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Florida Elks News Online

district ssw
District Reporter: Carol Aitchison

Punta Gorda Elks Hold Hoop Shoot

2606 Hoop

Punta Gorda Lodge hosted its annual Hoop Shoot. Pictured are Jonathan Diaz, Daniel Robinson, Isaiah Summer, Mark Babinov, Phillip Babinov and Christopher Shadduck. Jonathan, Mark and Christopher continued to regionals. The lodge also hosted a Soccer Shoot in which 53 children participated.


Naples Elks Provide Christmas Despite Hurricane Aftermath

Members of Naples Elks Lodge #2010 celebrated Christmas early Dec.11. Even though the members of the lodge are dealing with problems and flooding caused by Hurricane Irma, they did not let it dampen their spirit. Sixty children from East Naples Manatee Elementary School along with six teachers and 36 members including District Deputy Ron Heldebrandt celebrated the annual Christmas party at the Enchanted Lakes clubhouse with Santa giving gifts to the children. Ann Marie and Ray Honan organized and coordinated the event. It wasn’t clear who had more fun, the children or the adults! This is what the Elks are all about – giving back to the community.


Englewood Elks Hold Youth Activities

Englewood Lodge was on hand at the Tringali Center which held a Spook Street event for children. They handed out drug awareness material and candy bags to over 600 children. They also donated books to Myakka Elementary School. Every fourth-grade student was able to choose a book to keep. The lodge also hosted their Hoop Shoot which had 22 participants.

2378 Hoop Shoot


Donald G. Curie Foundation Provides $50,000 for Hurricane Relief

2710 Curie

Exalted Ruler Al Williquette and Linda Graves accepted the $50,000 donation from the Donald G. Curie Foundation for hurricane relief for the Rotonda area.

When Rotonda Elks Lodge #2710 in the SSW District was asking for help for victims of Hurricane Irma, a remarkable philanthropic foundation, the Donald G. Curie Foundation, answered their call by donating $50,000 for those in need. Exalted Ruler Al Williquette and First Lady Linda Graves humbly accepted the gift from the foundation founders who are members of the lodge. The promise was to find those in dire need and give it all away. That promise was kept. The lodge trustees diligently investigated worthy recipients and identified the strongest needs in the area and distributed the money in early November.

Englewood Meals on Wheels received $12,000. Being closed for a week due to the hurricane, they were in need of emergency donations to replace the food that had spoiled from the lack of electricity. Englewood Meals on Wheels runs on independent donations.

Harry Chapin Food Bank received $12,000. Recover, Rebuild and Restore is their mantra. The Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 1.85 million pounds of food, water and ice to help provide relief to victims in southwest Florida as of Sept. 26. Much more has followed.

Salvation Army received $10,000. They deployed all 32 of their canteens (mobile kitchens) and equipment to help needy Floridians. All 47 Salvation Army units were assisting and providing meals to first responders and survivors every day. In four days, they prepared and distributed 265,000 meals.

Tracy Slaughenhaupt received $8,500. This lineman from Pennsylvania who volunteered to come to Florida as part of Hurricane Irma relief was in an accident. He made contact with a 7,200-volt electrical line. He lost his right arm and has burns over 40% of his body. He is still hospitalized in Florida after many surgeries. His son responded, saying “before anything else, thank you. The support we’ve gotten from people has been amazing and frankly quite helpful in the midst of all this as costs in life go on.”

Guadalupe Social Services Immokalee received $5,000. They opened their school rooms to those who lost their homes and everything the victims owned due to Irma. They offered subsistence relief to help families with repairs to the damaged homes. .

Gulf Coast Humane Society received $1,500. If you evacuated because of the hurricane, you know how stressful it can be on your pets. Now imagine doing that with more than 300 animals who had nowhere to go. These heroes made sure those animals survived the storm.

Rotonda Elk members received $1,000. Most of the Rotonda‐Englewood area escaped the wrath of Irma, but donations were made to those who had damage and were without insurance.


Englewood Elks Celebrate 50 Years

2378 Dignam

On Oct. 14, Englewood Elks Lodge #2378 celebrated its 50th anniversary with a dinner dance. Estelle Dichazi, Exalted Ruler, presented a plaque to Tom Dignam, the lodge’s first Exalted Ruler. Dignam and his family donated a bench and walkway to the lodge.


North Cape Coral Elks Hold Hoop Shoot

2874 Hoop Shoot

North Cape Coral Lodge held its Hoop Shoot contest. Pictured from the bottom up are Jace Jacobs, winner of the eight-year-old division; Kaleb Stengel, second place in the 10-year-old division; Ayden Repperger, third place in the 10-year-old division; Ricky West, first place in the 10-year-old division. With them are the Youth Activities co-chairmen, Scott and Dana Huff.


North Cape Coral Elks Use Grant for Powder Puff Game and Dance

North Cape Coral Elks Lodge #2874 used its Promise Grant to host a Powder Puff football game and homecoming dance for the Lee County Hawks youth football and cheer program. Pizza and soft drinks were provided for the game, and a buffet and music were provided for the dance. Over 200 red ribbons were handed out over the weekend. North Cape Coral sponsors the youth football and cheer program every year.

2874 Hooper

Pictured is ER Bob Hooper serving meals at the Powder Puff homecoming dance for North Cape Coral Lodge.

2874 group

Pictured are Youth Activities chairpersons Scott and Dana Huff along with ER Bob Hooper, Lecturing Knight John DeFrank, coaches and some of the awesome kids.


Rotonda Elks Send 26 Campers to Florida Elks Youth Camp

2710 campers

Spending a week at the Florida Elks Youth Camp in Umatilla, Fla., was an event the 26 youngsters from Rotonda Elks Lodge #2710 will not soon forget. They enjoyed archery, canoeing, swimming, friendships and air-conditioned cabins for a great night’s sleep after an exhausting day without any electronics. The kids thanked everyone and some are planning to sign up for the 2018 season. Even some of the chaperones wanted to stay. All this was accomplished under the organized talents of a dedicated volunteer, Peggy Kehoe.


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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