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Florida Elks News Online

District Reporter: Charles R. Stieb

Venice-Nokomis Elks Put Grants to Good Use

Venice-Nokomis Elks Lodge #1854 made good use of their Elks National Foundation grants. They gave Thanksgiving dinners to 80 families and Christmas dinners to 25 families along with toys and bicycles. This was all done with the help of a Beacon Grant and the Harry-Anna matching grant. With the help of a Freedom Grant, the lodge held three lunches for veterans bringing in 80 local veterans from assisted-living facilities. Comfort package items were also purchased for patients at C.W. Young Medical Center using $1,000 from the Freedom Grant. With the same grant, they also donated a 50” television to the Sarasota Sheriffs Youth Ranch for the children.


Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge Sponsors Baseball League with Physically Challenged Players

Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Elks Lodge #2855 sponsors Pirates baseball, a group of players who are physically challenged. The motto of the league is “Each child deserves the chance to play ball.” A player has a buddy at the plate with them and when they hit, the buddy makes sure they get around the bases. This year was for the adult members ages 26-75 years old. Lunch was served and they all played games before Santa arrived. Santa and three elves passed out gifts. There were 45 players, coaches and relatives who attended the Elks “Miracle League” Christmas party.


South Hillsborough Elks Make Holidays Brighter for Foster Children

2672 Foster

South Hillsborough Lodge held their annual Christmas Angel Tree program for foster children. Through lodge members’ generosity, 101 foster children will be having a merrier Christmas. Amanda Kirton was this year’s chairman.


South Hillsborough Models Raise Funds for Shoes for Christmas

2672 Models

South Hillsborough Elks Lodge #2672 held their first Shoes for Christmas fashion show to benefit abused children, veterans, homeless and children at Ruskin Elementary. The cost to put on the show was all donated and over 20 volunteers helped. Those receiving money to purchase shoes were St. Vincent de Paul, St. Anne Catholic Church, Mary and Martha House, and the Allison family who lost everything when their home burned. The total raised was $3,000. Priscilla Mixon was the chairman.


Sarasota South Lodge Spearheads County Toys for Tots


For the past 15 years, Sarasota South Elks Lodge #2495 has been spearheading the annual Toys for Tots drive throughout Sarasota County. PDD Jim Lamb is the area coordinator. As of mid-December, collection drive efforts represented over 4,000 volunteer hours and 4,000 miles.


Palmetto Elks Collect Gifts for Shelter

2449 Tree

Palmetto Elks Lodge #2449 held a Christmas party to collect presents for the Hope Family Service shelter. They were able to take care of 21 children and give over $400 in products to the shelter. Presents were also sent to Bay Pines VAMC.


Palmetto Elks Collect Gifts for Shelter

2449 Tree

Palmetto Elks Lodge #2449 held a Christmas party to collect presents for the Hope Family Service shelter. They were able to take care of 21 children and give over $400 in products to the shelter. Presents were also sent to Bay Pines VAMC.


Santa Arrives by Firetruck at Manasota Lodge

2734 Santa

Manasota Elks Lodge #2734 held a breakfast with Santa Dec. 17 for 80 needy children. Santa arrived by firetruck to the children’s excitement and passed out gifts of clothing and toys to all children. The families also received Publix gift cards.


Bradenton Bingo Raises Funds for Local Elementary Schools

Bradenton Elks Lodge bar bingo hosted by PSP Danny and Rachel Tabor provides fun and entertainment for members and guests while raising money for local charities. Recently, the bingo players voted to donate $500 for requested items for two local elementary schools. PSP Danny Tabor and ER Janet Mitchell delivered shopping bags filled with socks and underwear to Sea Breeze Elementary School and sacks filled with number 2 pencils, facial tissue and hand sanitizer to Bayshore Elementary School.


PSP Danny Tabor and ER Janet Mitchell deliver items to Sea Breeze School Counselor, Nikki Fortner (center).


PSP Danny Tabor and ER Janet Mitchell deliver needed good to Bayshore Elementary Principal Jackie West and Asst. Principal Todd Blackmore.


Venice-Nokomis Elks Support Children's Programs

Venice-Nokomis Elks Lodge #1854 donated school supplies to local elementary schools and the community center valued at $1,000. The lodge also donated towels, sunscreen, water bottles and items for the summer campers at the Sarasota Sheriff’s Youth Ranch. They donated food to the local Salvation Army for their homeless shelter and food to the local community center for their hot meal program for homeless children.


South Hillsborough Elks Sponsor Kids to Fishing Camp

2672 fishing

South Hillsborough Elks Lodge #2672 sponsored several local children to attend the Hillsborough County fishing camp held at E. G. Simmons Park. Earlier this year, the lodge applied for and received a $2,000 Gratitude Grant to introduce young people to fishing in the Tampa Bay area. Twenty-one boys between the ages of 12 and 15 participated in the program from July 14-25. Conservation, safety, knot-tying, species identification and fishing techniques were part of the curriculum. The highlight of the camp was a day trip of deep sea fishing on the Friendly Fisherman out of Hubbard’s Marina. Many of the kids had never fished before let alone in the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico. At the conclusion of the camp, each participant his own rod and reel.


Palmetto Elks Provide Backpacks to Students

2449 backpacks

Palmetto Elks had a backpack party for school supplies July 23. The lodge gave out 200 backpacks and provided hot dogs, drinks, chips and four piñatas. Eighteen Elk members and eight volunteers put it all together.

Pictured are Palmetto Elks Bob Ernst and Tom Smilowski presenting backpacks to some students.


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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