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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
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Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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497 crisis

On March 23, Pensacola Beach Lodge presented a check for $3,000 from its charity account to Children in Crisis, an organization that provides foster care and homes for children in the community who have been abused, neglected or abandoned.

Pictured are Dan Smith, Exalted Ruler; Linda Bozorgnia, Children in Crisis board member; and Darrell Gossett, Lecturing Knight.


1795 ball

On Feb. 26, Fort Walton Elks Lodge #1795 held its annual Elks National Foundation (ENF) charity ball, which raised $3,670. Lodge members are grateful to the ENF for all it does and for the financial support it provides not only to the lodge’s community but to lodges around the country as well. The lodge holds this annual ball for members to enjoy and to share a great meal and fellowship. This was the largest turnout in a couple of decades. The popular silent auction with baskets and other items raised the bulk of the funds. Numerous donations were received and attendees felt the love Florida Elks have for the Elks National Foundation.

Pictured are Mark Wynn, Inner Guard; Marcia WrightReynolds, Chaplain; Kevin Clemons, PDD, District Leader and Lodge Esquire; Jamie Clemons, Secretary; Michael ‘Taz’ WrightReynolds, PER; Exalted Ruler; Tom McLaughlin, Loyal Knight; Tom Knowles, PER, trustee; Paul Willey, PER, trustee; Michele Packham, Leading Knight; and Dusty Austin, trustee.


2787 srkh

Holley-Navarre Elks Lodge #2787 uses its lodge legacy charity fund to support the surrounding community by sponsoring the Santa Rosa Kids’ House (SRKH), a child advocacy center that has been serving abused and neglected children in Santa Rosa County, Florida, since 2008. As one of over 700 centers in the United States, the SRKH mission is to provide a well-coordinated multi-disciplined response to child abuse in an environment that puts the needs of the child first. On March 8, Kelly Sander, SRKH Director, gave a presentation at the lodge including the history and mission of the organization and examples and stories of how they assist children who have been abused or neglected. Afterward, the lodge presented SRKH with a check for $500.

Accepting the check are Liz Simmons, board of directors volunteer; Paul Lio, board of directors volunteer and co-founder of SRKH; and Kelly Sander, SRKH Victim Services Program Director. Presenting the check is Ray Yantch, Exalted Ruler.


497 CHS

On Feb. 10, Pensacola Beach Elks Lodge #497 made a $3,000 donation to the Children’s Home Society in Pensacola, Florida. This organization provides childhood and family counseling and adoptive services and support. Making the donation to Cynthia Vick, Children’s Home Society board member, are Scott Field, Leading Knight; Milton Andress, Loyal Knight; and Roy Carlisle, trustee.


On Dec. 17, Pensacola Beach Elks Lodge #497 donated $2,000 from its charity account to Favor House, a local agency providing shelter and counseling to women and children experiencing domestic abuse. Scott Field, Leading Knight, presented the donation to Taylor Ware, counselor at Favor House.


1795 elf

Fort Walton Lodge held its annual children’s Christmas party Dec. 19 and donated gifts for the kids. In attendance were Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus along with several elves, including the most famous elf, Buddy the Elf. The lodge offers this annual Christmas party for children of Elks families who are less fortunate and in need of assistance for celebrating the holidays.

Pictured are Marcia WrightReynolds, chaplain; Mary Barz; Mrs. Claus (Deb Fisher); Buddy the Elf (Taz WrightReynolds, PER, Exalted Ruler); Gaylon Barz; Santa Claus (Roger Fisher, lodge manager); Marcie Tingler, trustee; Mark Wynn, Inner Guard; Diane Winsor, Lecturing Knight; Jamie Clemons, Lodge Secretary; Tom McLaughlin, Loyal Knight; and Boudreaux Schriver, member.


