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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: May Graci

Tampa Elks Participate in Club Chivalry Lunch and Learn

708 Lunch Learn

Members from Tampa Lodge participated in the lunch and learn training with students from the Club Chivalry program at Robinson High School in Tampa. The Impact Grant will be used for the third year to help provide training, education, life skills and mentoring to at risk students.


Tampa Lodge Supplies Clothing for the Homeless

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In addition to feeding the homeless, Tampa Lodge donates to the Open Arms clothing closet. To supplement the members’ donations, they watch for half price sales at the local thrift stores. Jeans, belts and boxer shorts are always in high demand. They buy new socks and briefs every year, too. This project is funded through the ENF Beacon Grant and is matched by a Harry-Anna Trust Fund grant.


St. Petersburg Elks Continue to Support MSM Inc.

1224 Queena

Music therapy intern, Carly Jewel Green, goes through vocal exercises with Queena at her home.

St. Petersburg Lodge donated $250 to Music Sweet Music Inc. (MSM). The money will go toward the fundraising efforts of their 16th annual Bear Cares gala dinner and silent auction held Nov. 4. The funds received will be used to pay MSM’s contracted board-certified therapists.

Although the main focus of MSM Inc. is to provide music therapy for children in the community, they also continue to serve the children for as long as they need music therapy. Some of MSM’s children are now adults and have been receiving therapy for 10 years or more. MSM also provides music therapy for veterans and members of the military. There are positive effects and healing abilities for soldiers with invisible wounds of war such as PTSD. MSM has been called by families to use their music as medicine for patients in hospice for their spiritual, physical and emotional comfort on the end-of-life journey.


St. Petersburg Lodge Servers Earn Funds for Charity

1224 Civitan Club

Dixie Hollins Civitan Club members were the servers for St. Petersburg Lodge during their recent Night of Comedy Nov. 18. These young men and women volunteered so they could earn extra cash. Their goal is to save money so they can purchase Christmas presents for kids who are staying at Sallie House. Sallie House is a safe haven for children from infant to 17 years of age who have been removed from their home because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Children may stay there as long as needed, for a few hours or several months, until they can be safely reunited with parents, placed with relatives, taken into a foster home, or adopted by a loving family. Attendees donated $333 that evening to assist them in reaching their goal of purchasing Christmas gifts.


St. Petersburg Lodge was a Hole Sponsor for Charity Golf Tournament

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St. Petersburg Lodge donated $1,000 to be the 13th hole sponsor at St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation eighth annual golf classic at Innisbrook Copperhead Friday, Oct. 27. Dan Masi, chairman and president of St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation board and golf committee chairman, was also representing the Florida State Elks Association as their Development Director. The lodge set up a table on the 13th tee box handing out water, crackers and flyers about the Florida State Elks Association’s charitable programs. Toni Goodrich, Jan Jens and Chris Little worked the event. The event raised $100,000 to support St. Anthony’s Hospital’s many projects.


Tampa Lodge Sponsors Trip to FEYC for High School Students

The kids in Club Chivalry for Successful Students had a great time on their field trip to the ropes course at the Florida Elks Youth Camp which was sponsored by Tampa Elks Lodge #708. On Sept. 30 at 7:30 a.m., Kristina Chowning, Jeanne Reinhart, Tommy Moore, Rita Smith and two new administrative coaches from the school loaded up the charter bus with kids, snacks and drinks and headed north. They worked on some ground teambuilding skills until lunch. They then took a short tour of some of the facilities and returned to the ropes course. They spent some more time on the ground activities involving strategic planning and teambuilding. Though at first glance they seemed quite simple, the kids were challenged to their limits without leaving the ground. Finally, the helmets were on and the sky was literally the limit. They cheered on their teammates and overcame their fears as they went up. It was a fantastic start to the school year.

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Senior Kathleen Young walked the wire on the Florida Elks Youth Camp ropes course.

708 Rock Wall

Junior Destiny Bain climbed the rock wall at the Florida Elks Youth Camp.


