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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Carol Aitchison

Fort Myers Lodge Supports Global Arts Class at Lehigh Elementary

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At the Sept. 11 board of directors meeting at Fort Myers Lodge, Exalted Ruler, Melba McCleave, presented a check for $2,000 to Lehigh Elementary School’s Anji McStravic, teacher, and Jackson Morgan, assistant principal, to purchase resources for their newly added global arts enrichment class. The mission of the course is to broaden the scope of students’ worldviews and to deepen their understanding and appreciation of world history and cultures from around the world.


Deep Creek Lodge Members take Children School Shopping

On July 31, Deep Creek Elks Lodge #2763 used its $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to take 10 school children and three preschoolers from Genesis House Homeless Shelter shopping for school clothes. The school aged children received backpacks, school supplies and back-to-school clothing and shoes. The preschoolers received clothing, shoes and pull-ups. Lodge members also purchased four bookbags and filled them with school supplies for children who would be entering the shelter in the near future. Lodge members enjoy helping the kids make their choices and seeing the joy on their faces with their new clothes. Assisting the happy shoppers were PDD Truman Bass and his wife, Linda; PDD Kay Neilley; Bill Flecken, PER, Exalted Ruler, and his wife, Kathy; Peggy Sue Dygert, Chaplain; Carol Aitchison, Lecturing Knight; and Cheri Usowicz, member. They were accompanied by Officer Lou Henyecz of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office who works very closely with the shelter.


FECTS Program Receives Christmas-in-July Donation

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Fort Myers Elks Lodge #1288 celebrated Christmas in July on the 20th with a $1,530 donation to Florida Elks Children's Therapy Services (FECTS). Throughout June and July, members and guests were encouraged to purchase an ornament to place on a Christmas tree that was set up in the lodge room. FECTS therapist Christina Walker along with her patient, 5-year-old Isaac, and his grandmother, accept the check from Exalted Ruler, Melba McCleave.


Englewood Elks Sponsor and Transport 90 Kids to FEYC

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On July 7, Englewood Elks Lodge #2378 covered the cost for 90 kids to attend a week of summer camp at the Florida Elks Youth Camp in Umatilla, Fla. At $180 per camper, the lodge paid $16,200. They also provided bus transportation.


Scholarships Awarded by Greater Pine Island Lodge

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On May 14 at the lodge, Greater Pine Island Lodge presented five $2,000 scholarships to high school seniors which can be used for tuition, books, or other acceptable facets of education at either a certification or licensing program or toward a college degree. Each scholarship is paid to the student's I.D. account at their next school. Hannah Holloway of St. James City, Fla., is a graduate from Mariner High School and will be attending Georgia Southwestern State University to pursue a degree in education. Hannah Bryan is a Bokeelia resident and graduate from Mariner High School and will attend the University of Florida to study family, youth and community sciences. Mia Nelson lives in St. James City and is a graduate of Cape Coral High School and will attend Connecticut College to study behavioral neuroscience, psychology, philosophy and a pre-law track. Kaylin Hill of St. James City is a North Fort Myers High School graduate and will attend the University of Central Florida seeking a degree in biomedical sciences. Ruddy Ditch lives in Bokeelia and graduated from North Fort Myers High School and will attend the University of Florida to earn a degree in environmental science.

Ruddy Ditch, Hannah Bryan, Kaylin Hill and Hannah Holloway receive $2,000 scholarships from Greater Pine Island Lodge May 14. Scholarship recipient Mia Nelson is not pictured.


Flag Day Ceremony held at Deep Creek Lodge

Deep Creek Lodge held their Flag Day ceremony June 14. They were assisted by four members of the American Legion Post 110 who performed the raising of the flag, the 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps” during the outdoor ceremony. The ceremony was then moved inside and PDD Truman Bass and PER Bill Flecken performed the Flag Day ritual. The flags were presented by members of the American Legion. Afterward, a light luncheon was served to lodge members and guests. Approximately 75 people attended.


Deep Creek Lodge Awards $6,000 in Scholarships

Deep Creek Elks Lodge #2763 awarded six $1,000 scholarships – three to students at Port Charlotte High School and three to students at Charlotte High School. The scholarships were presented during awards ceremonies at each school.


Englewood Elks Present $36,000 in Scholarships

On May 6, Englewood Elks Lodge #2378 presented a total of $36,000 in scholarships at Lemon Bay High School in Englewood, Fla. – three $12,000 scholarships and three $1,000 scholarships.


Kids' Fishing Tournament held at Punta Gorda Lodge

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On June 15, Punta Gorda Lodge hosted the 13th annual kids’ fishing tournament on the pier with over 120 children participating; prizes were awarded for sportsmanship. Lunch was served to over 300 people including participants, siblings, parents and grandparents.


Punta Gorda Lodge Hosts Fourth-Graders to Drug Awareness Program

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On May 21, Punta Gorda Lodge hosted 140 fourth-graders from Sally Jones Elementary School for a drug awareness education program which included presentations, crafts, bounce houses and a picnic lunch. Twelve $25 gift certificates to Books·A·Million were awarded to two students from each class for their drug awareness posters.

Punta Gorda Lodge Exalter Ruler, Tim Pohto, poses with students from Sally Jones Elementary at the lodge’s drug awareness program May 21.


Punta Gorda Lodge Members Visit FEYC and Donate to FECTS

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On May 8, 42 Punta Gorda Lodge members took a bus trip to the Florida Elks Youth Camp. While there, the Past Exalted Rulers Association presented a check for $1,000 to Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services in memory of Val Bates, Past Grand Exalted Ruler. Pictured are PERs Dave Haverstraw, Judy Neutzel and Ambrose Yelovich along with Exalted Ruler, Tim Pohto, and Elliott Gilbert, camp program director.


Punta Gorda Lodge Supports its Community

On April 13, Punta Gorda Elks Lodge #2606 hosted 150 first responders, volunteers and their families for a picnic and games at the lodge. Punta Gorda Police Chief, Pamela Davis, presented an award to Exalted Ruler, Tim Pohto, for the lodge’s tireless support of Punta Gorda law enforcement.

The 16th annual Chuck Blackhurst Memorial Charity Golf Tournament was held April 20 at the Deep Creek Golf Club. With 152 golfers participating, a total of $6,340 was donated to Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services. Lodge member Paul White started this tournament and has continued to run the event for the last 16 years. Since its inception, the tournament has raised over $77,500 for Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services.

During June, Punta Gorda lodge presented over $29,000 in scholarships to local students – 16 $1,000 scholarships were given by the lodge, eight $1,000 scholarships were given by the Elkettes and one $2,000 scholarship was given by the Past Exalted Rulers Association. Two students each received $4,000 from the Elks National Foundation Legacy Scholarships in addition to $1,000 each from the lodge.

On June 23, the Punta Gorda Lodge Past Exalted Rulers Association hosted an Italian dinner benefit for Cathy Wieder with proceeds of over $4,500 going to assist with her medical expenses. Wieder, a former lodge bartender for 25 years, also chaired several lodge committees including entertainment and special events. The PER Association also donated $500.


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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

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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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