Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
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Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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               1079 fam 1 1079 fam 2

On Dec. 20, Orlando Lodge provided a young family in need with a holiday gift. Salome Piedrahita received five Publix Supermarket gift cards totaling $125. In addition, she received $100 cash to buy presents for her 12-year-old twin siblings, Nicholas and Maria. Salome is a 24-year-old full-time college student at the University of Central Florida. She works full-time and is raising her siblings after both parents died of cancer. Although family members wanted the smaller children to move to New York, she promised their mother that she would not separate the family. Salome shows them value, takes them to church, encourages them to study hard and even finds time to volunteer at the lodge. 

Pictured are Mike McClay, Exalted Ruler; Salome Piedrahita; and Diane Politi, Secretary. Also pictured are Nicholas Delarosa, Salome Piedrahita and Maria Delarosa.


2731 year

On May 19, Zephyrhills Lodge presented the Zephyrhills High School yearbook staff with a $500 check in The Bull Pen media room. The donation will pay for eight students to attend a three-day seminar in Orlando, Florida, where they will learn all the ins and outs of creating a yearbook, including publishing and marketing their product. The students participating are Ava Stephens, Dylan Fleshood, Benjamin Will, Ashley Ford, JT Dobbins, Ariana Cotto, Thanh Tran and Kaiden Lee.

Pictured are Thomas Fernandez, teacher; Ann McDonald, Chaplain; Ava Stephens and Dylan Fleshood, students; and Marie Vesta, Exalted Ruler.


1079 grassi

Field Service Officer David Grassi had been with the Orange County Sheriff's Office nearly 19 years, serving residents and visitors. He started in 2003 as a 911 operator. In 2008, he became a field service officer, civilian employees who direct traffic and look for parking violations as well as respond to non-emergency, non-in-progress calls such as burglary, theft and stolen vehicle calls. On Dec. 11, 2021, while working off-duty monitoring a lane closure on I-4 eastbound near the Kaley Street exit early in the morning, FSO Grassi’s marked patrol vehicle was struck by another driver, and he was transported to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. FSO Grassi died in the line of duty. His widow, Nancy, is also a member of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office family; she has been an emergency communications specialist in the Communications Center since 2007. Orlando Elks Lodge #1079 presented Mrs. Grassi with a donation of $1,000 to help her financially.

Pictured May 12 are OCSO Master Deputy Carmen Rivera, lodge trustee, and Nancy Grassi.


2731 y

On April 7, Zephyrhills Elks Lodge #2731 donated $1,500 to the Zephyrhills YMCA. All donations to the YMCA are used for scholarships for children in need for summer camp and swimming lessons and safety. The YMCA serves the community and brings people together with youth programs and community health programs.

Pictured are Alex Delgado, Zephyrhills YMCA operations manager, and Marie Vesta, Exalted Ruler.


1873 cancer

On Feb. 15, Kissimmee Elks Lodge #1873 used its $2,500 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to support a cancer resource room at HCA Florida Osceola Hospital in Kissimmee. The service is run strictly on donations and provides wigs, bras and other supplies to cancer patients.

Jeannie Platt, Lodge Secretary (center), presents the check to volunteer staff members.