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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Lauren Dowd-Shedlock

Clewiston Elks Host Christmas Party for UCP Clients

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In December, Clewiston Lodge partnered with the local United Cerebral Palsy chapter (UCP) to plan and deliver an unforgettable Christmas experience for local Cerebral Palsy clients. The local UCP worked with their clients to help them write their Christmas wish lists to Santa. The Clewiston Elks gathered all the wish lists, hung them on a decorative Angel Tree, and asked their members to select a list and be a special Santa for the client they selected. Within a week, all the cards from the tree were selected and within another few weeks, all the Santas returned with gifts for their special clients. On Dec. 20, the Elks invited all the UCP clients to visit with Santa, enjoy a nice meal, and collect their gifts, stockings, and other treats. Linda Allen, Leading Knight, and Roxanne Engel from UCP planned this special evening.

Clewiston member Linda Allen and UCP client Cindy Park visit with Santa Claus, aka member Mike O’Rourke, during the Christmas party for UCP clients.


Antlers Raise Funds for Camperships

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The Antlers of Lake Okeechobee Lodge hosted a series of concession stands to raise money to donate to the Florida Elks Youth Camp to support camperships. They met their fundraising goal and plan to donate the funds in February at the quarterly meeting at the youth camp. Pictured are Rhiannon Vandiver, Danielle Harper and Jacob Kerezsi.


West Palm Beach Lodge Honors Late Member with a Toy Drive

Early in November, West Palm Beach Elks Lodge #1352 hosted a toy drive in memory of Sonya Owens, one of the core active member volunteers of the lodge. The toys collected were given out in December as part of the annual breakfast with Santa for local school children.


Lake Okeechobee Lodge Happenings

2871 Hoop Shoot

Lake Okeechobee Elks Lodge #2871 hosted their annual Hoop Shoot. Pictured with the winners are ER Ernie Basil, PER and Jim DuPre, PER, Lodge and District Hoop Shoot Chairman.

Lake Okeechobee Lodge donated $2,000 to Dogs-4-Vets that was funded by the Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant. The lodge also hosted a yard sale and donated the monies to the local scholarship fund supporting some deserving seniors at Okeechobee High School.


Jupiter Hosts Haunted Lodge Event

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Jupiter Elks Lodge #2469 held their sixth annual Haunted Lodge where 13 fright spaces were constructed in the lodge by local students. During the two-day event, nearly 1,000 people ventured through the maze for a scary good time. All public spectators got to vote on their favorite fright space and the Elks awarded $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $200 for third place. Each group was awarded $100 by the Elks just for participating. The students all received 20 hours of community service hours for participating that is required for high school graduation. Pizza, cookies, sodas and other refreshments were also sold.

For the 2017 House of the Haunted Lodge, Wicked Wintry Wolves by Independence Middle Pre Biz IT & FBLA won first place, Bed Time by Jupiter High FFA won second place and Twisted Christmas by Dwyer High Psychology Club won third place.


Southeast District Holds Annual Barbecue


The Southeast District held their annual barbecue at Jupiter Lodge #2469. The barbecue serves as a backdrop to introduce community members to charitable works performed by Florida Elks and as a membership recruitment event. Funds raised support the district. All district lodges participated in one or more of the following areas: ribs, chicken and chili competitors. Attendees purchased meals and raffle tickets and participated in an auction. Clewiston Lodge #1853 registered three ribs and chicken teams, participated in the chili contest, brought more than 20 attendees and contributed high-value gifts to the auction. The barbecue could not have been so successful without the support from the host lodge, Jupiter #2469, and the many members who helped organize and work the event. Jupiter member Juanita North developed the food plan, purchased everything needed and guided the food operation. Lauren Dowd-Shedlock, also from Jupiter Lodge, developed and carried out the event-planning process and prepared all the flyers. Serving as judges were Jupiter community members including the elementary school principal, a local radio personality, a bank manager, a high school football coach and a restaurant owner.

