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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Thomas Walden, PDD

News from Tallahassee Lodge

In April, Tallahassee Elks Lodge #937 hosted the WAVE (Widening Adult Vital Experience Inc.) spring event. WAVE is an organization comprised of adults who are emotionally and physically challenged, many of whom graduated from Gretchen Everhart School, who retain their social interaction with many friends from their youth. The lodge donates space for WAVE events without charge. This event included music provided by DJ "Captain Bob" Thorburn, Exalted Ruler, for the participants' dancing pleasure.

In concert with the local acting group Theatre Tallahassee, Tallahassee Lodge donated space and hosted an evening of theatre and dinner. The performance was comprised of four brief comedy skits and as the actors left the stage, they delivered plates of food to the folks in the audience. Food was served in four courses – one course between each act. Well attended, the evening allowed Theatre Tallahassee a free venue to share their acting skills and attract new audiences to further productions away from the local theatre where performances are normally staged.


Perry's Lady Elks Help Boy's Family with Medical Expenses

The Lady Elks of Perry Lodge held a fundraising brunch June 30 to benefit Marvin Overstreet, a four-year-old boy battling leukemia. Marvin is receiving treatment in Gainesville, Fla., and funds raised will help his family offset travel costs as well as medical expenses.


Students Receive Scholarships from Perry Lodge

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Perry Lodge awarded four $500 scholarships to local students June 12 at the lodge and included dinner for the scholars and their families. Their goals included forensic scientist, CPA, industrial engineer, pilot and business management. Pictured are Kevin Eckel; Susan Lynn, incoming District Deputy; Clayton Huff, Exalted Ruler; Carley Ondash and Alyssa Broome. Not pictured is Eli Dorman.


Perry Lodge Conducts Flag Day Ceremony at County Court House

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Perry Lodge conducted its Flag Day ceremony on the steps of the Taylor County Court House. Event coordinator, Wendy Cruce, printed flyers and distributed to all downtown merchants so they would have the opportunity to attend. Taylor County Sheriff, Wayne Padgett, assisted with arrangements for the setup at the court house. Scout Troop 600 which is sponsored by Perry Lodge was on hand for the presentation of the flags. Member Kevin Cruce led the attendees in “God Bless America” and the national anthem. Exalted Ruler, Clayton Huff; Leading Knight, Kevin Cruce; Esquire, Eric Hodge; and member Mark Wiggins performed.

Participating in a Flag Day event at the Taylor County Court House are Scout Troop 600 and Perry Lodge members Kevin Cruce, Leading Knight; Mark Wiggins; Clayton Huff, Exalted Ruler; and Eric Hodge, Esquire.


Perry Elks Participate in Children's Safety and Drug Awareness Expo

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The annual Summer Safety and Drug Awareness Expo was conducted May 18 and was attended by Perry Lodge members and local law enforcement. Drug awareness information was shared with the kids, bicycles were inspected for safety, bicycle helmets were given away and games were held. Game winners received tickets redeemable for prizes and those tickets were put in a bowl for a drawing. There were 25 kids who received new bicycles. Businesses sponsoring the events included Duke Energy, Yarborough Tire, North Florida Printing, Studstills, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Perry Fire Department, Perry Police Department, Division of Forestry, EMS, Taylor County Health Department, Little Pine Pediatrics, and Pepsi.


Perry Elks Ladies Host Easter Egg Hunt

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Perry Elks Lodge's second annual Easter egg hunt was held April 20 and was hosted by the Perry Elks Ladies organization. The Easter Bunny saw almost 125 kids! The ladies gave out prizes including kites, crafts, pencils with the lodge's name on them, candy bags, paddle ball games and more. Several local businesses including Ace Hardware and Studstills donated prizes. More than 20 volunteers helped run the event.


Lake City Lodge News

Lake City Elks Lodge's CPA and member, Joy Lutz, volunteered May 18 for as it was a day of service for Florida CPAs. The lodge had a list of things to accomplish that day with support of other members. Lutz and her staff donated supplies and labor to update one of the lodge bathrooms.

Lake City Lodge awarded several scholarships to students from Columbia High School. Hanna Wheeler, Cameron Nichols, Kellie Smith and Callahan Register were each awarded $600. Destiny Wilson, Hailey Jones, Ashton Lizotte and Eve Caputo were each awarded $300. From Ft. White High School, Noah Wolf and Trey Houk were each awarded $300.


News from Tallahassee Lodge

Tallahassee Elks Lodge #937 hosted the North regional Hoop Shoot Jan. 19 with nearly 30 youngsters competing. It took 20 volunteers to staff the courts and registration tables, to process the results and to give awards. Winners in each age category moved on to the state finals.

