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Florida Elks News Online

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District Reporter: Mary Lou Scribner

Plant City Lodge Donates Gift Cards to Everyday Blessings Residents

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Plant City Elks Lodge #1727 donated $75-gift cards to each of the 28 children and five caregivers at Everyday Blessings in Eastern Hillsborough County Feb. 3. Everyday Blessings is a home-like atmosphere for abused and neglected children and children with unsafe home issues. It is one of the few locations where siblings can stay together. The cards were purchased using an Elks National Foundation grant. The children, who have had a rough time in their short lives, were so excited when told they could spend their money on anything they wanted!

1727 everyday: Plant City Lodge First Lady, Maria; Exalted Ruler, Ron Johns; and member Judy Wise present $75-gift cards to children and caregivers at Everyday Blessings Feb. 3.


Sebring Lodge Presents Gratitude Grant to Two Jr. ROTC Programs

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Sebring Elks Lodge #1529 received the $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant and presented $1,000 each to Avon Park High Jr. ROTC and Sebring High Jr. ROTC. Ken Hedges, Exalted Ruler, presented the check to Col. Chris Caudill from Avon Park. Chris Hanchey, Loyal Knight, presented the check to Col. Mark Colbert, Chief Dennis Green, and cadet/Lt. Col. Micah Marsh from Sebring High.


Lakeland Lodge Hosts Children's Christmas Party

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On Dec. 15, Lakeland Lodge hosted their annual Christmas party for the Lakeland-Mulberry Boys and Girls Club using an Elks National Foundation Promise Grant. Lodge members donated over $1,000-worth of toys and crafts. Members Leroy and Nancy Bowden again donated 20 bikes to be given to the children who also received multiple toys and clothes handed out by Santa. The children enjoyed a bounce house and pony rides and got glitter tattoos. A pizza lunch including punch and Christmas cupcakes was served. Elroy the Elk made a special appearance handing out drug awareness coloring books and bags with the help of one of many Elk elves. Lakeland firefighters were on hand giving a tour of the fire truck and explaining fire safety to the children. Lodge member Jaime Cook showed up with his Channel 8 News van and let the children view the inside of the van and explained how it all works. Crafts and games were enjoyed throughout the day as well. Each child had their photo taken with Santa and put in a frame to take home. A giving tree was also set up for the children not attending the party.


Sebring Lodge Donates to Domestic Violence Safe House

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Sebring Lodge presented The Champions for Children Foundation of Highlands County Inc. with a check for $1,000. The monies were designated for the safe house which helps protect women and children from domestic violence. Exalted Ruler, Ken Hedges, presents the donation to Carissa Marine, CEO of the foundation.


Brandon Elks Use Anniversary Grant to Assist Limona Elementary

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Using an ENF Anniversary Grant, Brandon Lodge provided assistance to Limona Elementary in the form of new equipment. The school had 14 pieces of equipment that could not be repaired because they were too old (13 years old), so the lodge replaced five of the document cameras. These cameras connect to a laptop to project math lessons, allow students to view science investigations on a projection screen or white board, share read-alouds so the entire class can see, and enable the students to work together on reading and writing projects.

Pictured at the equipment presentation from Brandon Lodge to Limona Elementary are George Thomas, PER; Christine Vogel, Exalted Ruler; MaryLou Bates, principal; Sharon Hammersla, PER; and Jean-Marie French, Media Specialist, Nov. 29.


Lakeland Elks Support Senior Orphans of Polk County

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On Nov. 9, Lakeland Lodge presented their Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant of $2,000 as well as member donations of more than $1,100 to Senior Orphans of Polk County. Founded over 25 years ago, this program assists local, indigent seniors without family support and monthly incomes of $600 or less. Senior Orphans is 100% vol­unteer driven with no administrative costs. They accept donations such as personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and paper goods, and when a case manager contacts the program, they have immediate access to their clients’ needed supplies. The donations help thousands of needy seniors with their day-to-day living expenses. Seniors are screened through qualified agencies such as the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Polk Elderly Services or Peace River Association. Senior Orphans and the agen­cy case managers are careful to ensure that the neediest of the needy receive assistance.

Pictured at the donation presentation from Lakeland Lodge to Senior Orphans of Polk County are Beverly Corneilus, Senior Orphans coordinator; James Crosby, PER, Senior Orphans co-chair; Vicki Baker, Exalted Ruler; John Mathison, trustee chairman; Sher Thrush, trustee and Senior Orphans co-chair; Rick Burton, Leading Knight; Charlene Fisher, grant coordinator; and Carl Hutchcraft, member.


Sebring Lodge Holds Dog Halloween Costume Contest Fundraiser

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Sebring Elks Lodge #1529 had a successful fundraiser for the lodge building fund Oct. 31 called Dogs Night Out which was open to the public. Many volunteers cooked and set up and got donations and prizes for the auction. Elks winners included Cheryl Thomas and Cookie who won best dressed couple and Bill Heaver’s dog, Billy, who won best dressed dog. The event raised $2,000.


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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