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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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2522 Citrus Ed. Foundation 300 dpi

Inverness Lodge used their Elks National Foundation Anniversary Grant to help fund a new project for the Citrus County Education Foundation, Supplies 4 Success. This program is designed to provide a central location for county teachers to pick up school and special project supplies for their students. The $1,500 grant was presented to the CCEF at their new facility located at the Withlacoochee Technical College in Inverness.

Pictured are Anthony Kopka, Inverness Lodge board chairman; Paula Pombier, lodge grant coordinator; Richard Grosnick, Leading Knight; Shaunda Burdett, CCEF Executive Director; and Susan Franmpton, CCEF Associate Director.


Eustis Lodge hosted a breakfast the Saturday before school started to honor 40 teachers and principals from nine area elementary schools. The lodge used the Anniversary Grant to provide 750 lbs. of school supplies to the schools. Lake County Sheriff, Peyton Grinnell, was the keynote speaker. Mark Cunningham made their drug awareness table available, and Trustee Ron Locke and Exalted Ruler, Patsy Despain, made presentations to the group. The lodge also cooks dinner to feed the Eustis High School junior varsity football team and their coaches before each game.

The Eustis Anna Miller Ladies donated $2,000 to Florida Elks Children's Therapy Services and donated $500 in school supplies to a local school.


1578 Tri city check

On Aug. 4, Eustis Lodge Exalted Ruler, Patsy Despain, presented the Tri-City Ballers with a check for $1,500. Leader/Coach Walt Canady accepted the check and in turn gave the lodge a beautiful thank-you trophy.

1578 Tri city groupjpg


1578 anna miller

Ten Eustis Anna Miller members and seven Eustis Elks met Sunday, Sept. 23, to pack $5,619-worth of donations for The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties. This included 332 welcome kits of travel-sized toiletries, 10 birthday cake kits, a child's bike, children's books, toys, children’s and adult clothes, and many more items. This trip filled three SUVs. This collection put their combined contributions to The Haven at over $66,000.  

Domestic violence is a serious problem.  It affects millions of people and their children every year. The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties has served 3,070 survivors/children in 2017-2018 via shelter and hotline services. The Eustis Anna Miller members are honored to continue to be of service to them.


2522 vest

Inverness Lodge’s simple project to fund swimming lessons and donate water-safety equipment to their local YMCA transformed into a half-day water-safety expo. In unison with other organizations, the lodge provided 120 Coast Guard-approved life vests and water-safety advice. In addition, the lodge gave the opening address and manned an Elk information booth which featured the Dragon Boat Festival.

A YMCA staff member fits a child with a life vest donated by Inverness Elks Lodge.


Inverness Lodge provided 85 backpacks loaded with school supplies to foster children served by the Citrus County Foster Parent Association and 75 backpacks to 14 area schools. The program is funded by the Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant.

2522 CCFPAPictured are Elk Jan Belland, project co-chairman; Elba Jiminez, Citrus County Foster Parent Association board member; volunteer Skye Worrell; Lynn Kanawall, CCFPA advisor; Richard Grosnick, ENF lodge chairman; and Elk Judy Horton, lodge trustee, at the donation presentation of 85 school-supply filled backpacks for the foster children.

2522 Dunnellon Dunnellon Middle School principal, Delbert Smallridge, left, accepts a donation of backpacks from Inverness Lodge presented by Exalted Ruler, Bill Mc Avay and his wife, Fern. Smallridge was very grateful; the need in Marion County is almost desperate as 30% of the children there live well below the poverty line.

2522 Forest Ridge w Guidance deptJan Belland and Richard Grosnick, second and third from left, present backpacks to Inverness Middle School’s social workers staff Christi Wilson and Diane Buie. Eighth-grader Cassidy Bacon is pictured at left.


2522 Scent CMYK edited

Inverness Elks Lodge #2522 donated $500 to Find-M’ Friends, a local nonprofit organization pursuing ways to find every person who is missing. The lodge donation will be used to assemble 250 scent kits to help make children and elderly safer. The organization trains bloodhounds to track a scent using the kits.

Pictured are Inverness Lodge Secretary, Mike Pombier; Find-M’ Friends volunteer, Ron Kornatowski; and Lodge Treasurer, Randy Rouch.


286 Police lunch edited

In honor of National Police Week, Ocala Elks Lodge #286 showed the community that Elks care and Elks share by providing lunch for Marion County Sheriff’s deputies as well as Ocala police officers. A group of volunteers delivered fried chicken, baked beans and potato salad to their respective headquarters.


1578 Havens

Five Elks and eight Anna Miller ladies met May 3 at Eustis Elks Lodge #1578 to pack $5,178-worth of items for The Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties. The packing included 305 adult welcome kits (travel-size toiletries, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) and 54 children’s welcome kits with a small toy included, 24 suitcases, over $1500-worth of gently worn clothes, 32 Beanie Babies and seven sets of towels. As a new addition to the program, the packing included 22 birthday kits (cake, frosting and candles) so mothers can bake a birthday cake for their child when they find themselves in the shelter for their birthday. This was added to the program at the request of The Haven staff.

The Anna Miller #1578 is proud to continue this very worthwhile program which helps abused women, children, teens, and rape victims start a new and safe life. The ladies appreciate the continued support of Eustis Lodge.