On Aug. 20 at Melbourne Elks Lodge #1744, Exalted Ruler Dolores Casella (right) presented the lodge’s $2,000 Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to Jeffrey Njus (middle), executive director of Daily Bread Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps to feed those who have had financial hardships from the pandemic. Looking on is Tom Wojnar, the lodge grant coordinator. The Daily Bread also helps those in need to find affordable housing. As part of its outreach program, they also assist people in obtaining a copy of their birth certificate and Social Security number, which are important in getting a job.
On July 29, Cocoa Elks Lodge #1532 presented a $200 check and a car-full of school supplies to the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida. The donation also included backpacks, gently used and new school clothes, shoes, art supplies, and stuffed animals. Recipients were students ages 6 to 18. The lodge wanted to help prepare and excite them to get back to school and wishes them a safe and happy school year. Pictured are Erin C. Harvey, Development Officer Brevard County, Boys & Girls Club of Cental Florida; Bonnie Pippen, lodge house committee member, and Beth Scarborough, lodge Tiler.
Viera Elks Lodge #2817 established a new partnership with the Brevard Schools Foundation in April 2021. The foundation fills educational funding and opportunity gaps at all of Brevard Counties’ public schools for over 75,000 students and 5,000 teachers by supporting innovation, engaging communities and changing lives. Funds come from private contributions, corporate support, public matching funds, fundraising and endowments. Led by lodge treasurer, Wendy Carns, PER, the lodge joined forces with local businesses Boys Electric and Enterprise Rental to deliver 10 pallets of hand sanitizer to local schools June 23.
Stuart-Jensen Elks Lodge #1870 presented donations to two local charities using funds from their Elks National Foundation grants. On March 31, they donated their $2,000 Gratitude Grant to Elev8hope at their newest property in Stuart, Florida, called Mrs. Rina’s House of Blessings. As stated on their website, “Through educating, training, and inspiring our youth to become compassionate leaders,” Elev8Hope “works to positively impact the community of Martin County by connecting with individuals and families struggling to meet the most basic requirements of daily living.” On May 5, the lodge presented their remaining $2,345 of the Beacon Grant to House of Hope at their headquarters in Stuart. Their website states that “House of Hope is a nonprofit agency that provides food, clothing, furniture, financial assistance, information and referral, and life-changing case management services to Martin County residents in need.”
Barbara Hartrick, PER, Exalted Ruler, presents a donation for their food pantry to Bob Ranieri, CEO of House of Hope.
For a second consecutive year, Cocoa Beach High School honored Cocoa Beach Lodge with its 2020-2021 Partner of the Year award. The lodge regularly matches money raised by the school's car washes, supports the JROTC programs and Student of the Month awards, and awards six $1,500 scholarships. Pictured with the award dated April 29 are Billy Wirth, Exalted Ruler, and Jim Dickson, Youth Activities Chair.
Cocoa Beach Elks Lodge #2387 supports numerous programs at Cocoa Beach High School and presented a $1,000 donation to the school's Army JROTC minutemen battalion during their annual military ball April 22. The donation will be used to offset expenses related to off-campus competitions and travel. The CBHS JROTC organization has tremendous adult and cadet leadership. Pictured are Lt. Col. (R) Jim Desjardin, senior Army instructor; Battalion Commander Cadet/LTC Nico Lanza; Ed Circierski, PER; Jim Dickson, Youth Activities Chair; and Billy Wirth, Exalted Ruler.
On Feb. 23rd, Cocoa Elks Lodge #1532 donated a Firefly chair to Macy, a local child with the rare disease Miller-Dieker Syndrome. Her new chair will enable this lovely 4-year-old to sit up independently. Her parents wrote a thank-you to the lodge, saying, "We can’t thank you enough for her amazing chair!! This is going to allow her to feel more inclusive.” This donation was made possible with funds from the Florida State Elks matching Beacon grant.
Through several March charity events, Cocoa Lodge raised $2,000 for the Cocoa Police Department for their Cocoa Community First program. Lodge member Lynn Yawn is pictured with members of the Cocoa Police Department.
In March, Cocoa Lodge raised $1,750 through several charity events to donate to The Children’s Hunger Project. Lodge members Beth Scarborough and Bonnie Pippin present the donation to Cheryl Cominsky and Stacy Benezra.
At the end of March, Cocoa Elks Lodge #1532 held an Elvis impersonator charity event and raised $1,500 for The Family Promise of Brevard. The Family Promise's goal is to empower families experiencing homelessness to create a path toward stable, long-term housing and provide peace and security along the journey. Pictured are Jane Higgins of Family Promise and lodge member Marlene Weiss.
On March 20, Viera Lodge hosted their 16th annual golf classic at the Rockledge Country Club, which was organized by longtime member Karen Renzi. They had a full field and raised more than $6,500, which will be used on the lodge, youth and veterans programs.
On Feb. 19 and Feb. 20, Viera Lodge hosted a district visitation for State President Rudy Masi Sr. and his wife, Dolly. Exalted Ruler Jerry Harrington, PER presented a $2,000 check using funds from the lodge’s Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to Tara Pagliarini, Executive Director of Family Promise of Brevard County. Family Promise collaborates with the community to provide families experiencing homelessness with the support and resources they need to put themselves on a path toward long-term housing. Pictured are Masi Sr., Pagliarini, Dolly Masi and Harrington.