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St. Petersburg Lodge Presents Donation to PRRC

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St. Petersburg Lodge member Ed White recently chaired an event that raised $1,060 for veterans. The lodge presented $500 to the C.W. Bill Young VAMC’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) unit. The lodge will use $100 to purchase hats for veterans and the remaining $460 will be used to purchase and distribute canteen books for visiting veterans used at the BX or canteen at Bay Pines. The Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) was created in 1946 to provide articles of merchandise and services at reasonable prices to veterans enrolled in the VA health-care system, caregivers and visitors. 

Pictured at the St. Petersburg Lodge presentation of $500 to the C.W. Bill Young VAMC’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) unit are Jessica D’Allesio, PRRC recreation therapist; Ed White, lodge event chairman; Johnny Miller, Deputy Representative to C.W. Bill Young VAMC; and Chrissy Agenor, PRRC program manager.

 

St. Petersburg Lodge Provides 500 Blankets at Veterans Stand Down

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The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System hosted a stand down for homeless veterans March 30 in the Veterans Courtyard at the C.W. Bill Young VAMC campus. Hundreds of veterans were provided with a broad range of necessities including food; clothing; medical, legal and mental health assistance; job counseling and referrals; and companionship and camaraderie. As in years past, St. Petersburg Lodge hosted a table and handed out 500 double-layered fleece blankets. The blankets were made during the course of the 2018-2019 lodge year by Kat Chaplin and other lodge members. The lodge held multiple fundraisers throughout the year and received donations from members and the lodge’s Ladies of Elks organization to purchase fleece material at a cost of $19,200.

Pictured at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System’s veterans stand down March 30 are St. Petersburg Lodge members Debbie Rase, Kat Chaplin and Cathy Sosa.

 

St. Petersburg Lodge Hosts PRRC Graduates

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St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224 donated their hall and hosted seven veterans graduating from C. W. Bill Young VAMC’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) program along with 75 of their relatives, friends and staff in attendance. Graduation from PRRC is a milestone and an outward demonstration of each veteran’s commitment to the recovery process as evidenced by their achievement of goals and acquisition of considerable knowledge, skills and abilities. St. Petersburg Lodge is proud to host and take part in this event twice a year.

St. Petersburg Lodge hosts PRRC graduates (back row) James Sollars, Jack Northrop, Dan MacDonald, Gail Leonard, Craig Brodeur, Juan Collazo and Joel Scully. Pictured in the front row are Chrissy Agenor, PRRC program manager, and Stacey Delong and Jessica D’Allesio, PRRC recreation therapists.

 

Jacksonville Elks Send Packages to Local Military Serving Overseas

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Jacksonville Elks Lodge #221 used its Elks National Foundation Anniversary Grant to help military members while lessening the burdens of government by providing useful and necessary items to military members serving in Afghanistan. They worked closely with Anne Parker, president of Blue Star Mothers of America Inc., and obtained a list of those serving overseas from northeast Florida, and with the assistance of anysoldier.com, they had a list of several units whose members requested needed items. Requested items included snacks, socks and personal items. The lodge members then purchased items using the grant and sent care packages to the units. The packages included items for 720 military personnel.

The Jacksonville Elks Veterans Committee and members prepare 17 care packages to send to Afghanistan for a Cortland County resident and his troop.

 

Veteran Receives Assistance from Zephyrhills Lodge to Travel to VA Hospital

A veteran arrived at Zephyrhills Lodge in dire need of financial assistance to return to his home base of Bay Pines VA Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., so on March 19, Ken Fabiani, Exalted Ruler, presented him with a gift card for $100.

 

West Palm Beach Elks Hold Two Fundraisers for Veterans

Each year, West Palm Beach Elks Lodge #1352 holds a fundraiser for Forgotten Soldiers, an outreach program for veterans who slip through the cracks and need help adjusting to civilian life. This year’s event raised over $16,000 from raffles, auctions and donations, $1,000 of which was from the lodge. 

In March, West Palm Beach Lodge hosted the Southeast District Army of Hope picnic which included a live dessert auction, bounce house, live music and more. The event raised $2,700. 

 

Plant City Lodge Donates to Operation Outdoor Freedom

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Plant City Elks Lodge #1727 is supporting the Florida Forest Service program Operation Outdoor Freedom which provides recreational opportunities to wounded veterans on state forest, agricultural and private lands in Florida. The lodge donated $350 to help with the cost of meals during one of their weekend excursions held March 29-31.

Ed and Judy Wise of Plant City Lodge’s Veterans Committee present a lodge donation for Operation Outdoor Freedom to Daniel Lacy, forest ranger.

 

Jupiter Lodge Provides Care Packages for Homeless Veterans

With help of a $4,500 Welcome Grant from the Elks National Veterans Commission, Jupiter Elks Lodge #2469 has hosted supply drives to support veterans who are homeless in Palm Beach County with care packages including bed sheets, bath towels, dishes, pot and pans, and many other necessities.

 

Miami Elks Lodge holds Veterans' Job Fair

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On Feb. 22, Miami Elks Lodge #948 in conjunction with the Miami Veteran Center, Department of Veteran Affairs hosted a veterans’ job fair with more than 80 employers including the FBI, United States Secret Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DEA, SBA, local police and sheriff departments, Publix and Macy’s. There were 203 registered veterans and 78 family members in attendance at this event which was facilitated by Jorge Martinez of Veterans Outreach Program Specialists. Lodge volunteers served breakfast and lunch to the employers and veterans. T-shirts honoring veterans were given to attendees. These efforts were made possible by an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant.

 

Lake Okeechobee Elks use Impact Grant for Veteran Stand Downs

Lake Okeechobee Elks Lodge #2871 hosted the first of four planned Stand Downs for homeless and financially insecure veterans by utilizing the Elks National Foundation Impact Grant and purchased enough nonperishables for 110 baskets of food, 100 backpacks of hygiene products, vouchers for clothing, perishable foods, and vouchers for laundry services as well as provided hotel rooms for hot showers.

 

Veterans Treated to Dinner by South Hillsborough Elks and Beacon Grant

On the fourth Friday of every month, veterans from the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital visit South Hillsborough Elks Lodge #2672 for dinner. They can order anything off the menu thanks to an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant.

 

Tampa Lodge uses Freedom Grant for Veterans' Dinners

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Tampa Elks Lodge #708 utilized the Elks National Foundation Freedom Grant to treat veterans from the domiciliary to meals and live music at the lodge on a regular basis for the last seven months. The grand finale was a surf and turf dinner held March 15. The dinner was cooked by lodge members and served by members of the lodge’s Veterans Committee. The grant is spent, but the Veterans Committee plans to take over financing opportunities for these veterans, many of whom have become friends, to continue to come enjoy the company of Elks.

Veterans from the domiciliary attend dinner March 15 at Tampa Lodge. They are pictured with Tampa Veterans Committee member, Carolyn Miller.

 

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:

TinaH@elks.org

JessicaR@elks.org

 

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