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Tallahassee Elks Participate in Veterans Stand Down

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The Veterans Stand Down was held again this year at the Leon County Fairgrounds in April with Tallahassee Elks Lodge #937 providing food for the event. With the assistance of Elks National Foundation grants, lunch was provided both days. Members Ron Brown, Dorothy Brown, MaryAnna Mohr, Sharon Coleman, Don Dobson, Karla Jones, Chuck Mohr and Wayne Harrell were on hand to serve food to the veterans in need.

 

Jacksonville Elks Use Anniversary Grant for Veterans in Hospice Care

Jacksonville Elks Lodge #221 in partnership with Community Hospice and Palliative Care donated $1,500 from a 150th Anniversary Grant to Community Hospice and Palliative Care for their veterans’ flags and pins program. A flag of the veteran’s branch of service is placed outside the patient’s room as a last chance to honor and thank a veteran for their service. The veteran is also pinned with a pin from his or her branch of service in a short presentation.

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Pictured are Dale Farrow, Manager of Community Programs; Toula Wootan, Director of Community Programs; Dave Hosch, Jacksonville Exalted Ruler; and Dick Maloney, PER at Jacksonville Lodge’s donation presentation to Community Hospice and Palliative Care.

 

Ocala Elks Placed Flags at Florida National Cemetery

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In May, Ocala Elks Lodge #286 participated in "Flags for Fallen Veterans" at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. Even though there was rain in the forecast, their volunteer numbers doubled to 20 from last year, including two children. Many new members got involved as well. On the following Saturday, 17 volunteers returned to pick up the flags which will be dried and stored until next year. 

 

Winter Park Elks Unveil Purple Heart Recipient Parking Space at Lodge

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Winter Park Elks Lodge #1830 installed a reserved parking space to honor members and visitors who are Purple Heart recipients. Elks National Veterans Service Committee (ENVSC) Representative, Ron Goluba; Sue Jovi; Lodge Veterans Affairs Chairman, Nadine Hardin; Trustee, Ron Cunningham; and Exalted Ruler Pat Kortum, all played a part in completing this project. The Wounded Warriors Purple Heart sign was donated by woundedwarriorsfamilysupport.org.

 

Army of Hope Fundraiser Hosted by Sanford Elks Lodge

Sanford Elks Lodge #1241 hosted the East Central District Army of Hope fundraiser April 21. There was live music and great barbecue prepared by Sanford’s members. Port Orange and Titusville lodges donated food. Members from every lodge in the district were in attendance to support this worthy cause. Soldiers from the Sanford Army Reserve Center displayed equipment and greeted guests. A therapist from Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services talked with guests about the program. A car show was held in the street with over 20 antique and exotic cars on display. Sanford Lodge 1241 was proud to host an event to help make a difference in the lives of military families. Through donations from local businesses and individuals, the East Central District raised $11,000 for the Army of Hope.

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Soldiers Rodriguez and Sandoval and their significant others posed for a picture with PSP Vic McClellan, Army of Hope Chairman, during Sanford Lodge’s Army of Hope fundraiser.

 

West Citrus Elks Honor POW/MIA Veterans

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During the annual Memorial Day dinner and dance, the West Citrus Elks Lodge Veterans Committee presented a missing-man table in memory of fallen POW/MIA heroes. Pictured during the ceremony are committee members Jack Stewart; Joanne Hepner, co-chairman; and Jack McKowen. The table will be permanently displayed in the lodge vestibule.   

 

Zephyrhills Lodge Uses Freedom Grant for Supplies at Tampa Domiciliary

On May 22, Zephyrhills Lodge used their Elks National Foundation Freedom Grant to purchase and deliver supplies for the Tampa Domiciliary including two laptop computers, Microsoft Office software for all the computers in the resident computer room, and polo shirts and shoes for the residents. The Tampa Domiciliary serves over 100 homeless veterans each year.

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Pictured are Ronald McDermott; Ken Fabiani, Exalted Ruler; Ginny Bennett; Mark A. Ruiz, PhD, ABPP, Program Manager; and Judy Osgood, ENF grants chairman for Zephyrhills Lodge’s delivery to the Tampa Domiciliary. Also attending the presentation but not pictured was Roy Leonard, Nurse Manager.

 

Fort Pierce Elks Use Freedom Grant to Help Homeless Veterans

The Treasure Coast Homeless Veterans Stand Down was held May 17 at Veterans Memorial Park in Fort Pierce, Fla. Fort Pierce Elks Lodge #1520 had a booth and used an Elks National Foundation Freedom Grant to purchase tents, supplies, personal-care items and food. Every homeless veteran received one of everything available in the 30 booths including free meals, legal services, health screenings, employment services, and help with accessing VA benefits and services. Transportation was provided and the place was packed. Everything was given away to the homeless veterans. It was a very rewarding event for the lodge and the volunteers.

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During a veterans Stand Down, Lenny Smallacombe, PDD and Trisha Swayngim, PER from Fort Pierce Lodge speak to a representative from social services and a writer from “Veterans Voices,” a magazine about local veterans events in St. Lucie County.

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With the funds from the Freedom Grant left over after the Stand Down event, Fort Pierce Elks donated tents, flashlights, bug spray and personal items for homeless veterans living in the woods.

 

St. Petersburg Lodge Celebrates National Moment of Remembrance

On May 28, St. Petersburg Lodge celebrated Memorial Day by taking part in the National Moment of Remembrance, an act signed in 2000 by President William Clinton which designates 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day each year as the National Moment of Remembrance in honor of the men and women of the United States who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace. After the one minute of silence, “God Bless America” was played by the Southern Nights Band and sang by all present.

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St. Petersburg Exalted Ruler, Cathy Shriver, asked everyone to observe a moment of silence on Memorial Day. Eric Matos held the American flag.

 

St. Petersburg Elks Continue to Support Veterans

On April 19, the veterans from C. W. Bill Young VA Domiciliary were St. Petersburg Lodge’s guests for dinner and karaoke. Eleven veterans and one staff member attended and five Elks were on hand to serve the veterans their dinner and soda and gave each veteran coupon books for their on-site store. The total spent on the veterans that evening was $209.

St. Petersburg Lodge continues its monthly bowling program with veterans. On May 1, eight veterans bowled two games and were provided lunch and a beverage. Three Elks assisted the veterans.

 

Veterans Paint Picture as Thank-you to St. Petersburg Elks

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From April 3 through June 19, St. Petersburg Lodge donated the use of its facility to the PRRC Arts Therapy class from C. W. Bill Young VAMC every Tuesday morning from 10-12:30. The class was attended by 11-12 veterans. The class is now on hiatus for the summer but as a parting gift, the veterans attending the art therapy classes created a memorable painting for the lodge with imprints of their hands and special messages as a thank-you gift for donating the use of their hall for their class.

 

Tampa Elks Donate to 6th Contracting Unit at MacDill AFB

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Captain Edwin N. Colon Jr. of the 6th Contracting Unit at MacDill AFB stopped in to Tampa Lodge to pick up another $100 donation for their booster club from Lodge Treasurer, Rita Smith.

 

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:

TinaH@elks.org

JessicaR@elks.org

 

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