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East River Smokehouse in Navarre, Florida, and the Central Waterside Church combined to provide food via a drive-thru system at the Smokehouse's parking lot. During their third week of providing this service to people who were in need of food in mid-April, four members of Holley-Navarre Elks Lodge #2787 – Thomas "TJ" Carey, Exalted Ruler; Ernest "Skip" DalleMolle, Leading Knight; Stephen Hogan, Lecturing Knight; and Charles Mussari, former lodge officer – volunteered their time to assist in the sorting and delivering food and directing and speaking with those seeking food as they awaited their turn. Two lines of cars five deep went through this line for over 2 1/2 hours. Photos are by Skip DalleMolle.

2787 drive thru 1

Volunteers including TJ Carey and Stephen Hogan sort and prepare food for delivery.

2787 drive thru 2

Charles Mussari directs traffic.

2787 drive thru 3TJ Carey is pictured at the end of the morning after unloading food from trucks, sorting it, assisting in delivery to families, and helping with the breakdown of the facility.

 

   2787 Santa hug 2787 XMAS waving

Holley-Navarre Lodge’s Activities Committee sponsored lunch with Santa Dec. 21 for children from local families. One young boy felt that Santa needed a hug but was hesitant to go alone, so members Donny Eubanks and Jerry Riley got down to his height and went with him to give Santa a hug.

 

2787 hoop

Holley-Navarre Lodge sponsored their lodge Hoop Shoot Dec. 14. The three winners moved on to the district competition held Jan. 4. Pictured are Exalted Ruler, Allen Van Dyk, presenting a winning certificate to Max Howard of the 10-11-year-old boys category.

 

2787 caring shairing

Holley-Navarre Elks Lodge #2787 presented a check in the amount of $1,500 Dec. 9 to Caring and Sharing of South Santa Rosa County. The donation was raised from the lodge’s weekly bingo evenings as well as lodge fundraisers. Caring and Sharing performs many services for the community including the distribution of Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, toys for children, gift certificates for teens, and clothing and household items.

Holley-Navarre Lodge Exalted Ruler, Allen Van Dyk, presents a $1,500 donation to Chuck Howard of Caring & Sharing of South Santa Rosa County Dec. 9 at the lodge.

 

NW Kids water

The seven lodges of the Northwest District held its seventh annual Kids on the Water/Military Appreciation Day Sept. 21 at Fort Walton Lodge #1795. In attendance were 124 guests, 75 military guests, 20 non-Elk volunteers and 80 members of the district lodges. This event brings military families together with area children including the patients and families of the district’s Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services therapist, Elizabeth Maina; kids from Children in Crisis and Children Without Beds; and children in the foster care system. Children in Crisis is a nonprofit organization that finds homes for abused, neglected or abandoned children while keeping siblings together. Children Without Beds is an organization that provides new beds and pillows to children, offering them solace and something that is their own. The event included pontoon boat rides, lots of food, arts and crafts, the Capt. Davy pirate show, face painting, snow cones, and a toy for every child. The eight pontoon boats were donated by member Danny Bilger and his wife, Karen, for the seventh year. Target, Frito Lay and members in the district donated a snow cone machine and supplies, painted pet rocks, and arts and crafts to the event.

Ellen Randle, wife of PDD Robert Randle, and Joann Warren, wife of PDD Mike Warren, set up their craft table at the Northwest District’s annual Kids on the Water/Military Appreciation Day Sept. 21 at Fort Walton Lodge.

 

2624 Flag Day

On June 15, Crestview Elks Lodge #2624 held its Flag Day ceremony at the lodge with Crestview Area Youth Activities (CAYA), the youth sporting association, assisting with the flags. Lodge member Bud Tipton is the president of CAYA. The public was invited and about 40 people attended. Refreshments were served after the ceremony.

 

Football grant

Twin Cities Elks Lodge # 2747 Exalted Ruler, Rick Woelfl, presented the lodge’s Elks National Foundation Anniversary Grant of $1,500 to Cornell Tinner, president of the Niceville Little League Football organization. Also present were city manager, Lannie Corbin, and Lodge Secretary, Gary Pelham. The donation will assist in funding lighting improvements at the City of Niceville Sports Complex.

 

2108 dog

Warrington Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler, Rick Wright, secured a grant that allowed the lodge to donate 150 smoke alarms to the fire department which planned to install them in the homes of those who needed them. Also, in conjunction with this program, the lodge had officers and the drug dogs at the lodge and gave away drug awareness literature and items to children.

 

497 relief

Recently, the Pensacola Beach Elks Lodge #497 Board of Directors challenged the 1,200 lodge members to raise funds to donate to Hurricane Michael relief by offering to match cash donations from the membership up to $3,000. As Exalted Ruler, Rick Reynolds, said, “Charity is the centerpiece of our work. Our members have helped in many ways, from volunteering to feed first responders to hosting a wedding for two evacuees who lost their home. We began collecting cash donations around the lodge and it didn’t take long for us to reach our goal. We knew the coast received the brunt of the storm and the media attention. We were also aware that areas north of the coast in the Panhandle were also greatly impacted but didn’t have the focus and support that areas along the water did.”

With that in mind, lodge trustee Phil Gambrell was charged with finding a charity that could quickly get the funds in the hands of those families and individuals most affected by the storm. Gambrell contacted Rodney Anderson, EMS Director in Jackson County, who highly recommended the Chipola Family Ministries in Marianna, Fla., that was doing a lot for the people of the surrounding communities to get back on their feet.

On Dec. 18, Gambrell presented a check from the lodge to Coba Beasley, Director of the Chipola Family Ministries. The total donation was over $6,000. Beasley said, “Initially, we will use some of the money to repair electrical service to homes, replace appliances and purchase roofing supplies to those who are in dire need of those items.” 

It should be noted that New Lexington Elks Lodge #509 from Ohio gave $1,000 to Pensacola Beach Lodge to help with the relief effort. Such cooperation between lodges is very common as Elks across the U.S. practice their motto, “Elks Care – Elks Share.”

Pensacola Beach Lodge trustee Phil Gambrell, right, presents a check for over $6,000 to Coba Beasley, Director of Chipola Family Ministries, for Hurricane Michael relief.

 

2108 gifts

On Dec. 15 with the help of Elwood Banks and Eric Long, Warrington Lodge #2108 held a party with admission being an unwrapped toy. Over 275 toys were collected and $230 was received and used to buy gift cards for the older children. Everyone enjoyed good music and good food. The toys were given to children in the foster care system.

 

2787 caring

On Dec. 14, Holley-Navarre Elks Lodge #2787 presented a check for $1,500 to Caring and Sharing of South Santa Rosa County, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that provides food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as other assistance to South Santa Rosa families. The total included $500 from an Elks National Foundation Anniversary Grant and $1,000 from the lodge charity account which is sourced predominately from the lodge’s weekly bingo that is open to the local community. The lodge held the check presentation prior to bingo to thank the public for their continued support throughout the year and give them an opportunity to see how proceeds from their patronage are used.

Chuck Howard, Caring and Sharing representative, accepts a donation from Holley-Navarre Lodge presented by Kris Kane, Exalted Ruler, Dec. 14 at the lodge.

 

2747 dictionaries

Rick Woelfl (pictured), Twin Cities Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler, and Joe Arthur, Leading Knight, deliver dictionaries to third-graders at Eglin School Oct. 26. The first batch of dictionaries for third-grade students in six schools were delivered Oct. 26. In all, the lodge will distribute about 600 dictionaries; the lodge does this every year. Tom Casey, Trustee, and Kathy Casey, Tiler, delivered dictionaries to other schools.