With funding from an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant, several members of Fort Myers Elks Lodge #1288 served meals to approximately 75 people at the Salvation Army on Edison Avenue in Fort Myers, Fla., Nov. 13. The lodge will continue to serve the meals that are prepared by the Farmer's Market Restaurant on the second Wednesday of each month until their $2,500 grant is depleted.
Serving meals are Fort Myers Elks PSP David Lake, Alan Anderson, Janet Helm-Adams, Diane Hendrick, Gail Mascari, PER Frank Mascari and PER Susan Avis.
Sebring Elks Lodge #1529 presented two $500 checks to local elementary schools for their after-school programs. Member Bob Funk presented the donation to Avon Park Elementary Sept. 23 and members Ken Hedges and Ronna Mason presented the check to Woodlawn Elementary Sept. 26. Avon Park’s program teaches all aspects of putting on a play to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Woodlawn’s program is Leaders in Arts. Approximately 30 children from third and fourth grades stay after school to learn different styles of art for eight weeks.
Sebring Lodge members Ronna Mason and Ken Hedges present a check for $500 to Woodlawn Elementary teacher Denise Franza and Asst. Principal Wright Sept. 26.
On Aug. 4, Viera Elks Lodge #2817 hosted a back-to-school party for Family Promise of Brevard, an organization whose mission is to end family homelessness in Brevard County by collaborating with the community to provide families the support needed to put themselves on a path toward long-term housing stability. The lodge provided lunch for everyone in attendance and supplied backpacks filled with school supplies and gift cards for shoes to the children in the program. During this party, the children were also provided with a free wellness screening along with a free haircut if desired. This event was funded by an Elks National Foundation Promise Grant and was hosted by members Bill Orblych, PDD, Secretary, and Vinnie and Patti Traviglia.
Viera Lodge hosts a back-to-school party Aug. 4 for Family Promise of Brevard, an organization focused on ending family homelessness. Pictured at the right are hosts Bill Orblych, PDD, Secretary, and Patti Traviglia.
On Sept. 14, Plant City Lodge Exalted Ruler, Ron Johns, along with member Judy Wise and her granddaughter Charlise, joined forces with the local Lions Club and Woman’s Club along with the help of local high school students to collect items for The Bahamas survivors of Hurricane Dorian. As a result of teaming with the community, the group filled a large rental moving truck that transported the much needed items to the local small airport where the Aviation Club donated their private planes and fuel and transported the goods to The Bahamas. Approximately $8,000 in donated goods was collected. The combined expenses of the plane transportation and fuel donation by the Aviation Club was approximately $5,000. Eight Elks worked shifts between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. They set up a drop-off collection point at the parking lot of the Southern Hospitality and Hardee’s restaurant on Collins Street in Plant City, Fla. The lodge was instrumental in pulling the community together and combining forces to aid The Bahamas survivors who are in desperate need after the hurricane.
On Sept. 7, Sebring Elks Lodge #1529 participated in the collection of supplies heading to The Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. Items were trucked to St. Petersburg, Fla., and then flown to the islands. Lodge members Reggie Lemmen and Ronna Mason were instrumental in procuring of 584 bars of OSANA © mosquito repellent bars of soap donated by the OSANA company. These bars are meant to assist in the prevention of mosquito-borne illnesses other illnesses caused by the lack of sanitation.
On June 1, South Lake Elks Lodge #1848 held its first of what will be an annual event – a floating poker run on the Chain of Lakes in Clermont, Fla. The community involvement was immense with local businesses and individuals coming together to raise money and awareness for the Florida Elks Youth Camp and Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services. After expenses, the total donation was $15,141. There were 42 boats registered and approximately 300 participants, members and prospective members alike. The event also resulted in 16 applications for membership.
Pictured at the donation presentation from South Lake Lodge to FEYC and FECTS June 19 are (front row) Mendy Bacon, event organizer; Colleen Gallant, FECTS Director; and Denise Kalman-Smith, Exalted Ruler. In the middle row are Lavida McNeil, Lynette Turner, Lisa Scott and Bea Meeks, board of directors member. In the back are Adam Morgan; Nicky Bacon; Russ Smith, North Central District Vice President; and Len Cremissio, Leading Knight.