Together We Can Do
Great Things!


contact us FSEA


Florida Elks News Online

district wc
District Reporter:

Tarpon Springs Lodge Holds Safety Fair

A great time was had at the Tarpon Springs Elks Lodge Safety Fair. They had tables manned by the Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue, Tarpon Springs Police, Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-9, member Dr. DiDonato, and district member PER Tom Mortka as Elroy the Elk for drug awareness. There was also a table for school supplies. The lodge also had a duck pond, hula hoops, coloring books and a kids’ basketball toss. Healthy snacks were provided along with soft drinks, snow cones and hot dogs.


Tampa Elks Use Anniversary Grant for Students' Spring Break Meals

708 Spring break bags

Tampa Elks Lodge #708 used their Anniversary Grant for spring break food-and-fun bags for every child at a neighborhood school. The Tampa Ladies of Elks donated the shelf-stable milk. Transporting 23 large boxes to the school on distribution day presented challenges, but fortunately some family members came to their rescue!

708 Trailer


Dixie Hollins Ladies Basketball Players Help at St. Petersburg Elks Event

1224 Lady Rebels

On Saturday, March 10, Bonnie Barnes held her last event as St. Petersburg Exalted Ruler, the country and western dinner and dance. The Dixie Hollins High School ladies’ junior and varsity basketball team members were the volunteer servers for this event and were accompanied by their coaches, Kelly Jones and Diane Baer. After the dinner, attendees of the event raised $411 as a donation to the Dixie Hollins Lady Rebels basketball teams. Coach Baer said that the money raised will be used for much-needed new uniforms for next year’s season. In addition to earning money for their basketball teams, the young ladies were also earning their voluntary community service requirement for graduation.

Pictured are Coach Diane Baer and some of Dixie Hollins junior and varsity Lady Rebels basketball players.


Law & Order Appreciation Night Held at St. Petersburg Lodge

1224 1 1224 2

On Saturday, Feb. 24, St. Petersburg Lodge held its 38th annual Law & Order Night dinner and program honoring men and women of nine Pinellas County police and fire departments and the Pinellas/Pasco State Attorney’s office. The co-chairmen for this event were Past District Deputies Toni Goodrich and Rudy Masi Sr. They consider hosting this event the highlight of their service to their community and the lodge.

State Prosecutor Bernie McCabe shared with the audience that he has been attending this award ceremony with his wife since 1993 and is delighted to do it as “The Elks are the only ones to recognize my prosecutors for the fine service they provide our community.” Lealman Fire Control District Chief Jim Millican was so impressed with the Elks that he accepted an offer to join the Elks organization and completed the application form to join St. Petersburg Lodge before going home.

Each honoree was introduced by their department leader who shared why the recipient deserved and earned the award. The event was sold out with many honorees’ friends and family attending in addition to members of St. Petersburg Lodge showing their appreciation to the first responders. 

Pinellas Park High School students from the Criminal Justice Academy served the dinners during this special occasion. This academy is a four-year high school magnet program with an emphasis on law education. To show their appreciation, St. Petersburg Lodge presented the Criminal Justice Academy with a $1,000 donation. For entertainment, St. Petersburg’s Police Department K-9 Unit provided demonstrations of their officers and canine training exercises.

The following individuals were awarded Top in the Department in their chosen field by their peers and leaders for 2017.

Gulfport Police Dept.

Chief Rob Vincent presented Top Honor to Officer Jesse Kellington


Kenneth City Police Dept.

Chief Kevin Riley presented Top Honor to Officer Josua Beltran


Lealman Fire Control District

Division Chief Jim presented Top Honors to Firefighter Jonathon King and Firefighter/Paramedic Patrick McEntegart


Pinellas County Sheriff Office

Major David Danzig presented Top Honor to Sgt. Jon Tobeck


Pinellas Park Fire Dept.

Chief Brett Schlatterer presented Top Honors to Firefighter Daniel Schultz and Paramedic Andrew Hughes


Pinellas/Pasco County State Attorney’s Office

State Prosecutor Bernie McCabe presented Top Honor to Prosecutor Doneene Bryan Sarabia.


St. Petersburg Beach Fire Rescue

Chief and St. Petersburg Elk Jim Kilpatrick presented Top Honor to Firefighter Terry Perna


St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue

Division Chief Michael Domante presented Top Honors to Firefighter Tommy Dorsey and Fire Officer Lt. Mike Sullivan


St. Petersburg Police Dept.

Chief Anthony Holloway presented Top Honors to District 3 Community Service Unit


Pictured are St. Petersburg Lodge Exalted Ruler, Bonnie Barnes; St. Petersburg Beach Fire Chief, Jim Kilpatrick; and 2017 Firefighter of the Year, Terry Perna.

Pictured are Gulfport Sergeant, Robert Burkhart; 2017 Gulfport Police Officer of the Year, Jessie Kellington; Gulfport Police Chief, Robert Vincent; and ER Bonnie Barnes.


Track and Field Athletes Serve Dinners at St. Petersburg Lodge

1224 Track

On Feb. 3, the St. Petersburg Ladies of Elks Auxiliary held their ’70s dinner and dance, and on Feb. 17 the LOEA held their annual variety show. Dixie Hollins High School’s ladies track and field team members were the volunteer servers for both events. The young ladies were accompanied by their coach, Joanne Derenzo. After the dinners, attendees raised a total of $645 for the ladies track team. Coach Derenzo said the money will be used for fees to events and to purchase much-needed sports equipment. Dixie Hollins High School doesn’t host any meets on their own turf, so transportation to the meets is arranged by the coaches, parents and/or the teammates. Along with earning money for their track team, these ladies are also earning their voluntary community service requirement for graduation.


