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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Carol Aitchison

News from Punta Gorda Elks Lodge

On April 8, Punta Gorda Elks Lodge #2606 hosted a picnic for the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department staff and their families.

On April 10, Punta Gorda Lodge awarded students of Charlotte County high schools a total of $24,000 in scholarships – 20 $1,000 scholarships and two $2,000 scholarships. On May 28, the Elkettes awarded four more $2,000 scholarships to Charlotte High School seniors.

2606 awards web

Nick Jerriry, a recipient of a $2,000 award from Punta Gorda Lodge, is pictured along with Bud Bell; Walter LaCombe, Exalted Ruler; and Pam Snyder, Elkettes President.

On April 21, Punta Gorda Lodge’s 15th annual charity golf tournament, the Chuck Blackhurst Memorial, was held to benefit Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services. With prizes donated by local merchants, the tournament raised $6,203. This brings the total raised over the past 15 years to $71,000.

At the end of April, six volunteers from Punta Gorda Lodge refurbished a bathroom in the Education Building at Crossroads, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) home and charter school for foster boys who have had multiple failed placements in the Florida foster care system. The Elkettes also donate desserts monthly to the facility in conjunction with the lodge donation of chicken.

Punta Gorda Lodge entertained 130 fourth-graders from Sallie Jones Elementary school at a picnic focused on drug awareness. The Elkettes showed a film and there was a poster contest with the two best from each class receiving a gift card.

In June, 84 boys and girls attended the Florida Elks Youth Camp at no cost to their families.  Members of the Punta Gorda Elkettes served as chaperones on the bus trip.

On Saturday, June 16, Punta Gorda Lodge once again hosted a fishing tournament for children in the Punta Gorda area. The event is supported by many private sponsors as well as approximately 50 volunteers. Each participant is presented with a hat, sunglasses and fishing rod.  Two bikes are presented to the boy and girl who show the most sportsmanship during the tournament. Additionally, family members attend and are served lunch; the event usually hosts 300-400 guests.


Rotonda Elks Celebrate Flag Day with American Legion 113 Honor Guard

2710 Flag Day

Rotonda Elks Lodge #2710 commemorated Flag Day Sunday, June 10, with an Honor Guard from American Legion 113 that served as guardians of the colors by displaying and escorting flags from all branches of the military. Lodge veterans escorted 13 replicas of U.S. historical flags. Readings were done by Phil Sommers, Exalted Ruler and organizer of the event. Lee Hale gave insight into wars, heroes and the adoption of the flag in 1777 and provided patriotic music.


Flag Day Ceremony Held at Greater Pine Island Lodge with Boy Scout Troop 20

2781 Flag Day

Greater Pine Island Elks Lodge #2781 held its annual Flag Day celebration June 14. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has celebrated the holiday since the early days of the organization. Members of Boy Scout Troop #20 were on hand at the lodge to assist.


Englewood Elks Award Scholarships to High School Seniors

2378 scholarships

On May 9, Englewood Elks Lodge #2378 hosted an awards luncheon for Lemon Bay High School student scholarship recipients and award winners and their families.

The lodge awarded scholarships to Yamileth Gonzalez and Tara Quinn each for $3,000 per year for four years. Also awarded were three $1,000-scholarships to Madison Taylor, Adriana Basile and Kaylee Lombard to attend any vocational/academic institution of their choice. New scholarships awarded this year totaled $27,000.

Awards were also given to each student of the month in the amount of $100 and to the two students of the year who received an additional $300. These awards totaled $2,200.

John Dichazi, Exalted Ruler, presented scholarships to Yamileth Gonzalez, Tara Quinn, Madison Taylor, Adriana Basile and Kaylee Lombard. Students of the Month were Lauren Maheu, Michael Ainsworth, Hunter Scott, Tyler Caron, Sarah Bedford, Jeffrey Fazler, Melenie Torres, Deven Chavez, Ana Beltran Heredia, Austin McDonald, Francesca Gallucci, Cade Huber, Madison Ragazzone, Tyler Caron, Ron Feril, Hyasha Crompton and Michael Reid. Students of the Year were Madison Ragazzone and Tyler Caron. 


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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