Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2023 by the
Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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1511 horse

On March 13, Bradenton Elks Lodge bingo players donated $500 to Hooves with H.E.A.R.T.

Pictured are Danny Tabor, PSP; Valentino; and Danielle of Hooves with H.E.A.R.T.


2469 schol

On March 5, Jupiter Elks Lodge #2469 awarded four high school seniors each a $1,000 scholarship. The funds were raised from the Tuesday night charity bingo.

Pictured in the front are Nathan Vertes, Lea Abito, Hannah Espersen and Helina Hoim, scholarship recipients, along with Jill McDaniel and Amanda Murphy, Scholarship Committee members.


1719 bed 1719 bed2

In January 2024, Tarpon Springs Elks Lodge #1719 partnered with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, an organization dedicated to building, assembling and delivering twin beds and bunk beds to children in need. The local chapter’s co-president is a Tarpon Springs resident and is very excited to work with the lodge. SHP has provided more than 2,900 beds in their five-year history, but they continue to receive an average of 130 bed requests per month.

Pictured Jan. 20 are the more than 30 lodge volunteers who built 50 beds using $5,000 from the Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant. Also pictured are Jim Baker, SHP director; Steven Kikta, Exalted Ruler; Ann Baker, SHP director; and Mary Kurchinski, Elks National Foundation Lodge Grants Coordinator.


1892 stuff

On March 8, Green Cove Springs Lodge invited officers from the Green Cove Springs Police Department and the Clay County Sheriff's Office for dinner and a donation of 170 stuffed animals. These were donated by members and guests throughout February in the lodge's annual Comfort Campaign, which provides new stuffed animals for law enforcement officers to hand out to children on their calls in the community.

Pictured are Tracy Carroll, PER; Greg Hughson, PDD; GCSPD Officer Sarah Holien; GCSPD Public Information Officer Josh Lee; CCSO Chief Scott Moreland; GCSPD Sargeant Austin Graham; Lynn Elrod, Exalted Ruler; GCSPD Chief John Guzman; GCSPD Sargeant Chris Hess; and CCSO Lieutenant Mike Layne.


PIC 1 BarryWake PamWake MannyPerez PIC 2 Mentalist Alex Beresford Amazes

PIC 3 Magician Jeff Silver Performs his Magic PIC 4 UM Student Volunteer Gillian Perez

This year, South Miami/Coral Gables Elks Lodge #1676 is teaming with the University of Miami Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) program. With a $10,000 Elks National Foundation Impact Grant, the lodge will host four quarterly events for CARD clients on the autism spectrum, along with their families and caregivers. They also have nine one-day talent development events planned. The lodge will work with the CARD staff to offer resume training seminars, a job fair, bingo, a concert and a Christmas party. Beginning in April, and on every third Saturday thereafter, the lodge will also host TOTS — Talent of the Spectrum, an open mic talent show where members on the spectrum can showcase their talents to family, friends and Elk members. The first quarterly event, a family barbecue, was hosted Feb. 25 by 25 Elks, using $1,500 from the grant. Members cooked up hundreds of hamburgers and hot dogs to feed the more than 100 in attendance. After lunch, folks enjoyed a magic show by members and professional magicians from IBM Ring 45. Magicians Jeff Silver and Rick Alan amazed the audience with illusions and sleight of hand, while mentalist Alexander Beresford amazed with demonstrations of the mind. Following the show, attendees were able to attend several events. The athletic attendees were invited to compete in a Soccer Shoot and Hoop Shoot. For others, the lodge game room offered board games such as Monopoly, Yahtzee, Connect 4, UNO and Scrabble. CARD staff member Jennifer Feinstein said all the attendees thoroughly enjoyed themselves. CARD clients and their families and caregivers all got to participate and enjoy the festivities. Exalted Ruler and grant co-writer, Ramon Matos, was thrilled that so many lodge members volunteered to help. Matos is also a client of the CARD program and is the first autistic Exalted Ruler in Florida.

Pictured are lodge members Barry Wake, Pam Wake and Manny Perez serving food; mentalist Alex Beresford with an attendee; magician Jeff Silver; and UM student volunteer Gillian Perez.


                                708 boat 1 708 boat 2

On Feb. 24, the Tampa Lodge Veterans Committee hosted 28 veterans for a trip on the Hillsborough River. The veterans were from Liberty Manor for Veterans, the Salvation Army and New Beginnings of Tampa. This was the final event using the Elks National Foundation Freedom Grant. They boarded the Fun Boat, which is owned by seven-year member, Shannon Wheatley, who was able to give them a great deal. They passed lots of landmarks on the ride and learned some historical facts from the crew. The guests even saw dolphins, which swam around and under the boat. They then went to  Rick’s on the River for lunch. After lunch, the lodge donated $500 from the Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to the Salvation Army.