1795 ball

On Dec. 11, Fort Walton Elks Lodge #1795 held its annual charity ball to benefit the Harry-Anna Trust Fund, which supports Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services and the Florida Elks Youth Camp. The event raised $5,355. The lodge holds this annual ball as a way for members to come together to celebrate the holidays and to have another venue to support the Harry-Anna Trust Fund. This year, Plant City Lodge’s Past State President Tom Ludwick and his wife, Joyce, who is the Treasurer & 365 Club Coordinator for the Florida Ladies of Elks, were in attendance, as was Colleen Gallant, PDD, Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services Director. Baskets and items were placed into the silent auction, which raised the bulk of the money.

Pictured with the check are Marcia WrightReynolds, Chaplain; Marcie Tingler, trustee; Dennis Abair, Tiler; Michele Packham, Leading Knight; Jamie Clemons, Lodge Secretary; Paul Willey, PER, trustee; Taz WrightReynolds, PER, Exalted Ruler; Kevin Clemons, PDD, Northwest District Leader; Diane Winsor, Lecturing Knight; Kathy Pacheco, trustee; Jamie Hutchins, treasurer; Tom McLaughlin, Loyal Knight; and Mark Wynn, Inner Guard.


497 wknd

Pensacola Beach Lodge made a $2,000 donation to the Gulf Breeze Weekend Food Program Dec. 13. This program provides food for children in need in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The packages go home with the kids on Fridays so they have food for the weekend. Accepting the donation is Mike Stahl, program director, from Dan Smith, Exalted Ruler.


497 school

On Dec. 16, Pensacola Beach Lodge donated $2,000 to Pensacola Beach Elementary School. Accepting the donation is Susan McLeod, principal, from Dan Smith, Exalted Ruler. 


2688 harvest

On Dec. 16, Destin Lodge awarded the $1,750 from its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to Harvest House, which provided Christmas dinner to 80 local families. Their mission is to supply food, clothing and shelter to those at a point of need in their life. Harvest House has a food pantry and a thrift store. Their services are provided to the community members of Destin and Miramar Beach, Florida. Pictured are Terri Griffin, lodge grant coordinator; Lori Joyner, Harvest House director; and Robert Griffin, lodge treasurer.


2624 Annabelle Brush and Ella Brush Showing their Chick Chain Chickens

Crestview Elks Lodge #2624 sponsored the 2021 Okaloosa County 4-H Chick Chain and Poultry Show Oct. 21. There were 381 children involved in the program leading up to this show, which was nearly a yearlong program. After 20 weeks of care and training, the poultry show was held. Elk member and Okaloosa County 4-H/Director with the University of Florida IFAS, Ronnie Cowan, was so pleased with the success of this year’s program. Crestview Lodge donated more than $300 toward it as well as in-kind donations valued at more than $10,000 for volunteer hours, cost of eggs, delivery and travel. The Chick Chain was open to all Okaloosa County youths ages 5 to 18. The program targeted the agriculture chain, life science, responsibility and life skills. The 4-H Chick Chain program provided students with hands-on experience that covered the life cycle of the chicken from incubation to hatching including care for the chickens for 20 weeks. This program teaches leadership, responsibility and civic understanding. Annabelle and her sister, Ella, showed their chickens at the poultry show, where Annabelle sold her chickens. When Ella did not sell her prize-winning birds, she was notified that she couldn’t keep them because of a city ordinance not allowing them in city limits, so Annabelle jumped into action. She wrote a letter to her city council member explaining her experiences in the 4-H Chick Chain and how much she learned. She also addressed the city council members in person about the city ordinance. Because of her efforts and involvement in 4-H, the city of Crestview now allows backyard poultry. The partnership of the Elks and 4-H not only teaches 4-H lessons but also helps young people learn civic-minded leadership.

Pictured are Annabelle Brush and Ella Brush showing their Chick Chain chickens.


2688 aed

Destin Lodge donated $1,500 Nov. 3 to the brand-new Destin High School which opened its doors in August 2021. The donation will cover the costs of two automated external defibrillators (AEDs). These AEDs are portable, lifesaving devices designed to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, a medical condition in which the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. Pictured are Christine Cruickshank, principal; Robert Griffin, treasurer; Terri Griffin, Elks National Foundation lodge grant coordinator; and Gloria Meade, chaplain.