Merritt Island Elks Serve Thanksgiving Dinner to Veterans and Families
Written by Robin Gammill
On Nov. 19, Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 provided Thanksgiving dinner to veterans from the Veterans Transition Center and their families.
West Palm Beach Supports Wreaths Across America
Written by West Palm Beach Elks
West Palm Beach Elks Lodge #1352 hosted a poker run and family picnic event for Wreaths Across America. Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, the organization’s mission to remember, honor and teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery as well as over 1,200 locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad. A local news station covered the event. Several thousand dollars was raised. Lodge ER Cheryl Edwards presented James “Rabbi” King, Wreaths Across America South Florida Cemetery Coordinator, with a $500 donation. The funds originated from a grant approved by State President Carl Gerace for ongoing community programs.
Jupiter Elks Celebrate Veterans Day
Written by Jupiter Elks
Early in November, Jupiter Lodge hosted the annual veteran luncheon. Several busloads of disabled veterans from the West Palm Beach Veterans Hospital attended along with veterans from the lodge and the surrounding community. A full course Thanksgiving dinner was served by local Boy Scout Troop 109 and Cub Scout Pack 159. The veterans were all smiles as the lodge provided each with a blanket, goodie bag and gloves for those who are wheelchair-bound.
Plant City Lodge Sends One of their Own to D.C.
Written by Plant City Elks
Plant City Elks Lodge #1727 put their values into action for Veterans Day. They sent one of their members, Vietnam veteran Bob Johnson, to Washington, D.C., for the Parade of Heroes. Johnson, overwhelmed at the honor it was to be chosen, had recently undergone open heart surgery but was determined to make the trip. He. The lodge paid all expenses for his journey.
Brandon Lodge's Connie Lindsay Named Lightning Community Hero
Written by Mary Lou Scribner
For four years, Brandon Elks Lodge has adopted Liberty Manor for Homeless Veterans. Brandon Lodge not only continues to support this cause financially but also hosts the veterans to monthly dinners at the lodge as well as an open invitation to all picnics and special functions as their honored guests.
Liberty Manor for Homeless Veterans was founded in 2006 by Connie Lindsay to assist honorably discharged veterans to be productive, independent, self-sufficient citizens. Lindsay is responsible for the implementation of the first residential program of its kind for homeless veterans in Tampa and has successfully transitioned over 1,000 veterans in the last 11 years from a homeless state. It is her belief that there should never be a homeless veteran on the street.
The Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation program chooses outstanding citizens to be recognized and honored for their act of volunteerism and support. On Dec. 7 during the Tampa Lightning game, the Tampa Bay Lightning honored Brandon Elk Lodge member Connie Lindsay and her husband, David, as the 15th Lightning Community Hero this season. The Lightning Community Heroes program bestowed a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation to Lindsay which she immediately donated to Liberty Manor for Homeless Veterans. She said this financial award will certainly go a long way in helping Liberty Manor continue to meet the needs of veterans.
Volunteerism and supporting veterans is instilled in her being as she comes from a family entrenched in Elkdom. Her father was a member of Plant City Lodge and she has been an Elk for over six years.
Pictured with Connie Lindsay are Lightning player Victor Herman and CEO Steve Griggs.
Brandon Elk is Honored at Mission BBQ on Veterans Day
Written by Mary Lou Scribner
PDD Clinton Crabtree, World War II veteran Marine and Brandon Elks Lodge #2383 Advisor, with his wife, Sheila, were invited by Mission BBQ restaurant to be their honored guest in recognition and gratitude for his service to our country and our community.
Mission BBQ has a chain of restaurants in Southwest Central Florida and they are all dedicated to our veterans and country. Each day at noon everything stops at these restaurants in honor of our country and our veterans. Everyone rises, the national anthem is played and the Pledge of Allegiance is said.
Mission BBQ community ambassador, Kristine Smith, presented a letter of gratitude from the Mission BBQ team: “Thank you so much for coming today. We sincerely appreciate your presence here at our restaurant and your military service to our country. Our nation enjoys its freedom and greatness because of the many contributions you made. Thank you, again!”
Clinton and Sheila both said they were treated royally and very much appreciated the event and were humbled to be remembered on Veterans Day.
Mission BBQ also offers their services at various fundraising events for veterans. Last year at their expense, they catered a Brandon Lodge golf fundraiser for Brandon’s Adopt-a-Vet Liberty Manor for Homeless Veterans last year.
West St. Lucie Elks Take Care of and Honor Veterans
Written by West St. Lucie Elks
There were 240 blessing bags provided through grant funding from the Elks National Foundation to West St. Lucie Elks Lodge #2823. The bags were given to homeless veterans living in the Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce areas. Bags were distributed each month from August 2016 through March 2017. Each bag contained bottled water, juice, soap, a razor, toothbrush and toothpaste, lotions, breakfast snacks and other nutritional snacks. November and December bags also contained blankets, knit caps, gloves, t-shirts, sweatpants and underwear. March bags included a knapsack/backpack that contained most of the above with the addition of a rain poncho.
On Saturday, Nov. 22, West St. Lucie Lodge held a Veterans Day dinner dance to thank them for their service. Member Denise Stover came up with an idea to take then-and-now pictures of members. It was one of the highlights of the evening.
St. Petersburg Lodge Celebrates Veterans Old and Young
Written by May Graci
On Saturday, Nov. 4, the St. Petersburg Ladies of Elks and the lodge held their annual Camp USA show and veterans appreciation dinner honoring the service men and women of all our military branches. The show was a full-scale patriotic event paying tribute to the flag with impersonations of Betsy Ross, Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln. The co-chairs for this event were Dolly Masi, PLP and Adella Ashton, LP along with emcee Bob “Rudy Masi” Hope. It was a unique trip back into the wars throughout the years with great music, skits, food and entertainment for an unforgettable evening. Enjoying the festivities of the evening were 14 veteran guests from C. W. Bill Young VAMC and their driver.
Ervin Stark from Largo Lodge #2159 was the oldest veteran present. He is 95 years young and had the honor of cutting the cake representing all branches of the military. The youngest veteran was Ret. Marine Corporate Daniel Clark, 49 years young, from St. Petersburg Lodge.
A combined total of $6,529.85 was raised via ticket sales and donations. The FSEA Historical Programs for the Parade of Heroes will receive $2,000 and the remainder of $4,529.85 is going to be given to C. W. Bill Young VAMC.
Pictured at St. Petersburg Lodge’s Camp USA show and veterans appreciation dinner are Dolly Masi, Rudy Masi, Ret. Marine Corporal Daniel Clark and veteran Ervin Stark.
Clewiston Elks Honor Member Veterans
Written by Les Baucum
Clewiston Elks Lodge #1853 held a veterans appreciation ceremony and dinner for their veteran members and families prior to their regular Wednesday meeting Nov. 15. During the ceremony, local Boy Scout Troop 619 presented the lodge with a folded flag and asked that they fly it over their lodge in honor of their veteran members both past and present. Exalted Ruler, Les Baucum, shared a short bit of history recounting how the Elks’ commitment to our nation’s veterans started in 1917 during World War I. The tribute song “Arlington” by Trace Adkins was played and the ceremony was closed by reminding everyone that the price of freedom is not free. The event was well attended with over 40 veterans, friends, family and Elks participating. Picture: 1853 Veterans Caption: Clewiston Elks veterans are pictured with Exalted Ruler, Les Baucum (orange shirt in center).