On Jan. 30, Tampa Lodge donated $500 to Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto Beach. Tampa Elks have been involved with this charity since at least 2012, when Tracy Horrell, PER, Leading Knight, then the Exalted Ruler, wrote a $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant for their Paws for Patriots program. Guide dogs are now trained on campus and then provided to people who are blind or disabled or who are in law enforcement. Since the lodge’s involvement, the campus has grown from a one-building office with outdoor kennels to a state-of-the-art facility, with separate buildings for breeding, administration, guest quarters for those who are disabled who come to train with their guide dog, puppies under 3 months old, guide dogs in training, and a canine infirmary with full-time staff. Tampa Elks have been recognized in more than one location as the facility has grown. Horrell has volunteered as a puppy trainer for several dogs, taking them into her home when they are 3 months old and socializing them until they are a year old and ready for more specific training.
Pictured are Laura Senkow, Southeastern Guide Dogs volunteer; Tracy Horrell, PER, Leading Knight; Wendy Hall, Exalted Ruler; and Rita Smith, PER. Also pictured is Noah, a goodwill ambassador.