On June 25, David Lake, PSP and Roger Spencer, Fort Myers Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler, presented the lodge’s Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant of $2,000 and 100 face shields to Lee Health Foundation to benefit three Lee Health facilities. Accepting the check and face shields are Ken Shoriak, Chief Operating Officer, and Jason Powella.
On May 24, a food distribution event was held on the grounds of Miami Elks Lodge #948. Cornerstone Miami Church which rents space from the lodge for Sunday services was the main sponsor of the event. Members of the church as well as seven volunteers from the lodge distributed approximately 300 boxes of food. Miami-Dade Police also provided assistance with traffic flow.
Using its $2,000 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant and $1,000 from the lodge charity account, Rotonda Elks Lodge #2710 donated $1,500 each May 9 to two food banks in Englewood, Florida, run by churches – St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and St. David’s Jubilee Center of St. David’s Episcopal Church. St David’s Food Bank provides food to over 200 families consisting of 400 adults and 180 children per month and continued to distribute food during the pandemic. Families also have access to the clothes closet of gently used clothing for free. When school resumes, the backpack ministry will again provide kid-friendly nutritious food to students attending Englewood elementary schools every two weeks throughout the school year. Pictured at St. David’s Jubilee Center are Roger Redman, Exalted Ruler, and Jeff Smith, Trustee, presenting a check to Ruth Hill (center), administrator of St. David’s Food Bank. The other check was presented to St. Francis in front of Rotonda Lodge.
Two social media-savvy members of Delray Beach Elks Lodge #1770, Iain Paterson and John Brewer, and their socially distanced supper club were featured May 9 on the “Today” show. Reporter Kerry Sanders spotlighted the pop-up dining concept the two launched to boost takeout restaurant business in Delray Beach, Florida, and several surrounding towns during the coronavirus pandemic when restaurants were only serving curbside meals. The restaurants would feature a special menu as part of the promotion and it was advertised on social media to reach more supporters. The club has more than 30 participating restaurants, and according to Sanders, the Facebook group has more than 10,000 members. As it gained more traction, the supper club offered hats and other swag and the proceeds from those sales, over $10,000, were given to Trinity Delray Lutheran Church and School, a nonprofit organization that provides food to those in need. Pictured are Paterson and Brewer in front of Tim Finnegan’s, a participating downtown restaurant in Delray Beach, Florida, in April 2020.
On April 28, Plant City Elks Lodge #1727 donated $5,679 to the United Food Bank of Plant City. The lodge used $4,000 from the Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant and the lodge members added $1,679 to the donation. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the schools closed and were unable to calculate the number of unpaid student lunches and even started distributing free lunches in their parking lots. The business closings and layoffs have put a terrible strain on the food banks. The Plant City food bank was already dipping into summer and fall budgets to meet the tremendous demand. The presentation was made with masks on for safety. Pictured are Judy Wise, Chaplain; Mary Heysek, food bank director; Shelly Carroll, Lecturing Knight; and Kenny Goodwien, Exalted Ruler.
On March 31, Bradenton Elks Lodge #1511 donated $2,000 from the Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to The Food Bank of Manatee (located in Manatee County) which is run by Meals on Wheels PLUS. Maribeth Phillips, CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS, accepts the donation from Mike Eymann, PER, Exalted Ruler, as he uses a grabber to abide by social distancing. In the second picture, Phillips is pictured with Cindy Sloan, Director of The Food Bank of Manatee. This food bank happens to be where the Bradenton Lodge program Elks Feeding Empty Little Tummies purchases the majority of its food. The site of the donation presentation is the Bradenton office of Meals on Wheels PLUS.