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Rachael King
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Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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On July 30, Sanford Elks Lodge #1241 hosted its second annual Family Fun Day and Back-to-School Supply Drive. Using the Elks National Foundation Beacon and Gratitude Combo Grant and the Florida State Elks Association matching grant, the lodge filled 312 backpacks with all the school supplies on the elementary school supply list. In addition, the event included lunch, crafts, a balloon artist and face painting. There were also special stations for the Sanford Police Department, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services, including therapist Beth Thiers. There were more than 400 people in attendance. The remaining backpacks from the event were donated to the Sanford Police Department’s Community Relations division.


An overview of the event

Lisa Lindstrom, PER, Exalted Ruler; Autumn Garick, Seminole County School Board member; Davina Watercutter, member; Pam VanNess, PER; and Natalie Carver, member

9-year-old Nathan Wofford, third grade; 11-year-old Kylie Wofford, fifth grade; and Natalie Carver, member

Some of the volunteers and members of Sanford Elks for Family Fun Day

Backpack station


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On Aug. 19, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota Elks Lodge #2855 held a fundraising dinner for Paws for Patriots. One of the guests, retired Major League Baseball player Tommy John, nicknamed The Bionic Man, helped raise $1,000 by signing baseballs to be sold at a silent auction.

Tommy John is pictured signing a baseball for member Charlotte Mader.


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On Aug. 8, Pensacola Beach Elks Lodge #497 donated $5,000 from its lodge charity fund to the American Legion Post #378 in Gulf Breeze, Florida, for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. This is a local charity associated with the Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. The hospital’s goal is to treat and cure children with cancer and blood diseases by understanding their needs and delivering comprehensive, compassionate care from diagnosis to recovery. Their hospital environment is designed with kids and families in mind. Patients can go to a doctor for an office visit, have tests performed, and receive treatment, including chemotherapy and blood transfusions, all in the same location. Pictured are Commander Malisa Barnes; Wayne Levchik, Exalted Ruler; and Ashley Correa, auxiliary president.


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The ladies of the Eustis Elks Anna Miller Circle 1578 held a collection for school supplies for Eustis Elementary School. Lists of needed items were provided by the principal and were displayed for two months in the lodge’s lobby. On Aug. 7, the ladies sorted and organized $2,500 worth of school supplies and $700 worth of additional donations for the school. Donations came from ladies, lodge members and residents of the Royal Harbor community.

Pictured going through the supplies are Beverly Dufresne, Anna Miller President; Judi McCarroll; and Maryann Cerney. Also pictured are lodge member Tom McCarroll; Beverly Dufresne and her granddaughter, Hayden; and Judi McCarroll. Not pictured is Suzanne Cunningham.


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St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224 held a back-to-school pool party Aug. 12. Members had previously donated school supplies worth more than $500, which were given to local children who attended the event. The remaining supplies were donated to two schools in St Petersburg. Supplies worth $450 were given to Tyrone Middle School and approximately $150 worth of supplies were given to Westgate Elementary.

Pictured are some of the school supplies at the pool party. Pictured at the Tyrone Middle School delivery are Bonnie Barnes, PER; Brian Haverfield, Leading Knight; and Ms. O’Brien, family and community liaison. Pictured at the Westgate Elementary delivery are Randi Martin, front office volunteer coordinator; Brian Haverfield, Leading Knight; and Bonnie Barnes, PER.


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On Aug. 5, Eustis Elks Lodge #1578 held its annual teacher appreciation breakfast, with 90 teachers attending. The event was put on by 12 lodge members. Door prizes were valued at more than $3,000 and included school supplies, five $100 bills and $400 in gift cards. There was also a jar of cash for attendees to guess the amount in it, which was $136. The lodge spent a total of $5,000 on this event. The lodge Drug Awareness Committee attended and gave each teacher a bag with Grand Lodge and Florida Elks brochures, lodge drug awareness pencils, coloring books, red ribbons and stickers.

Pictured are breakfast attendees and the prize table.