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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2023 by the
Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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On Dec. 3, Perry Elks Riders held their first toy run for Guardian Ad Litem. Elks Rider officers Chris Lynn, Glenn Frith and Ricky Norman coordinated the event and recruited participants. The event raised $4,275. Elks Rider Susan Lynn presented a check to representative Jeanne Hardin.

On Dec. 10, Perry Lodge held its Breakfast with Santa, serving 572 children and parents. Sponsors included Michael Lynn Construction, Madison Community Bank, Big Top Manufacturing, H.B. Tuten Logging, Advanced Refrigeration, American Aluminum, Impact Collision, BCFCU, Capital City Bank, His Hers & Ours Salon, Mauldin Collision, TG Lee Diary, Andy Jackson, and Perry First Assembly of God.

Perry Lodge hosted a Special Olympics group Dec. 17 for a meal, visit with Santa and a takehome gift of oranges, donated by member Andy Jackson. There was a sundae bar with toppings for the children to choose.



As they have done for more than 90 years, Lake City Elks Lodge #893 assisted the community with Christmas events. On Dec. 23, more than 50 volunteers delivered 70 turkeys and food baskets to community members. The lodge used $2,000 from its Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to purchase the nonperishable items. Pictured are members Kris Robertson; Paul Lippi Sr., Paul Lippi Jr., Kim Evans and Julie Schwarz. The 42 extra turkeys were donated to Lad’s Soup Kitchen in Lake City. On Dec. 24, the lodge hosted its annual Christmas extravaganza for 216 children, who were invited to choose some toys to take home. Santa arrived on the city’s antique firetruck.




On June 14, Tallahassee Elks Lodge held its Flag Day ceremony, which was open to the public. Bryce Thornton, on the left, is pictured with Jeff Dorband, Exalted Ruler. Thornton was the guest speaker and spoke about the importance and symbolism of the flag to him as a World War II veteran. He added that it was 79 years ago June 14 that he joined the Army. He is now 97 years old, is a 44-year lodge member and has been a life member since October 2009.


1851 Gratitude Grant

In January, Perry Lodge donated its $2500 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to the First United Methodist Church Food Pantry.

Pictured are James Taylor, church representative, and Clayton Huff, Exalted Ruler.

1851 Beacon Grant 002 

Also in January, Perry Lodge shared its $3,500 Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant with the First United Methodist Church Food Pantry.

Pictured are Clayton Huff, Exalted Ruler; Kristy and Dan Anderson of First United Methodist Church; Earline Neeley, Lodge Secretary; and Kevin Cruce, lodge trustee.


1851 soccer

Perry Elks Lodge #1851 sponsored two participants in the State and Southeast Regional Soccer Shoots held at the Florida Elks Youth Camp Jan. 8 and Jan. 22-23. Ada Weatherly won first place in the state contest for girls under 10 and Harper Taylor won first place in the state and regional contests for boys under 8. Harper advanced to the national contest.

Pictured are Harper Taylor and Ada Weatherly at the camp with their trophies.



The lodges of the North District — Live Oak #1165, Tallahassee #937, Perry #1851 and Lake City #893 — sponsored a district cornhole tournament during the State President visit with more than 100 members in attendance Jan. 15 at Lake City Lodge. Cornhole champions, John Dill, PDD of Live Oak Lodge and Andy Buergo of Lake City Lodge donated their winnings to the Harry-Anna Fund along with the other funds raised from the tournament, totaling over $850.

Pictured are State President Susan Simonelli; John Dill, PDD; Andy Buergo of Lake City Lodge; and Dayna Miller, State Harry-Anna Trust Fund Chair.