In February, Tallahassee Lodge made an in-kind donation of its kitchen and dining room to the Leon-Wakulla Retired Teachers Association to allow them to host a fundraising spaghetti dinner and silent auction. The LWRTA conducts several dinners a year to raise money for scholarships to award to local students studying to be teachers. Several thousand dollars were raised.

In March, Tallahassee Lodge was the sole food purveyor at the Civil War battle re-enactment at Natural Bridge State Park, located just south of Tallahassee, Fla. A variety of sandwiches were offered as well as large homemade cookies. A portion of the proceeds was shared with the Natural Bridge Historical Society to help that group finance improvements to the state park.


Live Oak Lodge Raises Funds for Families of Fallen Deputies

Live Oak Elks Lodge #1165 held a dinner to raise funds to help the families of two Gilchrist County Sheriff’s deputies, Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, killed in the line of duty April 19, 2018. Seventeen Elks and 16 helpers worked a total of 130 hours to raise $3,831.


News from North District Lodges

Lake City

In December, Lake City Elks Lodge #893 once again provided food baskets for Christmas to the community’s families in need. Baskets were assembled Dec. 22, just in time for delivery for the holiday.

Live Oak Lodge #1165

Life South was at Live Oak Elks Lodge #1165 Nov. 12 and collected 10 pints of blood from donors.

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Live Oak Lodge prepared 125 food baskets for Christmas for approximately 625 members of the community in need. Each basket contained a frozen turkey with all the trimmings.


Perry Elks Lodge #1851 donated a $1,000 scholarship to Big Bend Technical College (BBTC). The money was used to help 22 students achieve their GEDs. Many recipients of a GED continue with training at BBTC or pursue a college degree elsewhere.

Helping the community during the November election process, Perry Lodge provided lunch for the Supervisor of Elections office, canvassing board members and the recount team.

Perry Lodge assembled Thanksgiving food baskets for the community, coordinating that effort with Taylor County United’s Michele McLeod and her volunteers.

After Hurricane Michael, Perry Lodge hosted the Brotherhood Riders who came through town with two trucks and trailers loaded with relief donations. Member Jim Bassett loaned a refrigerated truck for the trip to the panhandle to haul bags of ice. Other items included were washers, dryers, laundry products and personal products. Live Oak and Tallahassee lodges brought their donations to Perry Lodge. Perry Lodge fed the riders and put them up for the night.

Perry Lodge hosted their 15th annual breakfast with Santa co-chaired by members Randy and Deidra Newman. Contributions from Ware Oil Supply, Consolidated Communications, Bassett’s Dairy, Winn-Dixie, Save-A-Lot, the lodge and sponsoring members helped the lodge provide breakfast for 500+ adults and children and gifts to over 250 children. This year the toy included a special surprise for the children; after sharing their wish list with Santa, they entered Santa’s workshop where they helped build their toy. The gift this year was a beautiful Build-a-Santa. It takes two evenings of nonstop decorating to turn half the banquet room into Candy Cane Lane and the North Pole.

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Children attend the 15th annual breakfast with Santa at Perry Lodge.

Tallahassee Lodge #937

Tallahassee Elks Lodge #937 sponsored a trip for Gretchen Everhart School students and their families Sept. 27-30 to the Florida Elks Youth Camp. Buses were procured with the help of Elks National Foundation grants and other donations. The camp generously donated facilities, staff, and food, and several lodge members attended as chaperones. This annual event is often the only trip that the families can make due to the physical and emotional challenges faced by the children.

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A children's Christmas party was held Dec. 23 at Tallahassee Lodge. Children played games, decorated cookies, had their face painted, and of course got a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus who brought gifts for all the kids.


Tallahassee Elks Collect School Supplies for Two Schools

Tallahassee Elks Lodge #937 organized a back-to-school supplies drive for grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Two schools were chosen as recipients – Astoria Park and Ft. Braden – both in the Leon County school district. More supplies than could fit in one car were collected.


News from Perry Elks Lodge

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Perry Elks Lodge #1851 sent eight kids to the Florida Elks Youth Camp this summer. Two lodge members assisted with transportation to get the kids to Umatilla and back. Volunteer Todd Ratliff is pictured with Perry’s campers.

Perry Lodge also awarded cash scholarships to four local students at a presentation ceremony that included a meal for the students and their parents. Several officers and members attended and wished the students well.

On Aug. 3, Perry Lodge held its annual charity auction, a fundraising event for building its charity fund. Members and their guests took part in a social hour, dinner and the auction. 


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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