Melbourne Elks Donate Gratitude Grant to Local Food Bank
Written by Melbourne Elks
Melbourne Elks Lodge #1744 awarded Greg Hanson, General Manager of Second Harvest Food Bank of Brevard County, with a $2,500 Gratitude Grant. The grant will be allocated among 10 agencies in the Melbourne/Palm Bay area that utilize Second Harvest as their main resource of food. As $2,500 equates to 13,890 pounds of food or 11,570 meals, this will be a great boost to the pantries struggling to keep their shelves stocked. Further, in Brevard County, approximately 15.6% of the population, which is over 86,000 people, are food insecure and do not know with certainty that they will have enough food to eat on any given day.
In a 2017 survey by the Florida Department of Education, of the 73,300 students attending Brevard County Public Schools that day, over 33,000 of them were eligible for a free or reduced-cost school lunch program, which is approximately 45% of the students. This grant will be used to help fight hunger.
Joyce Madden (left), Melbourne Exalted Ruler, and Tom Wojnar (right), chairman who spearheaded the effort in obtaining this grant, present recipient, Greg Hanson, a $2,500 Gratitude Grant for the Second HarvestFood Bank of Brevard County.
Vero Beach Impact Grant Project Update
Written by Vero Beach Elks
The Elks Love Kids of Character Impact Grant project continues to push the Vero Beach Elementary School students forward. Their wampum reward system has been a driving force behind the school’s success in getting the students on track for positive behavior by raising the awareness that character counts and getting good grades are important for success. Teachers are using the wampum reward system in the classroom to redirect behavior and focus. Students are rewarded for good grades, politeness, sharing, following directions, focus and good behavior. The lodge goal has been to help the school with behavior problems, morale and grades by funding their positive-behavior store, named Elks Love Kids of Character Store, with meaningful rewards that also help struggling households by providing school supplies, engaging toys and snacks.
The Impact Grant also provides 200 free uniforms for underprivileged students. This school has 90% of its population living in poverty. The lodge feels the children are victims of circumstance and new uniforms lift their spirits to do well and take the financial pressure off the parents struggling to pay bills.
In May, they added free books to the program. Books are a rare commodity in a household where money is tight. The Elks collect children’s books at the lodge and distribute them to the children as they exit the store. This year they have collected and distributed over 300 children’s books so far.
This is the lodge’s third Impact Grant and they are finally seeing significant results:
• Grades have gone up in math 16% and 10% in reading this year.
• Behavior has improved; there is an overall 92% decrease from last year.
• The school grade is now rated a high C; three years prior it was rated F.
• Teachers were leaving the school because of behavior issues but now they are staying.
• Elk volunteers are really stepping up to help the school more than ever.
• Students know the community cares about them because of this program. • Morale is up and students like coming to school.
Fort Pierce Elks Deliver Clothes to Children
Written by Lenny Smallacombe
Fort Pierce Elks Lodge’s pantry/backpack team delivered a truckload of new basic summer clothes for homeless children and kids in need at Lakewood Park Elementary School. Thanks to their members and Elks National Foundation Community Grants, they are hoping to make the summer better for the kids. This is the fourth year for their program.
Viera Elks Use Gratitude Grant for S.O.A.K. children
Written by Becky Wills
Viera Elks Lodge #2817 hosted a crafting/painting day for approximately 60 autistic children from S.O.A.K. Saturday, June 10. The S.O.A.K. Organization provides support, resources, training and events for individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. This disorder affects approximately 1 in 50 people. For the younger group, Home Depot of West Melbourne, Fla., donated wooden kits and paints along with some of their associates to help with these activities. Painting with a Twist of Cocoa, Fla., donated their time and supplied the lodge with easels, canvases and paints for the older group. Parents and siblings sat in on the sessions as well. Volunteers from the lodge helped as needed, and lunch was provided to everyone in between the sessions. Funding for the event came from a Gratitude Grant.
Shown at Viera Lodge are S.O.A.K. participants Coralyn Mayes, Anthony Cancel and Jade Bailey. Liz Silber from Painting with a Twist is in the background.
Vero Beach Elks Award Scholarships to Daughters of Members
Written by Vero Beach Elks
Vero Beach Lodge awarded college scholarships of $1,000 each to two students from Vero Beach. Elizabeth Tuite is the daughter of Elks member Robert Tuite. She will be attending the University of Florida. She is an honor student and graduated from Vero Beach High School. Sarah Coveny is the daughter of Elks member Pat Coveny. She will be attending the University of South Florida. She graduated as an honor student at Vero Beach High School with a GPA of 4.44.
Sarah Coveny and Elizabeth Tuite pose with June Maher, PER after winning Vero Beach Lodge scholarships.
West St. Lucie Elks News
Written by West St. Lucie Elks
The Elk year at West St. Lucie Elks Lodge #2823 started out with a sellout crowd for the ER/officers ball. They held their Mother’s Day ritual and Memorial Day barbecue. They also continue to serve a complimentary pancake breakfast to veterans the first Tuesday of the month and provide food items for food-insecure children at two local schools.
Stuart-Jensen Elks News
Written by Suzi Simonelli
Stuart-Jensen Lodge #1870 held the Mother’s Day ritual and named Jackie Pearson Mother of the Year. They also had a Mother’s Day pancake breakfast and one for Father’s day.
Lodge officers along with their BSA Venture Crew #2832 and Cub Scout Pack 832 marched in the Stuart Memorial Day parade. Afterward, they all came back for a fun picnic at the lodge. Members also made a $1,000 donation to the Honor Flight to help a veteran attend this great event.
For their Gratitude Grant, Chairman, Betty Tewksbury, PDD, worked with the Hope Rural School in Indiantown and got them $2,000 in school supplies and equipment.
Along with the lodge’s six camper scholarships, the lodge was able to send 12 additional kids to the Florida Elks Youth Camp thanks to their charity bingo.