St. Petersburg Lodge Member Profiled on "Everyday Heroes" Segment

Every Monday, Bill Murphy of Bay News 9 profiles a local person who is making a difference in the Tampa Bay area and beyond on “Everyday Heroes.” On Thursday, Oct. 12, Murphy interviewed Ted Wagner, founder of Music Sweet Music Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides music therapy to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of children in the Tampa Bay area. The segment aired Oct. 30. St. Petersburg Lodge is proud of their lodge member. He is dedicated and committed to making a difference for others as part of his daily life. For further information about this organization, you can visit

Bay News 9

Pictured are Bay News 9 reporter, Bill Murphy; Music Sweet Music founder, Ted Wagner; and video journalist, Quintin Wynn.

Bay News 9 triplets

The therapy session for three-year-old triplets, Colin, Kendall and Quinn, was videoed for the Music Sweet Music segment.


St. Petersburg Elks Hold Car Show to Benefit Elks Major Projects

1224 Cars 1 1224 Cars 2

1224 Lieber

On Saturday, Oct. 7, oohs and aahs were coming from classic car fans attending the St. Petersburg Elks fourth annual car show. All cars, trucks, makes, models and years were welcome to the show and as 9 a.m. rolled in, so did the cars that varied in hues more vibrant than a Crayola box. The cars started to line up, car hoods were propped open to show shiny motors, and car doors were opened to give us a glimpse of their immaculate interiors. Great DJ music, food and beverages enhanced the attendees’ mood and experience.

While the show was free to the spectators, there was a fee to enter the cars in the show. Tours of the lodge were given by officers and several applications were handed out. Thanks to the hard work of chairperson and Loyal Knight, Dawn Lieber, and her team of volunteers, this event raised $1,357. The money is being split evenly between the Florida Elks Youth Camp and Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services.



St. Petersburg Elks Donate to School Hit by Hurricane Irma

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Late on Sunday, Sept. 10, Hurricane Irma crawled up the middle of Florida, slowly spinning toward the Tampa region, shoving heavy rain and strong winds into many parts of Florida not initially expecting to feel the brunt of the storm.

Unfortunately for Skyview Elementary, the hurricane caused serious damage to the roof and destroyed all computers in three classrooms. St. Petersburg Lodge #1224 was able to assist the school by donating $1,000 to help with the replacement of their computers.

Dan Masi, Florida State Elks Development Director, and St. Petersburg Lodge Exalted Ruler, Bonnie Barnes, presented a hurricane-relief check to Sophie Smith, Megan Cawley and Megan Turner, the Skyview Elementary teachers whose room computers were destroyed.


Elementary School Receives Supplies from Seminole Elks

2519 Mortka

Members of Seminole Elks Lodge #2519 believe an integral part of a child’s success in school is to make sure they have proper classroom supplies. In a project spearheaded by PER Tom Mortka, West Central District Drug Awareness Chairman, lodge members were able to present over 3,362 school supply items to Seminole Elementary School. The school was very pleased and grateful to receive the much-needed carload of school supplies.

Tom Mortka of Seminole Lodge delivers school supplies to teacher Ms. Schuler and principal, Mrs. Grasso.


New Port Richey Elks Donate to Lodge Softball Team

2284 Softball

Barbara Rodgers, Exalted Ruler, presented a check in the amount of $500 to the lodge’s 60-plus men’s softball team to purchase socks and shorts for their uniforms. Pictured are Vince Stroble, ER Barbara Rodgers, Rick Bertram and Jeff Holden.


New Port Richey Elks Donate to CARES

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New Port Richey Elks Lodge #2284 donated $1,000 to Community Aging & Retirement Services Inc. (CARES). CARES is a not-for-profit organization that provides services to older people and their families. They offer a broad spectrum of services and programs to help older adults live as they wish – independently in their homes.

Barbara Rodgers, Exalted Ruler, presents a check to Glenna Hileman, manager for the CARES center.


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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