   893 altrusa  893 CCSS

Lake City Elks Lodge #893 donated $2,750 each from its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to two organizations that provide food relief assistance for seniors and children. Columbia County Senior Services (CCSS) serves the aging population of 60+ in Columbia County with home and community-based services. Their mission is to assist these adults in maintaining their physical, mental, emotional and nutritional health needs. Backpacks For Kids is an ongoing partnership with the local chapter of Altrusa International and local elementary schools. The program provides backpacks with food for local children for the weekend. Guidance counselors in elementary schools identify students who are in need or living below poverty level. The backpacks provide the children with nonperishable, easy-to-open foods for their weekend, as most would go without food while at home due to increased financial hardships for families. Both organizations have experienced an increase in requests from those in need. Several lodge members volunteer weekly to pack and deliver the backpack food to schools.

Pictured March 17 at the check presentation to Altrusa International of Lake City, Florida, are Barbara Doonan, Altrusan; Brooke Meng, lodge member; Renee Williams, Lodge Secretary; Holly Fraizer, Altrusan; and Roberta Getzen, Altrusa President.

Pictured March 18 presenting a check to David Huckabee, Director of Columbia County Senior Services, are Renee Williams, Lodge Secretary; Stanley Cox, PDD, Lodge Treasurer; Judy Harden, Lodge Chaplain; Stephanie Bennett, Elk-Mates Chaplain; Chris Williams, lodge trustee; and Bruce Desoe, lodge member.


                     893c Lake City Santa2  893c Lake City Santa4 png

On Dec. 18, Lake City Lodge and Halpatter Brewing Company co-hosted the fourth annual Santa Jam. This event raises funds and collects toys for the lodge’s annual Santa’s toy party for children. The event raises awareness of the party and has many community and lodge volunteers including local bands that perform. This year’s participating bands were Black River Harvesters, Wally Germany and Friends, Branford HWY and Clean Slate Band. The event raised nearly $1,100 for the Christmas party.

Lake City Lodge has held Santa’s toy party for children for 90 years. On Dec. 24, Santa met with more than 250 children and each child received at least one toy and a bicycle thanks to the generous support of the members and community, who raised over $6,000.

Pictured is a Lake City Fire Department firefighter driving Santa Claus (Joshua Fuller, Lecturing Knight) and his helpers (PDD Christopher Lydick, Danielle Evans and Michelle Fuller) to the lodge in an antique firetruck.

Also pictured are Delia Howe and Shelby Romine looking at a toy baby stroller in Santa’s toy shoppe during the party.


893 hoop

Lake City Lodge held its annual Hoop Shoot Dec. 14 at Columbia High School. Fifty local youth aged 8 to 13 participated in this free throw competition. All participants received medals and trophies were given to the winners. The winners from each age group advanced to the regional competition. Approximately 1,500 local youth participated at the school level. Thirteen lodge members volunteered.

Pictured are Trey Hosford, member and Columbia High School principal; Harper Hosford; Maliek Griffin; Ryleigh Price; Parker Lang; Harliegh Price; Brandon Lovett; and Jay Swisher, PER.


893 founders

On Nov. 20, Lake City Elks Lodge #893 promoted its drug awareness program at Columbia County’s 200th anniversary Founders Day event. There were more than 1,000 children and families engaged in games and activities throughout the day, and Elroy the Elk was in attendance to greet the children.

Pictured are members John Smith, Elroy the Elk (Bill Roberts) and Dr. Christopher Esing, Founders Day chair.


1851 tscc

In early December, Perry Lodge donated $3,000 to the Taylor Senior Citizens Center (TSCC) to help in the replacement cost of their walk-in freezer.

Pictured are Earline Neely, Lodge Secretary; Bill Brynes, member; Fonda Neel, Esquire; and Diane Landry, TSCC Director.


1851 troop

In October, Perry Elks Lodge #1851 began sponsoring “A New Beginning” Cub Scout Troop 603, which held its first meeting at the old Boy Scout Troop 600 facility in Perry, Florida. The lodge sponsors the facility for their meetings and offers financial support.

Pictured Oct. 15 are Dan and Daniel Cassel; Jesse and Jameson Young; Adrienne, Catalina and Desmond Tish; Levi, Pierce and Jackson Lowry; and Brian Tish, cubmaster.