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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Jack McClurken

Viera Lodge Member Shaves Head and Raises $500 for First Responders

On Sept. 14, Viera Lodge member Billy Wirth, PER who was recently diagnosed with lymphoma offered to have his head shaved at the district visitation held at Stuart-Jensen Lodge. Wirth was beginning treatment the following week for the disease and wanted to have something positive to come from this dreadful situation. Having been a past first responder and having befriended District Vice President Sal Lentine before his untimely death, he wanted to have the proceeds of $500 go to the Elks’ first responder's fund in Lentine's name.


Vero Beach Elks Help Vero Beach Elementary Earn Award

1774 school supplies

Vero Beach Elementary was awarded a Positive Behavior Intervention Specialist Award in association with the University of South Florida for 2018-2019 for being a model school for positive behavior. Vero Beach Elks Lodge has been a very important part of their success. Using their Elks National Foundation Impact Grant, the lodge continues its Elks store at the school, “Elks Love Kids of Character”, awarding children for their good deeds during the school year.

They also provide funds to the school to purchase uniforms for students who are homeless. In addition to funding, the Elks give their time; their presence at the school shows the students that their community cares about them.

Vero Beach Lodge Exalted Ruler, Paul Diaz, PER.; Pat Diaz; and June Maher, PER delivered school supplies to Vero Beach Elementary Aug. 8.


Vero Beach Elks Provide Dictionaries to Third Grade Students

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Vero Beach Elks Lodge #1774 is supplying 1,300 dictionaries to 13 schools' third grade students in the Vero Beach, Fla., area. From kindergarten through the beginning of third grade, students are learning to read. From the third grade onward, students are reading to learn. The distributed dictionaries contain multiplication tables, braille, sign language, history, geography and much more. A large percentage of these students do not have the luxury of a computer or handheld phones at their disposal, so these dictionaries are a vital learning tool for them and are theirs to keep throughout the school year, take home at the end of third grade and use in later school years. This is the third year the Vero Beach Elks have done this project.

Pictured Sept. 17 with Elroy the Elk (Jack Houlihan, PDD) is the third grade class of Ms. Glaser at Oslo Magnet School in Vero Beach, Fla., recipients of dictionaries from Vero Beach Lodge.


Cocoa Beach Elks Donate Gratitude Grant to High School Groups and Teams

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On Sept. 10 at Cocoa Beach Elks Lodge #2387, members presented their $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to the Cocoa Beach High School sports teams and ROTC to purchase new equipment as well as uniforms. Exalted Ruler, Ed Ciecirski, is shown with representatives from CBHS Army JROTC, boys and girls soccer, wrestling, girls volleyball, boys basketball, Project Graduation, boys and girls lacrosse, and Key Club.


Viera Lodge uses ENF Beacon Grant to Support Genesis House

Viera Elks Lodge #2817 is continuing its support of Genesis House Inc., a facility that provides transitional shelter for homeless women and their children, long-term housing for student mothers and their children, and shelter for homeless pregnant women and their children. Genesis House is committed to providing a safe, supportive and caring environment which promotes independence from the welfare system through education, self-discipline and self-reliance. Funding for Genesis House is provided by an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant.


Port St. Lucie Lodge Delivers Food to Local Elementary School

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Port St. Lucie Elks Lodge #2658 delivered food to Morningside Elementary in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to help provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for the students through the GracePak Program. The lodge delivers approximately 250 lbs. of food on a monthly basis. The Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant and donations from the members of the lodge keep these children from worrying about their food insecurities with these nourishing meals.

Pinky Stein, widow; Amy Hitlatch, a nonmember friend of Stein; and PER Carol Raymond, Port St. Lucie Lodge Secretary, deliver food to Morningside Elementary in Port St. Lucie, Fla.


Vero Beach Elks Support Sunday Strong

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On June 2, Vero Beach Elks Lodge #1774 donated $500 to Sunday Strong for the purchase of team T-shirts featuring the lodge logo on the sleeve. Sunday Strong is a Vero Beach-based organization that unites the fitness industry and adult athletes with intellectual disabilities by working with fitness facilities to provide one group class per week for these athletes at no charge to them. Pictured in the back row at the donation presentation with the Sunday Strong athletes are Richard Miller, Vero Beach Lodge Esteemed Leading Knight (third from left); Laura Radocaj, Sunday Strong founder and president (fifth from left); and Paul Diaz, Exalted Ruler (seventh from left).


