A Message from 2019-2020 FLOE President
- Written by Adella Ashton
This FLOE year has gone by so quickly. It seems like just last week I was honored to be installed as FLOE President for 2018-2019. The installation took place at the beautiful and fun 55th annual conference put on by PSP Mary McCoy at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort in September 2018.T his FLOE year has gone by so quickly. It seems like just last week I was honored to be installed as FLOE President for 2018-2019. The installation took place at the beautiful and fun 55th annual conference put on by PSP Mary McCoy at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort in September 2018.
At the Plantation on Crystal River for the midyear convention in November, Vice President, Adella Ashton, hosted a wonderful guest speaker, Frank Joliff, who gave an exciting and comedic presentation about some of his experiences in Vietnam. This event was greatly enjoyed by all who attended.
In February, we met at the Florida Elks Youth Camp for the February quarterly meeting. We were blessed to meet Grand Exalted Ruler, Michael T. Luhr, and his wife, Barbara, from Alaska.
We just celebrated our 56th annual conference at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort. We were honored to have State President, Tom Ludwick, and Joyce; VPAL, Rudy Masi Sr., and Dolly; PSP Frank Malatesta and Sally; and PSP Carl Gerace and Cathy at this year’s FLOE conference. We had over 160 members and guests attend. Our activities started Thursday with the fundraising shop setup. We had 17 tables reserved for the weekend. I thank all the hardworking Ladies of Elks who brought great crafts, raffles and games. I know everyone enjoyed this part of the event. On Friday evening, we were entertained with a fun and exciting murder mystery dinner. Many thanks go to all those who attended. This event was sponsored by the Tallahassee Elketts.
Our FLOE business meeting was Saturday morning. We had seven FLOE Past State Presidents attend and were honored to have First Lady, Joyce Ludwick, with us as well as Dolly Masi, Sally Malatesta and Cathy Gerace. We had 105 FLOE members and guests at the business meeting. PSP Mary McCoy presented five bylaw changes and one change to the standing rules. All passed. Treasurer Linda Rittenhouse reported that the 365 Club donations for the year came to an awesome grand total of $4,478.99. That is a lot of pennies! One of my colors for my presidential year was copper because every penny is important. This fundraiser proves it! I thank all who donated to this FLOE fundraiser. Nick Miller, Florida Elks Youth Camp (FEYC) Director, was presented a $2,491.99 check for the Florida Elks Youth Camp during his presentation. Colleen Gallant, Director of Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services (FECTS), was presented a $1,987 check.
Colleen Gallant gave her annual Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services report. In all, the ladies have donated $1,593,000 since the program started. For the period April 2018 to March 2019, there was over $29,000 donated by the individual ladies organizations and FLOE. The largest amount of money ($5,300) was donated by the Punta Gorda Elkettes and the largest amount of money per capita ($43.10) was donated by Tampa Ladies of the Elks. Silver, red, blue and purple ribbon certificates were awarded during her report. An additional $9,500 was donated from the floor. Way to go, ladies!
Paula Tarver, a therapist from the Southwest Central District, gave us an interesting and educational presentation. She has been working with FECTS since it began in 1999.Our FECTS therapists do so much to brighten a child’s future every day. It is amazing how much they help the children. We will continue to support the Elks project for many years to come!The 2019 FLOE conference special project was to collect gas cards to help the FECTS families get to camp for the FECTS camp session. Gas cards and monetary donations to purchase gas cards are still being accepted. Please send them to PSP Judy Reyes, 4500 Fifth Ave., St. Augustine, FL 32095. Your donations at the conference and in the near future are greatly appreciated. Cards remaining after the FECTS camp week will go to the FEYC to help meet transportation needs of the other campers’ families.
Nick Miller gave his annual report and presented awards. The total donated to the youth camp by ladies organizations and FLOE from April 2018 to March 2019 was $35,836.22. Silver, red, blue and purple certificates were given for the year’s monetary donations. The contributors of $2,000 and above were given to Pompano Beach, West Citrus, Eustis, Punta Gorda, Tallahassee and FLOE. The most money contributed to the FEYC award went to Tallahassee Elketts for their $5,200 donation. The highest per capita award went to Tallahassee Elketts for their donation of $108.33 per member. The most sponsored campers award went to Punta Gorda for $4,500 for campers. An additional $4,200 was donated from the floor. Amazing job, ladies! Thank you, Nick and the entire camp staff, for all you do to have each week’s camp full to capacity and for giving as many children as possible the opportunity to enjoy a week at the most beautiful camp.
The afternoon session began with a touching, beautiful memorial service directed by Betty Orcutt, Chaplain. We had a tribute to Past State President Joan Fritz by Past State President Connie Kalel Poage. Joan sadly passed away shortly before the conference.
Program book awards were presented by Pam Snyder, chairman. Most boosters went to Merritt Island LOE with 61. Second place was North Fort Myers and tied for third place were Fort Myers and Tampa. Most ads supporting FLOE was Punta Gorda with two.
The following awards were presented by FSEA immediate Past Chairman of Ladies Organizations, Steve Carruthers.First place for scrapbook went to Punta Gorda. This scrapbook is beautiful and well done. Regarding attendance, Punta Gorda had the most members in attendance (20). Punta Gorda had the largest percentage of members in attendance as well (22.7%). The award for the most miles traveled by those attending the conference also went to Punta Gorda (3,840).
Installation of the 2019-2020 officers and new advisory members was performed by Past State Presidents Jane Moon and Becky Long. Installed were President, Adella Ashton; Vice President, Linda Rittenhouse; Secretary, Debbie Farris Mortka; Treasurer, Laura Sardella; Parliamentarian, Judy Schall; Historian, Carole Knight; Chaplain, Tracy Horrell; and 4-year Advisory, Felicia Vuletich, PSP-FLOE and Judy Fournier.
The FLOE president banner was passed from Tallahassee Elk, Dave Vuletich, and Tallahassee Past Lady President, Wynona Johnson, to Ocala Exalted Ruler, Mike Miller, and Ocala Ladies of Elks President, Carole Knight. President Adella Ashton and First Man, Richard, were introduced after being crowned by Dave and me.
I have been so blessed to have been given the honor of serving as the 2018-2019 FLOE President. I sincerely thank all the officers, committee chairladies, delegates, Past State Presidents and FLOE members who have worked so hard all year in support of our major projects and your local lodges and communities. You are an amazing group of ladies. You are helping people in so many meaningful ways. I especially want to thank the Tallahassee Elketts for all the help, support and love they have shown me since I became a Tallahassee Elkett. I thank COO/State Secretary, Carl Seibert, and the FSEA staff for all their help and support this year, and I thank immediate Past Chairman of Ladies Organizations, Steve Carruthers, PER, and Chairman of Ladies Organizations, Tom Carns, PER. I also thank FSEA President, Tom Ludwick, and PSP Frank Malatesta for your support of me, FLOE and all Florida ladies organizations.
This year we all worked together and succeeded to “Brighten a Child’s Future!”
Adella Ashton, 2019-2020 President
Florida Ladies of Elks