On Aug. 20, Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 gave its $3,500 Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to St. Vincent de Paul Society of Merritt Island. It will be used for rent and utilities for neighbors in need. This is the second consecutive year that this grant was distributed to the society. PER Kim Johnson was instrumental in applying for the grant and securing the funds. Pictured are Phil Bennardo and Tom Bowler from St. Vincent de Paul Society; Ralph Gordon, Exalted Ruler; Kim Johnson, PER; and Sylvia Barton from St. Vincent de Paul Society.
On May 29, Trustee Kim Johnson of Merritt Island Lodge presented a $2,500 donation to Charlene Neuterman of the scouts’ Challenger District, which includes several local troops. She and her husband, Don, lead and organize the weeklong annual scouting day camp and twilight camp. The donation will be used for July’s program activities. The Neutermans have applied for Elks membership at the lodge as well.
With the help of donations from the bingo players, Titusville Elks Lodge #2113 awarded two $1,000 scholarships during the installation of officers April 10. Lana Perkins of Titusville High School will attend the University of Central Florida this fall, pursuing a degree in computer engineering. Samantha Schaefer of Space Coast Jr./Sr. High School will also attend the University of Central Florida this fall, with the goal of becoming a registered nurse.
Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 provided dinner, cake and prizes to first responders April 30.
On May 8, Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 held its first Kids Fun Day at the Veteran’s Center in Merritt Island, Florida, organized by member Kick Skibba. The event included a DJ, magician, bounce houses, face painting, and hamburgers and hot dogs. The Brevard County Sheriff’s bomb squad gave a demonstration and Sheriff Wayne Ivey and Major Junny made an appearance.
Palm Coast Elks Lodge #2709 has sponsored Alexandra Perez in the Elks Hoop Shoot since she was 9 years old. At 13 this year, she won first place in the girls 12-13 division, successfully completing 20 of 25 free throws. Pictured at the Hoop Shoot May 1 in the front row is Perez flanked by two family members. Also with them are Phil Watercutter, East Central District Hoop Shoot Chair; Bob Thoubboron, Loyal Knight; Jerry O'Gara, Secretary, and his wife, Mary; Bradford Lake, Lecturing Knight; and John Clouser, Exalted Ruler, and his wife, Karen.
On Sunday, March 28th, Ormond Beach Elks Lodge No. 2193, together with FSEA State President, Rudy Masi and Dolly, presented a $2000 Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to Gloria Max, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Volusia/Flagler Counties to assist with COVID-19 relief provided through its Jerry Doliner Food Bank. Pictured from left to right: FSEA First Lady, Dolly Masi, PER; Randy McDonald; Maria DeArmon, PER, Exalted Ruler, Ormond Beach Elks Lodge; Erika Barger, East Central District Vice President; Rudy Masi, Sr., FSEA State President; Gloria Max; Ray Max; John Harris, Past State President.
Titusville Elks Lodge #2113 used its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to donate $2,500 to the Children’s Hunger Project. Cheryl Cominsky, Executive Director of the Children’s Project, accepts the check March 31 from Exalted Ruler Mike Anderson, PER. The project provides weekend meals during the school year and fights childhood hunger. This donation will make 625 meals and will feed 17 kids for a year.
On Feb. 20, Port Orange Elks Lodge #2723 held its annual Hoop Shoot at the Port Orange Rec Center. First place winners will advance to the district competition, which will be held at DeLand Middle School March 13. Pictured are Frank Kuczkowski, PER; Evan Achterberg, first place for boys 12-13; Lorenzo Maldonard, second place for boys 12-13; Lou Greci, PER, Youth Activities Chair; Bane Miller, second place for boys 8-9; Coach McLean; Wyatt Cook, first place for boys 8-9; Owen Cook, second place for boys 10-11; Coach Colvil; and David Vassil Jr., first place for boys 10-11.
DeLand Elks along with other community partners provided kids in DeLand, Florida, a socially distant and fun Christmas affair. The Elks prepared and distributed more than 250 goody bags that included homemade cookie decorating kits, ornament kits, coloring pages and crayons. Santa and Mrs. Claus along with their Elk elves greeted kids with their masks on as they came through the drive-thru for some Christmas cheer! Member Davina Watercutter chaired this event.
Principal Tagye of Gardendale School on Merritt Island in Florida asked Merritt Island Lodge if they could donate some T-shirts to the student body that would be used for uniforms. This school is the last chance for students who have gotten into trouble in traditional public schools in the county, and in many cases, it is a choice of expulsion or attending this facility, which is a Brevard Public School. The student body consists of approximately 125 students. However, because of the pandemic, the in-house attendance is about 50. Using $500 from the state association’s match of the $3,500 Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant, Donn Sophia and his daughter, Sophia Sardella, delivered 200 T-shirts to the school Nov. 4. With budgets tight all over, Tagye was very appreciative to get the shirts for her students. She explained that the goal of this school is to have the students return to their previous school better prepared socially, emotionally and academically. They also teach some values so the students can be successful in life.
On Dec. 1, Port Orange Lodge assembled and installed moveable racks and shelving at First Step Homeless Shelter in Daytona, Florida. The hardware which amounted to $3,500 was purchased using the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant. Pictured are George Brennan; Dan Mowbry, PER; Andy Berard; Don Clark, PER; William Post; and Larnard Felver, maintenance supervisor. Not pictured is Jerry Peterson, PER.