It’s a great day in Florida and an even greater day to be a Florida Lady of the Elks (FLOE). Time is passing so quickly. The Florida State Elks Association quarterly meeting at the Florida Elks Youth Camp is now behind us and we’re planning and getting ready for the state convention June 18-20 at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida.
Our ladies have been busy since the midyear convention. With the help of our delegates and their auxiliaries, we have reached our goal to complete the Florida Elks Youth Camp wish list of 195 board games set by Nick Miller, Camp Director. We’re very excited and looking forward to the youth camp having the games in time for camp this summer. Ladies, you rock!
Once again, our ladies have supported FLOE with enthusiasm and dedication in helping us sell our reverse draw tickets for FLOE’S Angel program. Our program was initiated with love and the desire to do something special for a child in Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services. With Colleen Gallant, PDD, Director, a child and their family will be chosen for a long weekend which includes a paid trip to Disney. We started out with 300 tickets at $20 each with a main prize of $2,000 and smaller tickets drawn from $50 to $500. Tickets will be drawn at our FLOE conference in September. You don’t have to be in attendance to win. We now have 102 tickets available. If you haven’t purchased a ticket, please see Linda Rittenhouse or one of our delegates to help us complete our goal. With your help, we can “Be an Angel in the Life of a Child” and family.
We began our quarterly weekend attending the Ladies meet and greet and luncheon honoring First Lady, Beth Duitsman, wife of Grand Exalted Ruler, Robert L. Duitsman. The meet and greets always give us the opportunity to not only meet the Grand Exalted Ruler’s wife but to visit with our Past State Presidents’ wives and our Florida Ladies of Elks. Later that evening we enjoyed a delicious barbecue dinner in the pavilion and our entertainment was no other than Re-Creation, a wonderful group of young adults who brighten the lives of everyone everywhere they go. The finale touches your heart and you can’t help but feel pride and appreciation for the time and talent these young adults put into making the show memorable.
Saturday morning was our FLOE meeting and we had 35 in attendance including officers, delegates and guests. State President, Tom Ludwick; VPAL, Rudy Masi; and endorsed VPAL, Suzi Simonelli, stopped by and shared words of encouragement and appreciation of FLOE.
The Chinese auction will be open Thursday and Friday morning. Winners will be announced after the luncheon Friday. If you’re bringing your donation to the Elks state convention, please try to have it to us by Wednesday evening. For more information and forms you may visit floridaelks.org for the May packet regarding our luncheon reservations, Chinese auction and hospitality hours. If you do not have access to a computer, please call or email me and I will be happy to mail you a copy. We look forward to making new FLOE memories with all of you.
The nominating committee chair, PSP Mary McCoy, presented a slate of officers for the upcoming FLOE year. Nominations will be permitted from the floor at the June FLOE meeting.
Vice President, Linda Rittenhouse, presented her choices for the 2021 FLOE conference site. It was voted on and the 2021 FLOE conference will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in St. Augustine, Florida, Sept. 24-26. I look forward to visiting the beautiful beach and city of St. Augustine.
Following our meeting, we attended the Elks major projects meeting where PSP Felicia Vuletich presented the proceeds from the previous year in the total amount of $7,000 which was to be split between Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services and the Florida Elks Youth Camp. Congratulations go to Felicia for a great year! During the meeting, there were many inspirational reports presented which gave us food for thought on the way home.
We’re looking forward to hosting the luncheon at the Elks state convention. I hope you will join us as we have a delicious menu planned; a red, white, and blue fashion show by Resort Fashions by Tiffany; and the ever-inspiring Bomber Girls will be in attendance for pictures. It’s our way of honoring our veterans and first responders who gave their lives for us. I would like to thank our chairladies in advance for their hard work and dedication to help make our June luncheon an enjoyable event. The preliminary agenda shows that FLOE’s meeting will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. Please check the final agenda for confirmation. We look forward to seeing you there!
While we’ve been working toward the state convention, our FLOE conference has also been a priority to plan. This year’s conference will be held at the Lido Beach Resort in Sarasota, Florida. Aside from the beautiful beach and other amenities, there are many places to visit and enjoy such as the Ringling Museum of Art, aquarium, opera house, Jungle Gardens, Siesta Key Marina, and Marina Jack, and if you like to shop, there is St. Armand’s Circle and University Mall. Friday evening I’m hoping you will enjoy dinner and our entertainment. We have an exciting group I would venture to say will keep you entertained with Motown, soul and disco music by Act 3. The winners of the FLOE Angel reverse draw will also be announced Friday evening. Saturday morning will be our FLOE business meeting followed by a luncheon. We welcome all Elks and guests to our luncheon and afternoon session which will begin with our memorial service followed by annual awards for the 2019-2020 year and the installation of 2020-2021 FLOE officers.
Our conference packet will be handed out at our FLOE meeting in June which will include all events and hotel rates; it will be available soon after on the FSEA website in the FLOE tab. Also included will be the fundraising shoppe information. If you haven’t in the past, you may want to consider a table this year. We will be located alongside the hotel restaurant which will make us more visible to the public as well as FLOE members and guests.
Ladies, I am looking at our delegate sheet and see that we have the following districts that do not have delegates whether it’s because there is no auxiliary or possibly not enough information about FLOE. These are Northwest, Central, Southwest and South. There are openings in the North, Northeast, North Central and South Southeast districts. Our delegates help us get our information to the ladies in your district. If you have an interest, you may contact me or any of our officers.
The past couple months, Richard and I have enjoyed attending the President’s visitations for the North Central, Northeast and North districts. Thank you, all, for your hospitality and special thanks go to President Tom Ludwick and his lovely wife, Joyce, for giving us the opportunity to speak about FLOE. I would like to add that I had the opportunity to visit the Anna Miller Circle ladies of Eustis Lodge #1578. I enjoyed meeting all the ladies and would like to thank Joyce Collier, President of Anna Miller Circle, for the invitation and warm welcome!
Once again, I would like to thank everyone for their support of FLOE and I look forward to working with you in the next few months. Many thanks go to our June chairladies, Barbara Carroll and Diane Sharpe, West Central District; Judy Reyes, Northeast District; Linda Crawford and Oleo Ladies, North Central District; and Connie Kalel Poage and Faye Bryant, Southwest Central District. See you in May, and please mark your calendars and save the date for our FLOE conference.
May God bless FLOE, Elkdom, veterans, the military and first responders!
Adella Ashton, 2019-2020 President
Florida Ladies of Elks