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our military and veterans

West Citrus Lodge Fundraiser Earns $3,000 for Veterans

2693 dance

The West Citrus Lodge Veterans Committee held their 2019 dinner dance fundraiser Sept. 28. It was a great success with over $3,000 raised to assist veterans in the local assisted living facilities throughout the year. The event consisted of music, dancing and a silent auction.        


Lake City Lodge Supports Veterans Programs

Lake City Elks Lodge #893 and veterans volunteer, Capt. Mike Lydick, continue to support the Lake City VA hospital patients and the residents of the Lake City VA Domiciliary, aka The Jenkins Veterans Home. At the hospital, Elks wheelchair gloves are provided as available. Coffee and doughnuts are purchased for the main waiting area. Personal care items, puzzles and playing cards are donated. This summer, the lodge funded four of the summer youth volunteers in the hospital’s program. For homeless veterans, in concert with the VA HUD/VASH, the lodge has been able to avail itself of Welcome Home Kits to help veterans set up a home as one is available. Included in the kits are linens, dishes, flatware, pots and pans, coffee maker, toaster, microwave, and small kitchen items. The lodge has assisted six veterans in this program.


Veterans Attend Quarterly Luncheon at Sarasota South Lodge

2495 Homes for troops

On Sept. 9, Sarasota South Lodge held their quarterly veterans lunch. Forty veterans from surrounding nursing and assisted living homes were present. The keynote speaker was Deb Kehoe from Homes for our Troops, an organization that builds homes for returning veterans with special needs. Their motto is, “Building Homes – Building Lives.” Pictured are Kehoe and Exalted Ruler, Richard Bouchard.


Korean Veterans Honored at Sarasota South Lodge Luncheon

2495 Korean vets

On Sept. 8, Sarasota South Elks Lodge #2495 hosted an afternoon of music with a luncheon buffet for Korean War veterans and their families. Sixty members showed up to give tribute to the veterans. Exalted Ruler, Richard Bouchard, shared stories from his father, John Joseph Boucard, CDR USNR, who served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Pictured are Patrick Blackburn, SGT USA; Cliff Bloodsworth, Naval Air USN; Gerald Albritton, SP4 USA; Floyd Stough, SP4 USA; and Paul Kirkham, PO3 USN.


Viera Lodge Hosts Fundraiser for Guitars for Vets

On Sept. 13, Viera Elks Lodge #2817 hosted a monthly birthday blast featuring member/guitarist Brian Donnelley, a representative of the national organization Guitars for Vets. This organization aids veterans with PTSD by offering them 10-12 weeks of guitar lessons at no cost. At the end of the training, the organization presents the veteran with a new guitar. Amazingly, the wood and strings of an acoustic guitar and the healing power of music help soldiers cope. Donations to this organization go primarily for the purchase of these guitars. It costs $200 to send one veteran through the program and provide them a guitar. On this particular night, the lodge raised over $400 for this worthwhile project.


Mixers Presented by Manasota Elks to Vets 2 Success

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On Aug. 21, Manasota Elks Lodge #2734 presented three KitchenAid© mixers purchased with our funds from their Elks National Foundation Beacon Grants to Vets 2 Success founder, Bryan Jacobs. Vets 2 Success offers a solution for returning veterans to learn a new skill that will give them purpose in their lives and the ability to support themselves and their families. The lodge has been supporting this program for three years with the Elks National Foundation Community Investments Program.

Manasota Lodge member Jan “Spike” Klocke; Pam McDowell, Exalted Ruler; and Jim Klocke, Veterans Committee Chairman, present three mixers to Bryan Jacobs, Vets 2 Success founder, Aug. 21.


Titusville Elks Paint Veteran's Apartment and Donate to Habitat for Humanity

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On Sept. 13, a work crew of Elks from Titusville Elks Lodge #2113 gathered at a veterans’ housing unit and completed the painting of one entire apartment for a well-deserving veteran. The lodge also provided an Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant of $2,000 to Habitat for Humanity for the purchase of additional supplies for painting the veterans’ housing unit.

Mike Anderson, Titusville Lodge Exalted Ruler, left, and Judith Mendiola, Veterans Chairman, present a check for $2,000 to Mary Kelly, lodge member and Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity.


