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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2023 by the
Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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On March 7, Deep Creek Elks Lodge #2763 donated $4,182 to the Heartbeats Campaign, which is selling hearts to support the Unmasking Autism gala. Its theme this year is The Power of Love. The campaign funds go to Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services, a project of the Florida State Elks Association. About half of its patients have autism spectrum disorder.


The Punta Gorda Elks Lodge #2606 Past Exalted Rulers Association held its 32nd annual spaghetti dinner under the stars in the big top at the lodge Feb. 14. A total of 160 dinners were served to members and friends, and Billy G donated his time providing karaoke. The proceeds of $1,043 were donated to the Harry-Anna Trust Fund.

On Feb. 23, Punta Gorda Lodge held its first of six blood drives of 2023 in the lodge parking lot with the Big Red Bus from OneBlood Inc. Ambrose Yelovich, PER, blood drive chair, has donated more than 26 gallons. A total of 39 pints was collected at this drive to support the life-saving needs of the community. Each donor received a $20 gift card, a long sleeve T-shirt, a Chick-fil-A sandwich and a wellness checkup.



On Dec. 19, Punta Gorda Lodge donated $2,500 to St. Vincent de Paul of Punta Gorda for the food pantry to assist feeding the hungry in the community.

Pictured are Tom McDonough, VP and chair of Outreach Programs; Bill Jameson, PER; Paul Kaiser, president of Punta Gorda St. Vincent de Paul; & Bob Hahn, PER.



On Dec. 19, Punta Gorda Lodge donated $2,500 to St. Vincent de Paul of Punta Gorda for the food pantry to assist feeding the hungry in the community.

Pictured are Tom McDonough, VP and chair of Outreach Programs; Bill Jameson, PER; Paul Kaiser, president of Punta Gorda St. Vincent de Paul; & Bob Hahn, PER.



On Dec. 19, Punta Gorda Elks Lodge #2606 donated $2,500 from its Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to the Jesus Loves You Ministry, a mobile outreach program for those experiencing homelessness. The program delivers meals, clothing and portable showers to the homeless community.

Pictured are Ambrose Yelovich, PER; Ashley Brantley, Ministries social services director; Tom Shoecraft, Exalted Ruler; and Bob Hahn, PER, Elks National Foundation Fundraising Chair.



On Nov. 17, Punta Gorda Elks Lodge #2606 donated $600 to the Punta Gorda Fire Department for its fire safety and injury prevention program. This will fund education materials from the National Fire Safety Council Inc. for 200 children to teach them fire safety and burn prevention. By making children aware, we can prevent tragic fire losses and deaths. Pictured are Lieutenant Alexander Davenport and Charles Moorse, Lecturing Knight.



First-time lodges Fort Myers #1288, North Fort Myers #2742 and Cape Coral #2596 collected and delivered 1,147 toys to Children’s Network of Southwest Florida Dec. 19.

Pictured are Wesley Shaw, 645 district manager and St. Petersburg #1224 member; Dan Masi, FSEA Development Director; David Lake, PSP, Fort Myers #1288; Vince Primavera, North Fort Myers Exalted Ruler; Donna Primavera, North Fort Myers #2742; Larry Whoy, North Fort Myers #2742; Richard Phillips, North Fort Myers #2742; Roger Spencer, Fort Myers Exalted Ruler; Erma Spencer, Fort Myers #1288; Bob Weinberg, Fort Myers #1288; and Kathy Lake, Fort Myers #1288.



Naples Lodge #2010 collected toys and gifts from their local Walgreens stores for children whose homes were hit hard by Hurricane Ian. They also donated to churches and schools in need. The value of gifts was approximately $5,000.

Pictured Dec. 15 are Jenny Stamper, a store manager, and Ron Heldebrandt, PDD.


2010 toys

On Dec. 3, Naples Elks Lodge #2010 participated in a Christmas toy drive for Avalon Elementary School students. All donations were from lodge members and Treviso Bay residents. Approximately $8,000 worth of outdoor sports equipment was donated.

Pictured are the many items collected.


2763 tree

The Deep Creek Ladies of Elks sponsored an Angel Tree for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Club of Charlotte County, Florida. There were 195 tags on the tree with children's names and the gifts they wished for written on them. All gifts were purchased by members and guests and returned to the lodge. On Dec. 8, both organizations came to the lodge and picked up the gifts to take back for their children for distribution. The L.O.E. also collected nonperishable food, which they delivered to St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank.

Pictured are the gifts at the lodge.


1288 sal

On Nov. 24, Fort Myers Elks Lodge #1288 donated $2,300 to the Salvation Army for their annual Angel Tree project. The lodge used $2,000 from its charity account and $300 was donated by the family of Gail Mascari. The Angel Tree project helps provide Christmas gifts for thousands of children from families in need in southwest Florida each year.

Pictured are Roger Spencer, PER, Exalted Ruler, and David Lake, PSP presenting the check to Major Carlye Gargis (center), area commander for the Salvation Army.


2781 fish hooks

On Aug. 15, Greater Pine Island Lodge donated $1,000 to F.I.S.H. (Fellow Islanders Sending Help) for its 22nd annual children’s clothing drive to provide school clothes and gym shoes for students whose parents anticipate having difficulty in providing new items for the 2022-2023 school year. F.I.S.H. is a group of local volunteers who help those in their community. The lodge also presented a $200 check to the Matlacha Hookers’ back-to-school supply drive, and members donated supplies as well. The Matlacha Hookers are a group of women whose motto is “Making a Positive Difference in our Community.”

Pictured are Jack Rovaldi, PER; Guy Vaughn, F.I.S.H. president; Karen Durand of Matlacha Hookers; Michael Stinson, Leading Knight; and Eddie Pfister, trustee.