On May 3, John DeLorenzo, president of the Zephyrhills Lions Club and a member of Zephyrhills Elks Lodge, presented a $2,500 check to the lodge before the Lions’ bingo games began. Every Tuesday the Lions Club bingo players hold a 50/50 raffle and donate half of the proceeds to local charities. The bingo players raised this money for Zephyrhills Lodge’s Feed the Kids summer program. The Elks received a grant for three years to feed the kids every summer, but this year the grant is no longer available to the program, so this donation could not have come at a better time. Anyone with children can participate in the program. This year’s program began June 6 and will end Aug. 5. To-go meals are provided at the lodge Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11-1. Every other Wednesday, craft packages are distributed, which consist of projects for various holidays, like Father's Day and Fourth of July, as well as crafts for anti-bullying and drug awareness. The other Wednesdays will feature a new part of the program called Park & Play, held in the parking lot. There are games for the kids to play and books to read, and dictionaries and schools supplies in backpacks are given out before the school year begins.
Pictured with the check are Gwen Klamer, Elk volunteer; David Moyer, Leading Knight; Donna Moyer, Elks program chair; John DiLorenzo, Lions president; Jay Klamer, Exalted Ruler; Anne MacDonald, Elk volunteer; and Wayne Page, Elks trustee. Not pictured is Christine Malone, Lions Club treasurer.
On April 3, Donna Hoffman, Exalted of Orlando Elks Lodge #1079, presented the Mental Health Association of Central Florida with a donation of $2,500 from its Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant. The donation is to better serve the community to provide mental health services, especially to those affected by COVID and dealing with trauma. Pictured are Kim Holdridge, Mental Health Association Board chair; Mami Stahiman, Mental Health Association president/CEO; and Donna Hoffman, Exalted Ruler.
On Feb. 3, Zephyrhills Lodge hosted the monthly breakfast meeting for the Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce. Because their meetings are usually held at a local restaurant, most attendees were inquisitive about having breakfast at the lodge, but through the meeting, they were very impressed by the Zephyrhills Elks and how they help the community. Barbara Conklin, Leading Knight, donated the breakfast with over 50 people in attendance and arranged speakers from the lodge to present their charities. The speakers were Donna Moyer, trustee for the Feed the Kids program; Judy Osgood, Elks National Foundation Fundraising Chair; Beth Impson, Lodge Harry-Anna Trust Fund Chair; and Paul Nutting, Exalted Ruler. Each gave a speech about their charities and what the Elks do for them and the community. Zephyrhills Elks Lodge has been a chamber member for many years.
Pictured are breakfast attendees.
On Jan. 11, Zephyrhills Elks Lodge #2731 delivered fleece sweatshirts in various colors and sizes to four elementary schools in Zephyrhills — Chester, Woodland, Centennial and West. Chester and Woodland are Title I schools, which have underserved students. The sweatshirts were purchased using $2,012.87 of the lodge’s Elks National Foundation (ENF) Gratitude Grant.
Pictured at Centennial Elementary are Alice Tolson, ENF Fundraising Committee member; Noemi Torres, parent advocate; and Judy Osgood, Lodge ENF Fundraising Committee chair and lodge grants coordinator.
On Feb. 6, Kissimmee Elks Lodge #1873 donated its $2,000 Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud, Florida. The church sponsors "Bags of Love" two days a week, where those experiencing homelessness receive a bag of nonperishable items and a hot meal. Counseling and clothing are also available. On Sunday, the church rotates with four other churches to offer a hot meal through Elmer's Kitchen Ministry. The church also provided cold-weather housing and food during a recent string of cooler weather. Some of the monies are also being used to purchase a commercial refrigerator.