Clewiston Elks Lodge #1853 partnered with the local United Cerebral Palsy Foundation Chapter (UCP) to plan and deliver an unforgettable Christmas experience for local clients with cerebral palsy. UCP staff members helped their clients write their Christmas wish list to Santa. Clewiston Elks then displayed the wish lists on an Angel Tree, and members to selected a list to shop for that client. Within a week, all of the lists were selected, and within another few weeks, all of the Secret Santas returned with many gifts for the clients. On Dec. 20, the Elks invited the UCP clients and Secret Santas to dinner and to visit with the real Santa. Each of the UCP clients got to visit individually with Santa and received a stocking full of goodies before receiving their wish list gifts. Linda Allen, lodge trustee, chaired the event. Lodge member Renaldy Tapia, aka DJ Rey, provided music for the event.
Pictured with Santa (member Mike O’Rourke) are UCP clients Clarence “Sweetie Boy” Harmon and Ruth Bailey.
Jupiter Elks Lodge’s annual Haunted Lodge was held Oct. 28-29 and more than 1,000 public spectators dared to enter the festive fundraiser, which was staged and decorated by students competing to win the competition. They also received community service hours for participating.
The week before Thanksgiving, Jupiter Lodge members delivered turkey meals to 120 local families in need.
Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services CHAMP of the Year, Jasper Bobilin, and her Uncle Johnathan, joined Jupiter Elks Lodge #2469 for lunch at Dubois Park overlooking the Jupiter Lighthouse during the State President’s visit to the Southeast District July 22-23. Lunch was served by Boy Scout Troop 109. During the president’s visit, the group visit Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, a nonprofit wildlife hospital and educational facility. Pictured are State President Danny Tabor, Johnathan Logan, Jasper’s uncle and a veteran; Jasper Bobilin, CHAMP of the Year; Cindy Eldred, District Vice President; and First Lady Rachel Tabor.
On Aug. 6, West Palm Beach Elks Lodge #1352 held a dinner dance to support the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization. They enjoyed a terrific meal put on by George Zocchi, PDVP and danced the afternoon away to the beats of DJ Brett Hand. Everyone had a great time.
Pictured are Tina Boisse, member; Conner Pulver; Eric Boisse, Exalted Ruler; and Ann Moretti, house committee member.
On Sept. 13, Belen Moncada placed first in the U-8 girls’ category and was the top overall scorer for girls at Clewiston Lodge’s Soccer Shoot. Winners advance from lodge to district to regional Soccer Shoots, all in Clewiston, before moving on to the state Soccer Shoot at the Florida Elks Youth Camp in Umatilla Jan. 7.
Pictured is a smiling Belen showing her two medals.
On April 16, Jupiter Elks Lodge #2469 hosted its annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, with the community welcome. The event was a membership drive as well. Attendees enjoyed a breakfast buffet and the children spent one-on-one time with the Easter Bunny and took home Elks Easter arts and crafts. In attendance was wounded Army veteran Justin Callahan and his wife, Katie, and their children, residents of Jupiter Farms, Florida. His leg was amputated while serving the front lines in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003. They recently moved to the community as they were gifted a home from Homes For Our Troops.
Pictured are the Callahan family with the Easter Bunny.
Clewiston Elks Lodge #1853 held its annual Flag Day ceremony June 15. The event was open to the public and local scouts performed the Parade of Flags. Frank Sellers, PDD, talked to the kids about the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance. A dinner followed the event as well.
Pictured with local scouts are Frank Sellers, PDD, back left, and Marty Espinoza, Exalted Ruler, front right.
On Jan. 22, Sofia Velasco placed first in the U8 girls category at the southeast regional Soccer Shoot for Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Florida. Sofia previously won first place in the U8 girls category Jan. 9 at the state Soccer Shoot. She was sponsored by Lake Okeechobee Elks Lodge #2871.
Pictured is a Soccer Shoot token given to winners.
Children and their families joined Santa and Mrs. Claus for a buffet breakfast Dec. 12 at Jupiter Lodge from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children had one-on-one time with Santa had their photos taken with him. They also enjoyed holiday crafts, music and dancing.
Pictured are Santa Claus (Steven Brancazio, Exalted Ruler) and Mrs. Claus (Jennifer Brancazio, House Committee Chair) with a family of children.
Jupiter Elks Lodge #2469 completed a successful annual turkey dinner drive the week before Thanksgiving. The lodge delivered turkey dinners and lots of side dishes to 137 families in need this year, a record-breaking year.
Pictured is Don Shedlock, lodge trustee, with staff from Jupiter Elementary School, one of the schools the lodge uses for distribution to the families.
On Dec. 4, West Palm Beach Elks Lodge #1352 hosted the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Christmas dance at the lodge complete with the food, decorations, DJ, and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.
West Palm Beach Lodge donated $500 for the purchase of Christmas presents for the children of parents in a local drug rehabilitation program.
On Dec. 12, West Palm Beach Lodge hosted “Presents with Santa” at the lodge. They invited five families from the schools they have adopted and local patients of Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services. Each child in the family was given gifts and met with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. A donation was also given to the lodge’s local therapist to assist her in purchasing gifts for her patients. Pictured are families from Wynbrooke Elementary along with Eric Boisse, Leading Knight; Minia Cain, Exalted Ruler; Carol Blair, Lodge Secretary; Suzanne Berry, principal; Santa Claus (Roger Dill, Inner Guard); and Mrs. Claus (Libby Dill, Lecturing Knight).
West Palm Beach Lodge contributed to the “Snuggle Up with a Good Book” campaign at Wynbrooke Elementary School in West Palm Beach, Florida. The school gave all 800 students a book, blanket, candy cane and packet of hot chocolate for Christmas Dec. 20. Lodge members donated 400 blankets for this project.
Clewiston Elks Lodge #1853 held a veterans’ appreciation ceremony Nov. 11 for veterans and their families. There were 70 veterans, members and guests in attendance. High school student Peyton Grace Lee sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Jeff Owens, Esquire, presented the American flag. Students from the Clewiston High School Public Service Academy performed a flag-folding ceremony. Frank Sellers, PDD, of Pompano Beach Elks Lodge #1898 and Elks deputy representative to Miami VAMC, gave a speech about veterans’ sacrifices. All veterans were asked to stand and share their name and branch of service. Afterward, attendees were treated to a meal prepared by lodge members.