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: Jack McClurken

Melbourne Elks Donate Gratitude Grant to Local Food Bank

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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.


West St. Lucie Elks News

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.


Vero Beach Elks Hold Easter Event at Special Education School

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Vero Beach Elks Lodge #1774 held its annual Easter Basket event at Wabasso School. The school is a special education center school serving students ages 5-22. Within a safe and supportive learning environment, the children develop their academic and independent living skills to meet post-secondary goals and successful community integration.


Vero Beach Sends 37 Kids to Florida Elks Youth Camp

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Vero Beach Elks Lodge #1774 sent 37 children to the Florida Elks Youth Camp in beautiful Umatilla, Fla., for a fun-filled, carefree week packed with swimming, boating, campfires, movies, archery, a ropes course, aquatic center and much more. This was a child’s camping vacation dream come true and they could just be kids without having to deal with any of the countless family issues they live with daily. The Elks contributed money to pay for the bus to transport the children to and from the camp and to pay for their week at the camp. This annual program will continue.


Stuart-Jensen Elks News

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.


Marine Corps League and Venture Crew Participate in Stuart-Jensen Lodge Flag Day Program

1870 Flag DayStuart-Jensen Elks Lodge #1870 held their Flag Day program with the help of the Marine Corp League that they sponsor and their Venture Crew. The Marines escorted those carrying the flags.

Pictured are Exalted Ruler, Beth Snyder, and Stuart-Jensen Lodge officers with the Marine Corp League and Venture Crew after their Flag Day program.


Stuart-Jensen Elks Lodge Had a Busy Quarter

Stuart-Jensen Elks Lodge #1870 finished the year strong with a gain in membership. They had a very busy season. In January, Linda Elliott and the Veterans Committee hosted a veterans luncheon for disabled veterans from the VA hospital. There was a Rod Stewart impersonator show in February with 200 in attendance as well as a Sweetheart Ball. At their St. Patrick’s Day celebration, the Lodge Chaplain, Mike Foley, dressed in his kilt and played the bagpipes. They also held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for their BSA Venture Crew 2832 in March to help the scouting unit. The Lodge is also proud that they have used all six Florida Elks summer camp scholarships and they have also sent 12 additional kids to camp from their charity fund.


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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