Largo Elks Collect Food Donations for Pinellas Safe Harbor

2159 Pinellas Safe Harbor

Largo Lodge has been working with Pinellas Safe Harbor, an emergency homeless shelter and a jail-diversion program that provides a safe haven for homeless members of the community and those who need assistance regaining their independence. The shelter serves 400+ daily. This year the lodge received the ENF Anniversary Grant and used half of it to purchase nonperishable foods which are very much in demand at the shelter.


St. Petersburg Elks Help Civitan Club Reach Special Goal

1224 Civitan

On Saturday, Jan. 27, Dixie Hollins High School’s Civitan Club volunteered to serve the meal to the more than 300 attendees at St. Petersburg Lodge’s Soul Train Motown event. After the event, the lodge raised $514 for this great group of 14 kids who were donating their time and talent to raise funds for a very special cause. Their sponsor, Brenda Hankin, said that the Civitan Club will be donating the money to the Nina Harris Exceptional Student Education School located in Pinellas Park for the purchase of a Firefly Upsee. The cost of this harness is $499. The Upsee from Firefly is a harness that attaches to an adult and allows a child with motor impairment to stand upright and walk with the help of an adult. The harness is made up of three parts: an adult hip-belt, a child harness and shared sandals. The child fits into the harness, straps into the adult’s hip-belt and is helped into the shared sandals that connect to an adult’s feet.

Pictured are Civitan sponsor, Brenda Hankin; lodge members Geneva Hall and Ed White; and some of the Civitan members.


News from Dunedin/Clearwater Elks

Dunedin/Clearwater Elks Lodge #1525 hosted the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce cocktail party and around 70 people were in attendance. The lodge had an opportunity to speak before all the attendees and explain to them what the Elks are all about. The lodge received five paid applications for membership.

Dunedin/Clearwater lodge delivered much-needed school supplies to San Jose Elementary School, whose mission is to create a safe learning environment which promotes academic excellence for college, career and life readiness through the partnership of students, families, staff and community.

The lodge also donated $500 to the Dunedin Scottish band that is planning a trip to visit their sister city in Scotland. Members of the band are all volunteers and donate their time and efforts to maintain their status as a first-class band that acts as ambassadors for the city of Dunedin and the state of Florida.


FSEA Dignitaries Help Tampa Elks Feed the Homeless

708 Soup Kitchen

On Sunday, Sept. 17, State President, Carl Gerace; Vice President at Large, Frank Malatesta; Chaplain, Phil Gersbach; West Central District Vice President, Theresa Matthews; and State Secretary/COO, Carl Seibert, helped Tampa Elks feed the homeless at Open Arms. It was the Tampa Elks’ week to serve as it is every third Sunday. PER Courtney Taylor, her dad and right-hand man, Whiz, were in the kitchen bright and early, and shortly thereafter all other regular volunteers began arriving. The major difference this month is that volunteers received a special apron with the State President’s motto on it. There were 120 homeless persons present, less numbers than in previous weeks due to some having to find special shelter during the hurricane, but as usual, these men and women were quite an interesting and mostly grateful lot. One of the church members took the FSEA dignitaries on a special tour of the grounds, showing them the clothing closet and the bicycle repair shop among other hotspots. The lodge receives matching funds for the project from the FSEA, and the lodge was glad to have the opportunity to see how those funds are helping their community. Open Arms accepts donations of nonperishable food, clothing (especially men’s), travel-size toiletries (like from hotels), any size towels or wash cloths, and “paper or plastic” plastic bags. They also appreciate the plastic food tubs that are used for the storage of ice cream, sour cream or deli food items that you would otherwise throw away.


St. Petersburg Elks Gather Donations for Hurricane Harvey Victims

1224 Harvey 2

On Sunday, Sept. 3, volunteers and members from St. Petersburg Lodge stopped by the lodge to start their Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Members began to arrive at 1 p.m. to start dropping off supplies for the victims of this tremendous disaster. Member donations included personal toiletries for men and ladies such as new toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, and deodorant; household cleaning products; bottled water; diapers; baby wipes; dog food; and many other items as well as gift cards for the different stores for immediate necessities. No clothing articles were accepted at the time.

The lodge also collected $350 in donations which is being sent to the Harry-Anna Investment Hurricane Relief Fund.

St. Petersburg Elk members of the Wyoming Antelope Club, Marty Sharp, Paul Williams and Mike Smith, donated six large tarps (38' x 59'). That was 480 pounds of tarps.

This effort was organized by Georgette Keane and Dana Banning who had friends traveling to Houston and took a truck and trailer full of the items collected.


St. Petersburg Elks Donate to St. Anthony's Hospital Foundation

St. Anthonys Hospital Foundation

At the end of August, St. Petersburg Lodge donated $1,000 to help St. Anthony’s Health Care Foundation, better known as St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation, which was incorporated in 1981 with the purpose of advancing the mission first established by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany – to provide excellence in medical care with an emphasis on compassion. The foundation assists individuals with memory disorders, diabetes and breast health issues. It also sponsors healing touch.


Largo Elks Make Donation to Foster Care Services

2159 Foster Care

Largo's ER Gerard Milot and PER Aurora Griesler Jones presented a donation of $1,000 to Coleen Comey, Director of Pinellas County Foster Care & Adoptive Children. A special friend also attended.


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:


My Element

Together we can do great things!

Already a Member?  Welcome Back!