The Florida State Elks Association, Inc. is a non-profit corporation founded in 1904. It is a voluntary association of Elks Lodges and all Florida Lodges are eligible for membership.

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Florida Elks News Online

A Message From FLOE President Connie Kalel Poage

Dear Florida Ladies of Elks and Elks,

What an Elks convention it was this past May. As much as there was to do, the ladies helping with the FLOE activities were so amazing and awesome. The weekend for FLOE was a huge success because of our committee chairladies, committee members and every volunteer. A million thanks go to you! Chairladies Felicia Vuletich, Judy Fournier and Judy Reyes, PSP, along with Jane Moon, PSP and a few other ladies worked endless hours in preparing for the activities and worked their hearts out at convention. The words thank you just don’t say it all for everything everyone did. To the gentlemen who helped beginning Wednesday, thank you. We were so lucky to have you.

Felicia Vuletich, the FLOE Chairlady for the FSEA silent auction, and I started our stay at the hotel Wednesday to be there to accept early Chinese and silent auction donations. Many thanks go to everyone who helped Thursday and Friday prior to the opening of the two auctions. Setup of the two auctions took several volunteers. Saturday at the Elks convention was not only for the FLOE business meeting and the operation of the two auctions. There was some fun, too. The afternoon events in the FLOE pavilion were well attended. I thank everyone who participated in the activities at our location. If you didn’t get to sample the strawberry shortcake in the evening, you missed a good dessert.

The FLOE organization, May’s committee chairladies and I thank the FSEA staff for all they did before and during the weekend of the Elks convention. They worked very hard and put in very long hours at the convention. They were wonderful to us. Teamwork does make a dream work. Many thanks go to Steve Harmon for working with the auction chairladies and me to the very end.

To all the ladies’ organizations and individuals who donated to the FLOE fundraising event, the Chinese auction, thank you so much. FLOE raised $1,900 for its charities. The proceeds will be given to the Elks Charities at a future date. If you aren’t aware, this Chinese auction was Judy Fournier’s 10th year as chairlady. Thank you, Judy, for your years of service to this worthwhile event.

The FLOE hospitality suite was open Thursday and Friday evenings. Many enjoyed our signature strawberry frozen drink. To the many people who visited us, thank you for coming. We were glad you came and spent time with us.

Saturday morning was the FLOE business meeting. FSEA dignitaries have come to the previous FLOE meetings this FLOE year, and this meeting was no exception. In attendance were Larry Littell, outgoing LOE State Chairman; Marty Wierzbicki, incoming LOE State Chairman; Steve Carruthers, incoming Vice Chairman; John Harris, outgoing FSEA President; Carl Gerace, incoming FSEA President; and Frank Malatesta, incoming Vice President at Large. It is obvious to the ladies they care about and support FLOE. The business meeting had a packed agenda. Bylaws Committee Chairlady, Becky Long, PSP, read the proposed recommended changes to the current bylaws. At the September conference, they will be read again and the voting will take place. Nominating Committee Chairlady, Jane Moon, PSP, read the committee’s recommendations for the 2017-2018 officers. The elected new officers are President, Mary McCoy; Vice President, Felicia Vuletich; Secretary, Adella Ashton; and Treasurer, Marlene Evans. Linda Rittenhouse and I will join the Advisory Council with four-year terms. Congratulations, ladies! The 2017 FLOE conference packet was distributed to everyone present and reviewed. The Sheraton Orlando North Hotel in Maitland, Fla., is accepting reservations through Aug. 21. The block of rooms is limited so reservations should be made as soon as you can.

Remember bringing glow sticks to conference last year? Before Saturday’s meeting, I spoke with FEYC Director, Nick Miller, to see if ladies could bring something for the campers to the upcoming conference. As new business in our meeting, I presented for discussion the idea he gave me: water balloons and water guns. The ladies in attendance were in favor of FLOE doing this for a project for the conference. After the meeting, I notified Nick Miller, gathered specifics about the items from him and followed up in writing with the ladies to help me get the word out about this project.

The conference packet is on the FSEA website. Please contact me at 813-754-2240 or by email at if you want a paper copy of it. Note the deadlines on the packet contents sheet. The conference committee chairladies are working very hard. Please come to the 54th FLOE conference.

Congratulations go to the new FSEA officers. I look forward to working with President Carl Gerace; VPAL Frank Malatesta; LOE State Chairman, Marty Wierzbicki; and LOE Vice Chairman, Steve Carruthers, the last few months of my term as FLOE President.

Our next meeting will be Saturday morning, Sept. 23, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. at the Orlando Sheraton North.  I am looking forward to this conference and seeing everyone. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a question about the conference or want more information about the water balloons and water guns project. Have a great summer and I will see you in September.


Connie Kalel Poage

President, Florida Ladies of Elks

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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