will utilize early literacy applications for parents to help children with their reading at the library.

1892 Library 1

Librarian Jennifer Parker and PER Gene Rittenhouse, lodge grant coordinator, look on as Sara Guice, President of Friends of the Green Cove Springs Library, signs the acceptance document for the Nintendo Switch set.

1892 Library 2

ER Tracy Carroll and PER Gene Rittenhouse presented librarian Jennifer Parker and President of Friends of the Green Cove Springs Library, Sara Guice, 20 Kindle Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablets.


Lodge #2866 Hosts Squirt Gun Party for Pack #484

2866 Cubs

Pack #484 of the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts uses Mandarin-St. Johns Elks Lodge #2866 for their meetings and events. They had an end-of-summer squirt gun battle at the lodge.


Jacksonville Elks Participate in National Night Out

221 Night Out

Jacksonville Elks Lodge #221 participated in the annual Jacksonville Beach National Night Out event held Aug. 1 at the Sea Walk Pavilion. The theme for the event was crime prevention. Representatives from police, fire, military and other fraternal organizations attended the event which feature various booths and exhibits displaying anti-crime information. It was highlighted by a bicycle rodeo. Representatives from all local media outlets were present.

AJ Jones, Northeast District Drug Awareness Chairman, is pictured by the trailer talking with one of the participants at Jacksonville Beach’s National Night Out.


Gainesville Elks Hold Splash Event for Autism Research

990 Splash

Gainesville Elks Lodge #990 held the annual Elks Splash Day in July. All proceeds raised at this event go to Autism research.


Green Cove Springs Lodge #1892 Conducts Kids Library Day

On June 13, Green Cove Springs Lodge used an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to promote the Green Cove Springs Public Library’s opening of the summer children’s program. This was the lodge’s second year of promoting this program. The event’s purpose was to encourage children of all ages to sign up for the special library programs. Along with registering for summer programs, children also received a free age-specific book. There were also crafts, a corn hole game, a balloon toy maker and face painter. There were 140 children accompanied by 53 adults in attendance. Services were provided by 23 volunteers.

1892 library LincolnGreen Cove Springs Lodge member Wayne Lincoln distributes the age-specific books at the 10- to 12-year-old and teen book tables.








1892 library early birdsEarly birds wait to get into the Green Cove Springs Public Library summer children’s program registration.







1892 library crafts Green Cove Springs Lodge Chaplain, Russ Brummer, and Esquire, Helen Brummer, assist participants at the teen craft table. The teens made pencil pouches with ziplock bags and duct tape.








1892 library BoydSpouse Phyllis Boyd distributes books to children ages five to 10.














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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