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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Mary Lou Scribner

Arcadia Lodge Uses Gratitude Grant to Feed Hungry Students

1524 Gratitude

Arcadia Elks Lodge #1524 became aware of the increase in homeless children in their community. A recent survey identified 90 homeless children who had need for supplemental nutrition. The lodge took advantage of the Gratitude Grant to provide food gift cards to the homeless coordinator through the school district. Superintendent Cline stated, “This was a great partnership to work with the Elks to impact students in dire need.” The lodge also provided a nutrition handbook about healthy food choices. Children now have the opportunity to go with their family and procure some needed nutritional food items. The Elks hope this donation will help children to grow and have a bright future.

Arcadia Lodge members were on the school board meeting agenda to present gift cards and nutrition books for hungry students. Pictured are school board member Danny Vie; Elks Keith Keene and Nancy Higginbotham; school board members Ronnie Allen, Debby Snyder, Judy Kirkpatrick and Karen Chancey; Elks Brian and Mary Kay Burns; and Superintendent Cline.


SPCA Receives Gifts for Lakeland Elk's Birthday

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Lakeland Elks member Sandy Fuschetti held her 14th annual birthday party/SPCA fundraiser Feb. 10. Lodge members donated $1,225, 800 pounds of dog and cat food, cat litter, treats, and toys for the animals instead of gifts for Fuschetti. SPCA volunteers and two adoptable dogs from the shelter were present to enjoy the festivities.


Lakeland Lodge Bake Sale Raises Nearly $5,000 for Brotherhood Ride

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Lakeland Lodge held their fourth annual cake/bake auction fundraiser to help raise money for the Brotherhood Ride which supports fallen heroes’ families. Through the generosity of the lodge members and guests, $4,945 was raised. Pictured is Jeff Morse, Founder of Brotherhood Ride, with Sandy Fuschetti in the background.


Sebring Elks Continue Tradition of Supporting Youth Athletics

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On Feb. 25, the Sebring youth baseball and softball teams had their opening ceremony for the spring season. The games are played at the Max Long Recreation area which the Sebring Elks helped build many years ago, and one of the fields is named “Elks Field.” These organizations range from ages 4-14. Jim and Ronna Mason attended the ceremony and Jim Mason presented a check for $500 for the baseball league to League President, Bobby Green. The following Tuesday, Ronna Mason presented a check for $500 to Mendy Pugh, the Softball Commissioner.


kidsPACK Gets a Helping Hand from Lakeland Elks

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On Jan. 27, Lakeland Elks used food purchased with their Beacon Grant to pack 450 meals for homeless, hungry children in their own county. Eighteen Elks gathered at the lodge to pack, wrap and box meals for the kidsPACK organization to deliver to local schools for the children. The organization provides food for children to eat in the evenings, weekends, holidays and summer months when subsidized breakfasts and lunches at school are not available.


Sebring Elks Continue College Scholarship Fund

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PER George Quel was out and about Jan. 28 enriching lives in his community. He presented a check for $1,000 to Jamie Bateman, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement at South Florida State College. These monies go to the Sebring Elks Scholarship Trust Fund which was established in 2007. Applicants must be under the age of 26, have graduated from a high school in Highlands County, must be a U.S. citizen, and must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment at SFSC on at least a half-time basis. They must also demonstrate financial need and show evidence of academic promise by having a minimum of a 3.0 GPA on all past high school or college work. Preference is given to children of Elks members, Elks members or U.S. veterans who are members of the Elks.

Quel also presented a check to the Champion for Children Foundation for $1,000 for the Safe House.


Plant City Honors Americanism Essay Contest Winner

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Plant City Lodge’s Americanism essay contest winner was Taylor Pentecost, a sixth-grade student from Marshall Middle School. The topic was “Why our Veterans are America’s Heroes.” Pictured is the Americanism Committee that judged the entries: Terry Crum, Marty Carroll, Diana Townsend and Peggy Crum. Taylor received a certificate and $50. The contest starts with the lodges, progresses through district and state levels, and ends with the naming of the national winners at the Grand Lodge convention in San Antonio, Texas, in July 2018. This very important patriotic contest gives children in fifth through eighth grade the opportunity to express views on their pride in America.


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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