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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Jack McClurken

Vero Beach Elks Support Alzheimer & Parkinson Association

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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

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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

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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.

 

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:

TinaH@elks.org

JessicaR@elks.org

 

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