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Florida Elks News Online

District Reporter: Charles R. Stieb

South Hillsborough Lodge Hosts Annual Hoop Shoot

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South Hillsborough Lodge held their annual Hoop Shoot Nov. 29 at Ruskin Christian School. Roy Gardner, chairman (pictured with trophy winners), reported that 325 students participated with 47 participants the night of the event.


South Hillsborough Elks Support Angel Tree Program

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South Hillsborough Elks Lodge #2672 held their annual Christmas Angel Tree program for children in foster care. Through the lodge members’ generosity, especially the Partners of the Elks, 100 children had a wonderful Christmas. Amanda Kirton, chairman, said that 15 of the bicycles were sent to northern Florida where the hurricane destroyed everything.


Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge Supports Area at Christmastime

On Dec. 20, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Elks Lodge #2855 packed 10 boxes of food containing breakfast, lunch and dinner for Christmas Day for the clients of the Salvation Army program Pathway to Hope for single moms. On Dec. 22, the lodge held a Christmas party for 53 children and adults who are physically handicapped who participate in the Miracle League baseball program that is sponsored by the lodge.


Venice-Nokomis Elks Support Local Children's Programs

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Venice-Nokomis Elks Lodge #1854 has given much support to local children. They donated 20 bicycles to a local elementary school for a reading incentive program. The bicycles were presented by Dave Gillum, Exalted Ruler, and Sherie Gillum, Leading Knight. With the help of the Promise Grant, they donated $1,300-worth of food to the Sandra Terry Civic Center for the afterschool snack program that feeds 75 homeless children weekly. The lodge also used the Anniversary Grant to purchase and deliver 150 dictionaries to two local elementary schools, and school supplies were delivered to Laurel Nokomis Elementary School for needy children.


South Hillsborough Elks Support Local Summer Day Camp

South Hillsborough Elks Lodge #2672 sponsored 22 young boys and girls to participate in the county’s summer day camp program held at E.G. Simmons Park. This year, with the Gratitude Grant and in cooperation with the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department, the lodge was able to support two camp periods: July 2-13 for children ages nine to 11 and July 16-27 for children ages 12-15. The camp teaches conservation, kayaking, fishing safety, fishing techniques, catch and release procedures, species identification, and arts and crafts. Two field trips were conducted including a visit to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa and the Suncoast Youth Conservation Center in nearby Apollo Beach. Local charter captains lectured on the fishes of Tampa Bay. At the conclusion of each camp period, awards were given to the camper who caught the biggest fish, the camper who caught the most fish and the camper who showed the most improvement in fishing capabilities. As part of the program, on the last day of camp, every camper receives a rod and reel, some lures, and other tackle and leaves the program with new friends and fond memories.


Manasota Elks Participate in Flag Retirement at Elementary School

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Manasota Elks Lodge #2734 participated in a flag retirement ceremony at Oneco Elementary School earlier this year. The ceremony was performed by Maritime Eagles Sea Cadets and included folding the flag and raising the new replacement flags: American, state POW/MIA. A portion of their Gratitude Grant was used for this purpose. All students and faculty members of Oneco Elementary School attended the event.


Lodge #2855 Delivers Hurricane Relief Supplies to FEYC

On Saturday, Sept. 15, 38 members of Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge came by bus to the Florida Elks Youth Camp in Umatilla. They also escorted a busload of relief supplies for victims of Hurricane Florence to be distributed to Elks lodges in the affected areas.


Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Elks Use Gratitude Grant to Teach Kids Safety

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Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Elks Lodge members dressed in bee colors and costumes read books about safety to first-graders in two local schools. The children were given a book and a plush bee to take home to remind them of the lessons they learned about stranger danger, good touches and bad touches, when not to keep a secret, and many other reminders to keep them safe. The books and bees were provided through a Gratitude Grant.


Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Elks Honor Americanism Essay State Winner

Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge sponsored Lola Johnson, an eighth-grade student at Haile Middle School, who won first-place at the state level in the Americanism essay competition. She received a check for $1,500 from the Florida State Elks Association. While the lodge has had some second- and third-place winners before, this was the first time one of their students won first place. She was presented with her check at a special meeting by Americanism Chairman, Rick Thorson, PER.

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Lola Johnson, first-place winner of the state Americanism essay contest, is pictured with Kathleen Dattilo, essay contest chairman, and Rick Thorson, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Lodge Americanism chairman.


Venice-Nokomis Elks Use Anniversary Grant for Summer Program

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Venice-Nokomis Elks Lodge #1854 donated 150 dictionaries to local elementary schools and $750 in food for needy children at a summer program at a local community center thanks to an Anniversary Grant. Dave Gillum, Exalted Ruler, left, helped with the delivery.


South Hillsborough Lodge Celebrates Flag Day with Troop 661

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South Hillsborough Elks Lodge #2672 held their Flag Day salute June 14. The flags were presented by BSA Scout Troop 661. Troop 661 has 58 members who have attained the status of Eagle Scouts. Scoutmaster Robert Leonard is at far right.


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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