Fort Pierce Mayor Issues Proclamation for BPOE 150th Anniversary
Written by Lenny Smallacombe
Lenny Smallacombe of Fort Pierce Elks Lodge #1520 contacted Fort Pierce Mayor, Linda Hudson, and requested a city proclamation to help the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks celebrate its 150th anniversary in San Antonio.
Viera Elks Start JROTC Recognition Program
Written by Jerry Hoff
There are 20 schools in the Southeast Central District that have JROTC programs. Each unit has an annual awards presentation ceremony during which outstanding cadets are given awards by various civic, professional and fraternal organizations. The cadet to be honored at each school is selected by the unit advisors, and each organization offering an award is notified of the name of the cadet to receive the award. Each participating organization is then asked to send a representative to the awards ceremony to make the presentation. Viera Elks Lodge #2817 decided to make the Elks a participant in these ceremonies. An email was sent to the schools in the district asking each unit if they would like to have the BPOE added as an active participant in the program. Viera Lodge designed a certificate and medal that will be awarded to a deserving cadet in each unit. The certificates and medals are mailed to each school in advance of their ceremony.
The lodge then made this a district program and asked all the lodges in the Southeast Central District to get involved by sending a representative to the awards ceremonies in their area. Any lodge or any individual from any lodge wishing to make the presentation at any of these schools has been asked to contact Jerry Hoff at 321-751-2599 or email@example.com. He will send the details of each ceremony to the involved lodge if there is someone who wishes to participate. Also, a $10 donation to the ROTC fund will get the donor’s name printed on the certificate as a sponsor. Donations should be sent to Viera Lodge earmarked for ROTC Awards Fund. As dates become available, he will advise the lodges in the district.
The Grand Lodge Activities Committee is currently working on making this a nationwide program and will have information available at the Grand Lodge convention in San Antonio. Anyone attending the convention should look for their booth if they want further information.
Vero Beach Elks Support Alzheimer & Parkinson Association
Written by Vero Beach Elks
On Jan. 20, Vero Beach Elks Lodge #1774 hosted a very successful fundraiser on behalf of the Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County. Lodge member Anne Keeney served as the chairperson of the event with strong support from Exalted Ruler Paul Diaz. The final net proceeds amounted to $3,412. This organization is dedicated to serving county residents with disorders affecting memory and movement by promoting quality of life and choice through advocacy, support, empowerment, education and research connections.
Anne Keeney and Paul Diaz of Vero Beach Lodge presented a check to Peggy Cunningham, Executive Director of the Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County.
Vero Beach Lodge Donates Impact Grant to Vero Beach Elementary
Written by Vero Beach Elks
The Vero Beach Elks Lodge’s “Elks Love Kids of Character” Community Improvement Project at Vero Beach Elementary has been chosen to be funded for a fourth consecutive year with a $10,000 Impact Grant for 2018. Michele Klager, Vero Beach Elks Impact Grant manager, helped make this possible. Pictured are Michele Klager, Flo Synenko, Linda Bigelow, Cindy Emerson, Principal Paul Diaz, Exalted Ruler Rachel Morrey, Assistant Principal Pat Diaz, Kathi Miller and Deb Stuller.
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 stocking 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 grant also funds school uniforms and books. The majority of this school’s students live in poverty.
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.