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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Jack McClurken

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!


West St. Lucie PERs Donate Informational Placemats to Lodge

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In a continued effort to remind everyone who visits West St. Lucie Lodge, their Past Exalted Rulers donated 150 reusable placemats.


West St. Lucie Elks Donate Supplies to Local School

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On Tuesday, Aug. 7, boxes of school supplies were loaded and distributed to Oak Hammock Elementary School by volunteers Trini Dietz, Diane Zak and DDGER Marge Spera. The supplies were provided through the generous donations of members and guests at the lodge charity bingo games.


Vero Beach Lodge Sponsors 28 Children to a Week at FEYC

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Vero Beach Elks Lodge #1774 sponsored a week of summer camp for 28 underprivileged and homeless children at the Florida Elks Youth Camp. They boarded the bus to Umatilla, Fla., and brought back happy smiles and fervent wishes to return next year. There was no cost to the children’s families. Pictured with the campers are Exalted Ruler, Jim Rannazzisi, and Lodge Secretary, Kathy Miller.


Scouting Award Presented to Stuart-Jensen Member at National Convention

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At the Grand Lodge convention in San Antonio, Stewart “Stew” Smith, PER from Stuart-Jensen Elks Lodge #1870 was presented the Marvin M. Lewis Award for his significant contributions to the scouting program. The late Marvin M. Lewis, PGER was very involved in the scouting program and this award was started in his honor. Smith was one of four recipients and represented the southern region. He has been involved with scouting for over 20 years and is the fourth in his lodge to receive this honor. Suzi Simonelli, PDD received it in 2005, Ken Tolve received it in 2006 and Beth Snyder, PER received it in 2016.

Pictured with Stew Smith are PSP David Lake, Grand Lodge Activities Committee Chairman; Dale Neilson, Grand Lodge Activities Committee Area 6 Member; Joey Simonelli, PER; Suzi Simonelli, PDD; Marty Hartrick, Stuart-Jensen Lodge Exalted Ruler; and Barb Hartrick.


Draft House Supports Fort Pierce Lodge Backpack Program

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Fort Pierce Lodge’s food backpack community program presented a special award to St. Lucie Draft House because their program was chosen by Draft House to be the charity bingo game recipient for May. It raised over $1,000 for feeding and helping kids in need.


Marine Corps League Participates in West St. Lucie Lodge Flag Day Ceremony

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On June 14, West St. Lucie Elks Lodge #2823 with the aide of the Marine Corps League performed their Flag Day Ritual. Member Marge Huntsberry and PER and trustee, Mickey Scalfani, presented the history of the flag.


Fort Pierce Mayor Issues Proclamation for BPOE 150th Anniversary

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Lenny Smallacombe of Fort Pierce Elks Lodge #1520 contacted Fort Pierce Mayor, Linda Hudson, and requested a city proclamation to help the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks celebrate its 150th anniversary in San Antonio.


Viera Elks Start JROTC Recognition Program

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There are 20 schools in the Southeast Central District that have JROTC programs. Each unit has an annual awards presentation ceremony during which outstanding cadets are given awards by various civic, professional and fraternal organizations. The cadet to be honored at each school is selected by the unit advisors, and each organization offering an award is notified of the name of the cadet to receive the award. Each participating organization is then asked to send a representative to the awards ceremony to make the presentation. Viera Elks Lodge #2817 decided to make the Elks a participant in these ceremonies. An email was sent to the schools in the district asking each unit if they would like to have the BPOE added as an active participant in the program. Viera Lodge designed a certificate and medal that will be awarded to a deserving cadet in each unit. The certificates and medals are mailed to each school in advance of their ceremony.

The lodge then made this a district program and asked all the lodges in the Southeast Central District to get involved by sending a representative to the awards ceremonies in their area. Any lodge or any individual from any lodge wishing to make the presentation at any of these schools has been asked to contact Jerry Hoff at 321-751-2599 or He will send the details of each ceremony to the involved lodge if there is someone who wishes to participate. Also, a $10 donation to the ROTC fund will get the donor’s name printed on the certificate as a sponsor. Donations should be sent to Viera Lodge earmarked for ROTC Awards Fund. As dates become available, he will advise the lodges in the district.

The Grand Lodge Activities Committee is currently working on making this a nationwide program and will have information available at the Grand Lodge convention in San Antonio. Anyone attending the convention should look for their booth if they want further information.


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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