On Sept. 11, the Florida Ladies of Elks Eland chapter of St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829, in conjunction with Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892, held a fashion show and luncheon in support of Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services and the Florida Elks Youth Camp. Lodge members modeled the fashions and helped prepare the luncheon. Linda Rittenhouse, PSP-FLOE and Judy Reyes, PSP-FLOE planned the event, which raised $778.
Pictured are Nancy Klopfenstein, member; Patsy Weston, House Committee member; Judy Reyes, PSP-FLOE; Tiffany Rupp, fashion show consultant; Shirley Orvosh, volunteer; and Barbara Thompson, Leading Knight. Also pictured are Thresa Hurley, volunteer; Lynn Elrod, Loyal Knight; Pat Buerhaus, kitchen manager; Bonnie Conti, Inner Guard; and Jeff Phillips, member, preparing lunch, along with guests enjoying lunch before the show.
Jacksonville Elks Lodge members donated approximately $300 in school supplies for Hogan Spring-Glen Elementary School.
Member Sarah Schllesinger, pictured in the center in blue, led the collection during the Christmas-in-July event July 30. She is pictured with other lodge members.
The St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 Community Outreach Committee presented funds from the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to two deserving charities. Home Again St. Johns, which provides temporary housing, training and additional resources to those experience homelessness, received a check for $1,750, plus an additional $1,100 in lodge donations. Pictured March 16 are lodge members Kevin Walsh, Liz Bastedo, Rich Bastedo, Cathy Walsh, Rachel Fulghum (case manager) and Randy Cook, PER. Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition, which provides support to families experiencing homelessness, received a check for $1,750. Pictured March 29 are Debi Redding, director, and Kevin Walsh, trustee chair.
On May 19, Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 hosted a sixth grade graduation luncheon for the students at Charles E. Bennett Elementary School This annual event is held to celebrate the students' accomplishments and wish them success as they move to middle school. The lodge was decorated in the school colors. In attendance to speak to the students and assist with the luncheon were Mary Bolla, school board chair and lodge member; John Guzman, local police chief; and Steve Kelley, city council member. Eighty students, 10 school faculty and staff members, and 20 volunteers were in attendance as well. Sixth grader David Robinson was presented with the Student of the Year award. Rick Kunze, PER attended a later event at the school to present an award to sixth grader Paisleigh Blankenship, who was unable to attend the luncheon at the lodge. Pictured are David Robinson and his parent as he is presented the Student of the Year award by Rick Kunze, PER; Al Williams, Exalted Ruler; Gene Rittenhouse, PDD; Chief Guzman; and Councilman Kelley. Also pictured are Chief Guzman addressing the students and the lodge volunteers.
On March 9, Susan Senterfitt, Exalted Ruler of Gainesville Elks Lodge #990, presented a $500 check to Mackenzie Shaw, a Legacy Scholarship recipient attending the University of Florida. The donation, from the Exalted Ruler’s stipend, will support Noah’s Endeavor, a nonprofit which provides activities such as bowling and field days for those with special needs. Through her course and volunteer work at UF, Shaw and others have partnered with Noah's Endeavor to secure sponsors and donations.
On May 5, Gainesville Elks Lodge #990 was presented with the Elks National Youth Week proclamation by the City of Gainesville City Commission.
Pictured are BJ Sullivan, chaplain; Louis Mallory, Exalted Ruler; Becky Spence, PER; and Bonnie Mott, trustee.
To show appreciation for all they do, St. Augustine Lodge and Bridge City Realty hosted their annual Heroes Night Out for first responders Nov. 13. More than 150 St. Johns County first responders and their families along with lodge members enjoyed a barbecue meal catered by The Saucy Pig. There was music by The Saltones and a drawing for gifts provided by Bright Realty, Movement Mortgage and Landrieu of America.
Pictured are first responders and their families enjoying dinner and music.
On Dec. 4, members and volunteers of Green Cove Springs Lodge provided gift bags to 392 children ranging in age from infants to teens at the city's Christmas on Walnut Street event. The items were purchased with lodge funds and included books, toys and candy canes. Members organized and packaged the bags the weekend before.
Pictured are Elks members as well as members greeting families.
St. Augustine Lodge delivered 15 bags and five boxes of food Oct. 4 valued at $520 to the Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County in St. Augustine, Florida. This organization provides transitional housing for families as well as job training and continuing education to enable clients to move into permanent housing.
Pictured are Elizabeth Bastedo, co- chair; Rich Bastedo, member; Cathy Walsh co-chair; and Kevin Walsh, trustee.
On Oct. 4, St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 presented its $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to Wildflower Healthcare. This clinic, located in St. Augustine, Florida, began in 1995 serving the dental and medical needs of uninsured and underinsured residents of St. Johns County. They also partner with other St. Augustine nonprofits to reach out to even more members of the community. Along with the grant, members donated $800 worth of goods. Pictured are Liz Bastedo, Outreach Committee co-chair; Joe Smith Sr., Exalted Ruler; Christina Simon, clinic coordinator; Cathy Walsh, Outreach Committee co-chair; and Kevin Walsh, lodge trustee.
Using its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant, Gainesville Elks Lodge #990 donated 38 full Thanksgiving dinners for foster families, which was a total of 195 people. The lodge partnered with One More Child, an agency in Gainesville, Florida, that helps with fostering children in 13 counties. Families received a turkey, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, yams, macaroni and cheese, and rolls.
Pictured Nov. 22 at the office of One More Child are Amanda Bush, licensing specialist at One More Child; Louis Mallory, lodge chaplain and secretary of Elk Riders 990; Dave Kaufman, president of Elk Riders 990; Anne Chastain, senior director of foster care at One More Child; Najwa Liscombe, Loyal Knight; Kristie Kaufman, lodge member; and Dina Atalig, lodge grant coordinator.
On Sept. 7, the Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 PER Association’s charity bingo donated $500 to the Green Cove Springs Senior Center, which is located in Green Cove Springs, Florida. They offer games, activities, presentations and meals to local seniors throughout the week. The donation will assist the center with providing supplies and prizes for their free bingo games to enhance the enjoyment of the community residents. Pictured are Tracy Carroll, PER; Lucie Barnette, PER, bingo chair; Bob Russell, senior center volunteer; Ed Weston, PER, Exalted Ruler; Kathie Thompson, PER; and Paul Orvosh, PDD.