Fort Pierce Lodge's Backpack Program Acknowledged at Board Meeting

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On Jan. 8, Lenny Smallacombe and his wife, Barb, attended the St. Lucie Public Schools board meeting. At the meeting, the good works of the Fort Pierce Elks’ backpack program were shared with the board and everyone in attendance. Smallacombe later accepted a special appreciation award from Superintendent E. Wayne Gent and board members on behalf of all the dedicated team members of the backpack program and on behalf of all those who donate to the program. Pictured are Katherine Hensley, Vice Chairman; Carol A. Hilson; Debbie Hawley, Chairman; Dr. Donna Mills; Troy Ingersoll; Superintendent E. Wayne Gent; and Lenny & Barb Smallacombe. The program utilizes an Elks National Foundation community grant which helps Fort Pierce Elks Lodge make a difference in children’s lives in their community.


Fort Pierce Elks Deliver Food Backpacks, Supplies and Gifts to Local Schools

520 Lakewood Park

On Dec. 9 with 32 volunteers, Fort Pierce Elks Lodge #1520’s pantry/food backpack program packed food items in backpacks for 13 St. Lucie County public elementary schools. More than 600 homeless children will have an ample supply of food during the long holiday school vacation. The lodge partners with school officials and they agreed to send a large truck to pick up and deliver the food to the schools Dec. 12. While this was going on, the lodge visited three schools most in need and donated boxes of school shirts, belts, shorts and Christmas gifts for homeless families whose children attend these schools. All the schools that the lodge helps are provided free breakfast, lunch and now snacks before leaving school. This successful program is fueled by 39 dedicated team members.

Lenny Smallacombe and Fort Pierce Elks delivered clothes, backpacks and Christmas gifts to Lakewood Park Elementary Dec. 12.


Stop-the-Bleed Kits Donated to Schools by Vero Beach and Sebastian Lodges

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Vero Beach and Sebastian Elks lodges collaborated to donate stop-the-bleed kits to every school in their district. Stop-the-bleed kits allow bystanders to become equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. The total cost of $2,435 was shared by both lodges. Richard Miller, Vero Beach Lodge Community Activities chairman, said, “traumatic injuries at schools have become a new reality. We hope that the kits are never needed; however, it is better to be prepared to administer aid as quickly as possible. Elks care – Elks share.”

Vero Beach Lodge’s Richard Miller and Sebastian’s Anthony Kisielewski present stop-the-bleed kits to Indian River School District’s Jon Teske.


Hibiscus Children's Center Receive Gifts from Vero Beach Elks

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Vero Beach Lodge is making children’s wishes come true at Hibiscus Children’s Center. These children have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. The lodge used $750 from the Elks National Foundation Promise Grant to deliver the wishes in time for the holiday season. Lodge Community Activities chairman, Rich Miller, said the children have also been rewarded with “Hibiscus dollars” for doing extra “chores” and acts of kindness.


Vero Beach Elks and Elroy Deliver Dictionaries to Third-graders

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Vero Beach Elks Lodge #1774 members, along with their mascot, Elroy, presented dictionaries to every third-grade student in the Indian River School District. For the second year, well over 1,000 dictionaries were distributed. These special dictionaries include an encyclopedia, multiplication tables, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, U.S. presidents, the planets, sign language, Braille and so much more! The Elks included a ribbon in the dictionaries to remind students to stay drug-free!


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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2018 by the
Florida State Elks Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

Millennium Walkway

Louisiana State Legislature Increases New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax

The Legislature of the State of Louisiana has acted to increase the New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax from 13% to 14.75% effective April 1, 2014. This will affect our convention room rates and they will go from $128.56 to $130.52 per night.

Convention Attendees With ADA Transportation Needs Urged To Contact Grand Lodge

In order for the Grand Lodge to support the transportation needs of attendees with disabilities you are urged to contact the Grand Lodge if you require special assistance. Special coaches capable of kneeling to accommodate wheel chairs will be placed along the routes for those in need. If you require assistance please contact Tina or Jessica at the Grand Lodge as follows:


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