In the chicken category, Neck Down BBQ led by Clewiston member PDD Les Baucum won first place, Tall, Dark & Smokey led by Jupiter member James Wilkenson won second place, and Team Irma led by Jupiter members Steve and Jenn Brancazio won third place. In the ribs category, Rubbin’ Racks led by Clewiston member DDGER Greg Westberry won first place, Team Irma won second place, and Jupiter member Juanita North’s team won third place. In the chili category, the People’s Choice award went to Greg Westberry’s team. PDD Les Baucum, current Clewiston Exalted Ruler, was the overall high points winner and earned the 2017-2018 designation as “Beast of the Southeast.”

Pictured are Clewiston Lodge members who won first place in each category.


Clewiston Lodge Holds Halloween Fundraiser

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Clewiston Elks Lodge #1853 celebrated Halloween by throwing an ‘80s-themed dinner dance and fundraiser that also doubled as a membership drive. The event raised over $2,000 that will go to local charities and brought in three new members. The party was well attended by Clewiston members as well as Belle Glade-Pahokee Elks.

First-place winners in the Clewiston Lodge Halloween costume contest were from Belle Glade-Pahokee Elks Lodge.


Belle Glade-Pahokee Lodge Happenings

Belle Glade-Pahokee Lodge hosted Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services therapist Teri Stocking. She shared with members some of the great work done by the Florida Elks therapists. The lodge also hosted the Chamber of Commerce’s 53rd annual awards banquet and dinner while showing off their Roaring ‘20s outfits and recognizing the shining stars of their community. The fall vendor fair was also hosted at the lodge providing a great opportunity to get some early holiday shopping done.


Belle Glade-Pahokee Elks Lodge Holds Hoop Shoot

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Belle Glade-Pahokee Elks Lodge held their annual Hoop Shoot which was led by Marc Schultz. Ramsey Rimes won the 8-9-year-old boys division, Halie Bankhead won the 10-11-year-old girls division and Aidan Lakatos won the 10-11-year-old division.


News from Lake Okeechobee Lodge

Lake Okeechobee Elks Lodge #2871 worked with the correctional sentence specialist for Martin County putting to use ENF’s Gratitude Grant. The lodge took care of their supplies and veterans’ cost for the dogs they will receive. These dogs are trained by veterans who are in jail for veterans who need special attention. All training and care are done at the facility.2871 soccer

In September, Lake Okeechobee Lodge hosted their annual Soccer Shoot with 35 children participating. Among the many member volunteers were Southeast District VP, Dave Monsour, and District Chairman, Martin Espinoza, from Clewiston Lodge.

SEDVP Dave Monsour assists at the Lake Okeechobee Elks Soccer Shoot.


Jupiter Elks News

In July, Jupiter Elks Lodge #2469 used the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to host their second annual “The Best of Me is Drug-Free” drug awareness rally for local youth in Palm Beach County.

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Summer is usually a quiet time at Jupiter Lodge, but this year, members formed a softball team with Sunday morning practices and a few contests against West Palm Beach members. The team is signed up to battle in the Jupiter-Tequesta Athletic Association Division D through autumn 2017.

Pictured are Jupiter Lodge softball players Tammy Black Matsuo and Jim Johnson, Leading Knight.


Clewiston Elks Help in Hurricane Irma Aftermath

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Like many other Elks lodges across Florida, when Hurricane Irma roared through Sept. 10-11, Clewiston Elks Lodge #1853 was without power. Having an abundant supply of food in their freezers and member volunteers who could take a break from their own clean-up, the Elks cooked and donated meals to the out-of-state linesmen who were staying in the area and helping to restore power to the community. The lodge served over 100 meals on both evenings. Those who stepped up and took charge of this were DDGER Greg Westberry, PER Skip Simmonds, PER Jack Davis, PER George Duckstein and Harlan Griggs, Tiler.

DDGER Greg Westberry and his wife, Dana, helped with the hurricane relief by handing out water and supplies to the community.


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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