Green Cove Springs Lodge Raises $3,500 for Wreaths Across America

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On July 14th, Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 held its second annual Christmas in July party. Proceeds from the event will support the lodge's Wreaths Across America campaign which places wreaths at veterans’ graves. Attendees enjoyed a traditional Christmas dinner and fun games and heard a moving, informative presentation by guest speaker, Dan Duffy, VFW State Judge Advocate. Thanks to the efforts of event coordinator, Jean Maddox, and the many helpful volunteers, the event raised over $3,500.

Pictured at the Green Cove Springs Lodge’s Christmas in July fundraiser for Wreaths Across America July 14 are Paul Orvosh, PDD; Kathie Thompson, PER; Bill Thompson, member and VFW District 14 Commander; Pauline Duffy; and Dan Duffy, VFW State Judge Advocate.


Veterans take Fishing Trips Sponsored by Stuart-Jensen Elks

Using their Elks National Foundation Freedom Grant, Stuart-Jensen Lodge and Steve Elliott, Veterans Chairman, organized a multi-day fishing trip for local veterans Aug. 6, 7 and 15 in Stuart, Fla. Veterans were treated to a day of fishing and lunch on the water. They were all invited to a dinner at the lodge Aug. 17 where they were honored by the lodge membership. 


Stuart-Jensen Lodge Holds Parade of Heroes Fundraiser

1870 parade of heroes

On Aug. 4, Stuart-Jensen Elks Lodge #1870 hosted a Florida State Elks Association Parade of Heroes fundraiser with a spaghetti dinner and raised $5,200. On hand for the event were VPAL, Rudy Masi Sr., and his wife, Dolly. The lodge will be sending three veterans – Don Nilsson, Vietnam War; his brother, William Nilsson, Korean War; and Michael Primavera, World War II – on this trip of a lifetime to Washington, D.C., Nov. 8-10.

The Stuart-Jensen Lodge committee for the Parade of Heroes fundraiser is pictured Aug. 4 at the lodge – Joey Simonelli, PER; Suzi Simonelli, PDD; Rudy Masi Sr., VPAL; Dolly Masi, PER; Barbara Hartrick; and Marty Hartrick, PER, Exalted Ruler. 


Thank-you Letter from an Army of Hope Recipient

Thank you for the warm welcome. I wish it was under better circumstances. Being the only community able and willing to help me as a veteran preemptive puts me forever in your debt. I will raise awareness and fundraise for you every chance I get. I have been hiding under a rock for almost 20 years and speaking with your guys has given me the strength to reach out to other veterans. I am putting together an interview packet for veterans cursed with PTSD. I've decided to put a book together for those of us who just can't do group counseling. I'm hoping it will help us be able to read others stories and experiences to help understand what is happening to us and to know we are not alone. I am definitely putting my experience with the Elks in this book. And I want to use its sales to help others and the only true way I see that happening is by donating back to y'all. Thank you for accepting my application for assistance. And I look forward for the first time in a long time to working with a group; your group. 




Eleventh Veteran Receives Donations from Zephyrhills Lodge for New Home

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Roberto Malcolm is the 11th veteran to be assisted with moving into his own home by Zephyrhills Lodge. He was given a love seat, recliner, dish set with six place settings, glasses, silverware, bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, dish towels, dishcloths, placemats, storage bowls and coffee maker. In addition to these items, he was also presented with a laptop to further his education. Malcolm’s gratitude was expressed in his smiles and tears.


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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2018 by the
Florida State Elks Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

Millennium Walkway

Louisiana State Legislature Increases New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax

The Legislature of the State of Louisiana has acted to increase the New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax from 13% to 14.75% effective April 1, 2014. This will affect our convention room rates and they will go from $128.56 to $130.52 per night.

Convention Attendees With ADA Transportation Needs Urged To Contact Grand Lodge

In order for the Grand Lodge to support the transportation needs of attendees with disabilities you are urged to contact the Grand Lodge if you require special assistance. Special coaches capable of kneeling to accommodate wheel chairs will be placed along the routes for those in need. If you require assistance please contact Tina or Jessica at the Grand Lodge as follows:


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