St. Petersburg Lodge Holds Christmas-in-July Event
Written by May Graci
St. Petersburg Lodge’s midyear checkup of who has been naughty or nice took place at their annual Christmas-in-July pool party Sunday, July 22. This year’s event was the biggest in years with over 463 in attendance. Many Elks came with their kids and grandkids and invited friends and neighbors to the lodge to enjoy the festivities and share with them what Elkdom is all about.
Johnny Miller donated his time as DJ for the afternoon, and he played many Christmas tunes and other contemporary dance songs. Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance in their summer attire with toys for the 147 kids aged 10 and under in attendance. The kids received plush toys that were donated by lodge member Robbie Davis and they also enjoyed a free lunch of hot dogs, chips provided by the lodge and popsicles from the Ladies of Elks Auxiliary ice cream parlor.
Activities included the popular PER quarter toss into the pool for the kids to retrieve and decorating Christmas cookies with a variety of toppings. For the adults, there was a Chinese auction that is always a crowd pleaser.
On hand was Elroy the Elk with a trailer full of drug awareness education materials, coloring books, coloring paints and candy for the kids. St. Petersburg police officer Vaughn Murphy from the Crime Prevention Unit spoke to parents and kids about drug awareness and gave away various informational brochures, coloring books and PD insignia patches. Officer Murphy has been with the department for 11 years and believes that through education, the community can be a safer place for everyone.
Also in attendance was St. Petersburg's fire and rescue unit whose crew gave children and adults a tour of their fire truck and showed them their garments and protective gear which weigh approximately 100 pounds once they are fully suited. Children received plastic fire helmets. The mission of fire and rescue is to save lives and protect property through education and prevention.
Admission to this event was free for the guests of Elks members. Costs of the event which totaled $2,069 were covered with donations and money from the lodge charity account.
Pictured are Kassidy, Elroy the Elk (PER Tom Mortka), Lily and St. Pete PD’s Vaughn Murphy from the Crimes Prevention Unit at St. Petersburg Lodge’s Christmas-in-July event.