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Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
 
Entire contents copyright 2022 by the
Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049
352-669-9443

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1224 shower

                   1224 shower2  1224 shower3

On May 8, Bay Pines VAMC hosted a drive-thru baby shower for women veterans. St Petersburg Lodge in partnership with the American Legion Post 273 riders did a poker run and presented $2,000 to Bay Pines VAMC in addition to $1,800 worth of baby products. The riders also did a ride-through to salute, honor and support veterans welcoming babies into their families. Pictured are Johnny Miller, lodge member and Elks VAVS representative to Bay Pines, and Penny Rase, lodge member and Post 273 member.

 

The Zephyrhills Elks Lodge Veterans Committee with help from lodge members Don Falaas and Ken Fabiani, PER, Veterans Committee Chair, donated lap blankets, jigsaw puzzles, and paint-by-numbers sets complete with brushes, paints and canvases and were delivered to Baldomero Lopez Veterans Nursing Home in Land O’ Lakes, Florida, April 9.

 

1288 hearts

Fort Myers Elks Lodge #1288 presented its $2,500 Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to Hearts & Homes for Veterans Inc. in Fort Myers May 6. Hearts and Homes is a Florida nonprofit corporation created to support homeless veterans and their families who find themselves without the necessities of everyday life. The veterans are provided with transitional and permanent housing and food and support they need in finding employment as well as transportation to VA clinics and job interviews and when applying for benefits. Pictured are Dick Conley, PDD; David Lake, PSP; and Roger Spencer, PER, Exalted Ruler, presenting the check to David Santini from Hearts and Homes.

 

708 freedom

Tampa Elks Lodge #708 used its $2,500 Elks National Foundation Freedom Grant to offer community support for two programs at the James A. Haley VAMC. One project is the creation of a lactation room for new mothers, and the other project is the annual Make a Difference Day, which provides gifts and comfort items to veterans being housed in licensed private homes. Usually this event is run like an angel tree, but with the VA being on COVID lockdown, they requested financial assistance only at this time. Pictured at the check presentation April 14 are Angela Reinhardt, program support; Tammy Tennace, Women’s Maternity Care coordinator; Brian Brantley, PER; Diane Meleen, Elks Deputy VAVS Representative; and Janeth Lopez, Voluntary Service specialist.

 

1912 well

Holiday Isles Elks Lodge members Nick Babich, left, and Ron De Luca, right, have overseen collections and delivery of donations for veterans since September 2020. They continuously gather and deliver donations from the lodge wishing well to the Bay Pines VA. These donations are items specifically requested by the Bay Pines Veterans Outreach program. Currently needed are items for its male veterans, so during March and April, Babich and De Luca have gathered and delivered clothing items such as sweat pants and gym shorts valued at $850.

 

1873 spotlight

Kissimmee Elks Lodge #1873 used its $2,000 Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to provide welcome home gifts to veterans experiencing homelessness and who have been approved for subsidized housing by the VA. Approval was obtained after interviews and examination of their fiscal and physical ability to maintain a residence. They will be given startup items to furnish their new homes. The grant plus generous donations from lodge members provided goods such as dishes, coffee pots, bedding, microwaves and bath towels. The items were delivered to the Lake Nona VA April 7.

Pictured are lodge members Janice Kirsch, Lorraine Barker, Judy Schmidt, Laurie Fabick, Exalted Ruler Theresa Hebior, Jeannie Platt, Cindy Lee, Marianne Tithof, Steve Hebior and James Platt. In the front are Karen Roper and Joe Waskelis.

 

2723 Grat

On April 16, Port Orange Elks Lodge #2723 presented a check for $554.42 to the Emory Bennett Veterans Nursing Home in Daytona, Florida, to support activities for the home’s residents. In addition to the check, the lodge provides monthly birthday cakes, ice cream and sodas as well as an annual cookout for residents and staff. The lodge also provides technology to support programs needed for the residents. Funds are provided by a Gratitude Grant from the Elks National Foundation. Pictured are Frank Tamberelli, PSP; Dee Glover, Emory Bennett State Veterans Nursing Home representative; and Frank Kuczkowski, PER. Not pictured is Jerry Peterson, Exalted Ruler and Veterans Services District Chair.

 

1224 bike

St. Petersburg Elks Lodge member Penny Rase donated a Bianchi Grizzly mountain bike valued at $700 for an Army veteran at Bay Pines VAMC. On April 7, Johnny Miller, lodge member and Grand Lodge VAVS Representative to C.W. Bill Young VAMC, presented it to the veteran who was in need of a bicycle for transportation purposes. St. Petersburg has many streets with lanes that specifically accommodate bicyclists.

 

1830 fisher

Ron Goluba, PER, Elks representative to Orlando VA Medical Center, welcomed Deanna Fisher and her family to Winter Park Elks Lodge’s dinner and dance April 2. With her was Captain, a 7-month-old English Lab who is in training to be a mental and mobility service dog for a veteran. Fisher is a volunteer with K9s for Veterans, whose mission is to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder transition to civilian life once their military service has ended with the help of trained service dogs. Fisher’s family members are members of the lodge and she applied to be a member during the visit. Pictured are Fisher and Captain at the lodge. 

 

2731 dom

On Feb. 25, Zephyrhills Elks Lodge #2731 donated T-shirts, underwear and socks to the James A. Haley VA Domiciliary using more than $500 of its Florida State Elks Association matching Beacon Grant funds. Pictured are Don Falaas; Shirley Crawford; Ken Fabiani, PER, Veterans Chair; Judy Osgood, Elks National Foundation Fundraising Chair; Paul Nutting, PER; Mark Ruiz, Program Manager/Chief; and Ryan Natzsche, Recreation Director, VA Domiciliary.

 

2731 JAH

On March 18, Zephyrhills Lodge gave monetary donations totaling $2,937.98 from their Florida State Elks Association matching Beacon Grant to five James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital (JaHVH) programs — Comfort Closet, Canteen Books, Patient Advocate Office, Inpatient Chronic Rehabilitation Program and Outpatient Rehabilitation Services. Pictured are Mitra Gobin, Chief Volunteer Services of JAHVH; Frederica O'Donnell, Supervisor IPCR; Judy Osgood, Elks National Foundation Lodge Chair; Ken Fabiani, PER, Lodge Veterans Chair; and Janett Lopez, JAHVH volunteer.

 

1352 run

On Feb. 27, West Palm Beach Elks Lodge #1352 held a 5K virtual run for the Army of Hope and raised $750. Participants could run outside the lodge or let your elk run it for you on the elk racing board.