Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
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Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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2519 valor

On July 9, Seminole Elks Lodge #2519 donated $1,000 to David Creighton from Valor Preserve at Lake Seminole and Neil Brickfield, Executive Director of the Pinellas Housing Authority. Valor Preserve is a new affordable Pinellas County housing development for veterans who have been honorably discharged as well as elderly, disabled or homeless Pinellas County residents.

Pictured are David Creighton; David Haggadone, Exalted Ruler ; and Neil Brickfield.


2010 whcc

On June 5, Naples Lodge delivered 33 $100 gift cards to Warrior Homes of Collier County, using the $1,000 Elks National Veterans Service Commission Freedom Grant and $2,300 from the lodge charity fund.

Pictured are Greg Tinsley, WHCC; Barbara Salkow, WHCC Board of Directors; Brian Kamp, Lodge Grants Coordinator; Arlene Hansen, Lodge Secretary; and Kim Lebetz, Lodge Treasurer. 


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Manasota Elks Lodge’s Jim Klocke, PER, Chair of the Manatee County Veterans Council, led the annual Memorial Day service in Bradenton May 27. The annual service is held at Donald L. Courtney Veterans Park. There were 225 attendees, including JROTC from Lakewood and Parrish High Schools; Gene Brown, Bradenton mayor; Shirley Groover-Bryant, Palmetto mayor; Colonel Gill Ruderman; and 11 Elks from local lodges. Jack Cantwell, PDD of Bradenton Lodge led the singing of the national anthem and “God Bless America.” Klocke and Manasota Lodge volunteers maintain the park throughout the year. They raise and take down 25 flags for holidays and celebrations. They weed and trim; replenish mulch; clean the monuments, memorial benches and pavers; and replace flags as needed.

Pictured are Spike Klocke, Manasota Lodge Grants Coordinator; Jim Klocke, PER; and Jack Cantwell, PDD of Bradenton Lodge.


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On May 19, Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 hosted veterans from Clyde E. Lassen Veterans Nursing Home for an afternoon of fishing and lunch. Using funds provided by the Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant, 24 Elks provided a fun outing for 20 guests, including veterans and their family members and staff members.

Pictured are Richie Inman, Lassen Nursing Home Activities Director; veterans Chris Henry, Robert Dodge, and Broward Strickland; member Julie Carlson; and Rick Kunze, PER, Lodge Veterans Committee Chair. Also pictured are attendees fishing from the dock and a group photo of lodge members and helpers.


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The Zephyrhills Lodge Veterans Committee donated 50 cases of coffee to Healing Hearts Cafe in Zephyrhills. The cafe feeds brunch and dinner to veterans experiencing homelessness and others in the community. 

Pictured are Lori Kane, manager, and Howard Lundsford, Ken Fabiani’s neighbor.


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On June 12, New Port Richey Lodge members attended a veterans' pinning ceremony, hosted by a local funeral home. They presented 22 veterans with American flag pins, Veteran’s Creed cards, and remembrance cards packaged with a star removed from a retired American flag. There were approximately 10 packets of items left, so they were given to a representative from a long-term care facility to give to the veterans residing there.

Pictured are Thelma Garland, Lecturing Knight; Brian Tilki, U.S. Navy veteran; and Elizabeth Groves, Inner Guard and USAF veteran.


On Memorial Day, May 27, Punta Gorda Elks Lodge #2606 held a picnic for members and guests and raised $1,030 for the Florida Elks Army of Hope, whose mission is to provide essential assistance to Florida military families facing financial and emotional challenges.


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Fort Myers Elks Lodge #1288 conducted the annual Flag Day ritual June 15. The event featured the Vietnam Brotherhood Company B, which is made up of Vietnam veterans. They showcased a historical sequence of American flags, ranging from the Pine Tree flag to the present 50-star flag and the POW flag. After the ceremony, the lodge made a contribution of $500 to the brotherhood's scholarship fund.

Pictured are the Vietnam Brotherhood showcasing the flags and Eric Farmer, Exalted Ruler, presenting the donation to Rick Reeves, Commander of Company B.


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On June 6, members of Jacksonville Elks Lodge #221 donated approximately $350 worth on nonperishable food, prewrapped utensils and personal supplies to Northeast Florida Women Veterans. In addition to all the services that NEFWV offers women veterans, they also serve approximately 45 to 65 women monthly through their food pantry. The women running this organization are a positive force of energy. NEFWV recognizes that many women veterans transition well and are successful but some women veterans do not handle transition well or have things happen beyond their control and need some help. As stated on the NEFWV website, "Women are the fastest-growing community of military veterans. As veterans, we are subject to the same challenges as our male counterparts: PTSD, MST, high divorce rate, health issues, and even homelessness. The challenges for women, goes beyond that. Often childcare, domestic violence, gender discrimination, and other issues, push our needs beyond the normal transition challenges.” It also says that not until recently have the VA and community agencies focused on the needs of women veterans. The NEFWV works to ensure women veterans do not remain the “Invisible veterans.”

Pictured are Deborah Reedy, PER, Lodge Secretary; Amy Collins, NEFWV case manager and Navy veteran; and Karen Tracy, U.S. Navy, retired, and Lodge Veterans Services Chair.

Also pictured are Amy Collins; Elaine Spencer, case manager and Army veteran; Natalie Marcano-Sidberry, lead case manager and Navy veteran; and Karen Tracy.

Also shown is the food pantry area.


2731 haley

On May 20, the Zephyrhills Elks Lodge Veterans Committee donated $500 worth of personal hygiene items, shoes, sandals and undergarments to James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa.

Ken Fabiani, PER, Lodge Veterans Chair, presented the donations to Angela Reinhart, Volunteer  Service Coordinator. 


2731 rahman

Veteran Craig Rahman and his wife, Olivia, lost their home six months ago when a hurricane took their St. Petersburg home. On June 5, the Zephyrhills Lodge Veterans Committee helped furnish their new home. Craig had a list of items they lost, including a washer and dryer, pots and pans, dishes, kitchen utensils, queen-size bed, lamps, coffee and end tables, dining room set, 72-inch flat screen television, 32-inch television, towels for the kitchen and bathroom, and linens and blankets. 

Pictured are Howard Lundsford, Dave Greene, and Olivia and Craig Rahman.


On June 5, the veterans committee of Zephyrhills Lodge delivered 50 lap blankets to veterans staying at Baldomero Lopez State Veterans’ Nursing Home. The lap blankets were made by the Happy Hookers from the Scotland Yard community.