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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Robin Gammill

Nine Students Receive Scholarships from Merritt Island Lodge

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Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 awarded $2,000 scholarships to nine deserving high school students. Exalted Ruler, Bill Hazelett, presented checks to four of the recipients – Jordan Tomberlin, Shaelyn Ledoux, EJ Davey and Mason Yaskovic. The winners and their families were treated to breakfast at the lodge July 7. The other five students were presented their scholarships at a different date.


Titusville Lodge holds Flag Day Ceremony with City of Titusville

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Titusville Elks Lodge #2113 held its annual Flag Day ceremony once again in conjunction with the City of Titusville's community service award presentation. The Civil Air Patrol cadets presented the colors and Mayor Walt Johnson presented the proclamation from the city. The Flag Day ceremony was conducted by Exalted Ruler, Mike Anderson. The flag’s history was presented by PDD Bob Swink along with the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of Pack 488. After the ceremony, the City of Titusville presented the community service award to Pastor Barry Russell of Grove Church; there were 11 nominees for the award this year. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the city provided a beautiful cake with refreshments.

Titusville Lodge’s Bob Swink, PDD presents the flag’s history with Cub Scouts and Boys Scouts from Pack 488 in celebration of Flag Day.


First Responders' Appreciation Dinner held at Merritt Island Lodge

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On May 31, Merritt Island Lodge hosted a first responders’ appreciation dinner. Exalted Ruler, Bill Hazelett, welcomed the 19 Brevard County Sheriff’s deputies and four members of the Merritt Island Fire Department 42. In addition, the lodge delivered to-go dinners to local firehouses whose men and women on duty could not attend the event at the lodge. Drawings were also held to award gift cards to several in attendance. The lodge received a thank-you letter from Brevard County Sherriff, Wayne Ivey, for recognizing these first responders who put their lives on the line every day to protect citizens.

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Merritt Island Lodge Holds 11th Annual Kids' Fishing Tournament

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On May 3, Merritt Island Lodge held its 11th annual kids’ fishing tournament for their youth week activity. It was a great day for families to get together at no cost to them. There were 113 kids in attendance and they each received a free T-shirt and a canvas bag. A lunch of hot dogs, chips and water was served. Prizes were given for the longest fish in three age groups for boys and girls and over 50 door prizes were given away. Forty lodge members volunteered to help make the event a success. Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services therapist Beth Thiers set up a booth to share with those in attendance what she does for the therapy program.


Merritt Island Elks Support Challenger District Cub Scout Day Camp

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On May 2, Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 presented its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant of $2,500 along with a matching grant from the Florida State Elks Association of $2,500 to the Challenger District Scouts to help fund the Challenger District Cub Scout Day Camp in June. Lodge members will work with the scout leadership during the weeklong camp to demonstrate to the scouts what it means to be a scout. Pictured at the donation presentation are camp director Joy McGregor, lodge members Bill Hazelett and Davy Crockett, camp director Charlene Neuterman, and lodge member Kim Johnson.


Port Orange Elks Support Atlantic High School's Programs

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On March 12, Port Orange Elks Lodge #2723 presented $400 to Atlantic High School in Port Orange, Fla., to assist in the after-school/Saturday tutoring program and the senior remediation program which accounts for Atlantic's high graduation rate. These programs encourage students to put forth effort toward their studies for hours on end. Most of these students are receive free or reduced-cost lunches. These programs generally occur outside times in which the cafeteria can provide food, so in those times, snacks, drinks and incentives are provided to the students when possible. The lodge’s donation will be used to purchase these items. This not only fuels their brains but also provides a motivating factor for students to attend regularly.

Pictured at the presentation are Stephen Hinson, principal; Linda Lee, Exalted Ruler; and Mrs. Dawn Alves, assistant principal.


Merritt Island Elks Provide New Uniforms to Emma Jewel Students

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Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650 has supported Emma Jewel Charter School for the past five years. For parents, children and educators, these schools provide a valuable alternative to the conventional public school system and avoid much of the red tape that comes with it. They allow schools to innovate with new education approaches while largely remaining accountable to the same academic standards to which public schools are held. Merritt Island Lodge received an Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant and Anniversary Grant and then asked the counselors at Emma Jewel what their students needed most. Once again, 35 kids whose parents could not afford them needed new school uniforms. The grant checks were presented to the school administration who then ordered and received the uniforms. On Jan. 24, Wendy Watters, Kermit Forbes, Robin Gammill and Bill Hazelett Sr. went to the school to hand out new uniforms to the students. They were surprised beyond belief and started jumping and singing!

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Lodge #1557 Helps with Food Delivery for Families During Government Shutdown

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On Jan. 19, Gifts of Love, the local distribution center of Second Harvest for the Edgewater-New Smyrna Beach area, received two truckloads of food. Last year, Second Harvest provided nearly 58 million meals to families, children and seniors in central Florida. Their distribution and community partners make it possible for them to get food to people who need it the most. Edgewater-New Smyrna Beach Elks Lodge #1557 is one of these partners with Gifts of Love and many lodge members volunteer on Tuesdays and Thursdays to distribute food to those in need. On Jan. 19, lodge members helped unload and distribute this unscheduled food delivery to families of U.S. Coast Guard members located in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., who needed food assistance during the government shutdown.

Edgewater-New Smyrna Beach Elk volunteer Barbara Meeks helps open and sort pallets of food for distribution to families of U.S. Coast Guard members during the government shutdown.


Port Orange Elks Donate Supplies to Port Orange Elementary School

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Linda Lee, Exalted Ruler of Port Orange Elks Lodge #2723, and PER Larry Lewis deliver school supplies donated by lodge members to Port Orange Elementary School Jan. 14.


Merritt Island Lodge Supports Santa's Boot Strap Program

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Santa’s Boot Strap is a program that provides families with enough food to last them for a week or more. This is the 12th year that Merritt Island Lodge has participated in this event. The lodge purchases the food, packages it and delivers it to the families in need. This year, food was provided for 75 families totaling 302 people. Lodge Chairman, Marleen Kovalchik, organized this function with the help of numerous volunteers including the lodge Antlers youth group.


Merritt Island Elks Help with Christmas Party for Disabled Community Members

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On Dec. 9, Merritt Island Lodge helped sponsor the country Christmas party at Kiwanis Island Park on Merritt Island. For two decades, the lodge has supplied all the food, drinks and desserts for this party. As he has for many years, PDD John Lesko helped organize the lodge’s participation in this event. This party is for all people in the community who are disabled. The Elk Cowpokes hauled supplies to and from the party, set up, cooked, served and cleaned up. Santa made an appearance and gave the guests a Christmas party to remember.


Titusville Elks Support Growing in Grace Ministries

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Titusville Elks Lodge #2113 donated a portion of their Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to Growing in Grace Ministries. This organization offers tutoring and food help to kids and families with special needs. This organization also stocks a food pantry at a new school, Legacy Academy Charter School. The grant funds will be used to stock the tutoring office with therapy items and supplies and food pantries at the ministry office and at Legacy School.

Titusville Lodge Exalted Ruler, Wayne Becraft, presents a donation to Reverend Heather Heineman, founder of Growing in Grace Ministries.


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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2018 by the
Florida State Elks Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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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:


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