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our military and veterans

St. Petersburg Lodge Sends Three Veterans to Washington, D.C.

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St. Petersburg Lodge donated $5,000 to Historic Programs to take veterans who have never been able to visit the national memorials in Washington, D.C., constructed to honor the service and sacrifice of their brothers and sisters in arms. Various parades and ceremonies were held during their visit which took place Nov. 7-10. Forty Elks veterans (two WWII, two Korea, 36 Vietnam) and 13 caregivers attended these events from the following districts – C, SSE, NW, SW, SSW, SEC, WC, EC, SE and NC – and lodges – Aripeka, Crestview, Kissimmee, Lakewood Ranch-Sarasota, Largo, Naples, Ocala, Punta Gorda, West Palm Beach, St. Petersburg, Stuart-Jensen, Tampa and Zephyrhills. The Elks provided a veteran speaker for each war. VPAL Rudy Masi Sr. spoke on behalf of the Florida State Elks Association. The donation paid all the expenses of three veterans including accommodations, air fare, memorial visits and meals.


Plant City Lodge Members Serve Meal at Local Armory

As Plant City Lodge Veterans Chairman, Judy Wise is in touch with the 1st Sergeant and Commander of the Armory. The family services volunteer called to ask if the Elks would be able to serve a catered Christmas lunch to the National Guard at the Plant City Armory. Wise always uses these opportunities to also let them know about the Army of Hope. On Dec. 7, Wise along with her husband and Americanism chairman, Ed Wise, and new members Michael and Eva Butler served the meal.  


Lake Okeechobee Elks Hold Veterans Stand Down

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Lake Okeechobee Elks Lodge #2871 used their Elks National Foundation Impact Grant for their fifth veterans’ stand down given out before Christmas to local veterans in need. 


Zephyrhills Lodge Furnishes More Veterans' Homes

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On Dec. 24, Zephyrhills Lodge furnished the home of Orlando Houston, the 27th veteran moving into independent living and starting a new life. On Dec. 28, Zephyrhills Lodge furnished the home of Delroy and Jeanene and their 2-year-old son, Jamie. Members Tom Pete and Ken Fabiani, PER, delivered the items including a microwave, television, dining table, four chairs, dresser, lamps, coffee table, end tables, coffee maker, coffee, pots, pans, dishes, cups, glasses, silverware, bath towels, kitchen towels, shower rod, shower curtain, linens, pillow and blankets.


St. Petersburg Lodge Members Visit VA for Christmas

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Christmas came early for veterans and active military members hospitalized at C.W. Bill Young VAMC. On Dec. 19, several St. Petersburg Lodge members delivered hundreds of Christmas ornaments donated by various lodges and organizations to all those hospitalized. Also on hand were Santa Claus and Majik the Elf (Charlie and Kim Cox, volunteers from the community). The ornaments gifted were secondary; the real gift was the gift of spending time with each veteran hospitalized at the VA. Pictured are Exalted Ruler, Dawn Elaine Lieber; Liz Ramsburg; Santa Claus (Charlie Cox); Johnny Miller, VAVS Deputy Representative; and Majik the Elf (Kim Cox).


Sebring Lodge Hosts Christmas Luncheon for Veterans

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Sebring Elks Lodge #1529 hosted a Christmas luncheon Dec. 18 at the lodge for 33 veterans and their caregivers. The guests came from Fairway Pines, Sunny Hills and the Palms.  Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus (non-members Robert and Nancy Yearicks who attend this event each year) presented them with gifts.


Two St. Petersburg Lodge Members Perform at Bay Pines VAMC

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On Dec. 17, Johnny Miller, St. Petersburg Lodge member and Grand Lodge VAVS Deputy Representative, and Joel Bressler, spouse of member Carol Bressler, donated their time and voices to entertain the veterans and members of the community at Bay Pines VAMC while the Combined Federal Campaign collected unwrapped toys for the Marines’ Toys for Tots. Miller DJ’d and Bressler sang, including two songs he wrote in tribute to veterans.

Joel Bressler, spouse of a St. Petersburg Lodge member, and Johnny Miller, VAVS representative, perform at Bay Pines VAMC Dec. 17.


Jupiter Lodge Hosts Thanksgiving Dinner for Veterans

On Nov. 2, Jupiter Elks Lodge members and guests along with local scouts welcomed and hosted a bus-full of veterans from a local VA for an annual Thanksgiving luncheon. Members cooked a traditional dinner that was served by the scouts. After lunch, veterans enjoyed two rounds of Elk races and each went home with a goody bag and a homemade quilt made by Hibiscus Quilt Guild of South Florida to keep them warm.


Punta Gorda Lodge Supports Local Veterans

Punta Gorda Lodge sent a group of veterans including eight members of the lodge to Washington, D.C., Nov. 8-10 as part of the Parade of Heroes. The lodge raised $6,825 to help defray expenses.

Punta Gorda Lodge hosts monthly luncheons at the lodge for 12 residents of the Douglas T. Jacobson Veterans Home. They also serve meals to 25 veterans at Veterans Village, a transitional housing program for veterans in Punta Gorda who are homeless.

On Dec. 5, the Punta Gorda Lodge Past Exalted Rulers Association held their annual Christmas party. A monetary collection took place with a total of $260 collected and donated to the Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans Home’s Recreation Fund.


Winter Park Elks Take Part in Wreaths Across America

On Dec. 12, Winter Park Elks Lodge members went to the Greenwood Cemetery and joined many others in placing wreaths on the graves of fallen military. Wreaths Across America is an event coordinated with 1,300 cemeteries in the country. Orlando politicians, Eagles and Moose members, Boy Scouts, VFW, local TV and news organizations, and others attended to honor the fallen. A flyover from the nearby airport also took place. Each service had a representative that hung a wreath in memory of their comrades.


East Polk Lodge Gives Household Items to Veterans in New Homes


On Nov. 13, East Polk Elks Lodge #2882 used their Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to provide a year’s worth of personal and household items to 10 veterans who were previously homeless but now have been set up with an apartment or home. The Elks purchased and packaged toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, bar soap, hand soap, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues and dish soap.

Jack Collins, PDD and Dee Spivey, PER are pictured Nov. 13 with items purchased by East Polk Lodge to give to veterans who have transitioned into their own homes.


Perry Lodge Hosts Veterans Day Luncheon

With over 100 in attendance, Leading Knight, Kevin Cruce, welcomed guests to Perry Lodge’s Veterans Day luncheon Nov. 10. Event chairman, Ed Harvey, opened the program and recognized all veterans present. The JROTC presented the colors and the Patriot Guard posted flags outside along the driveway. Memorabilia from local veterans was also on display.


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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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