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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

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1851 vets

On Nov. 18, Perry Elks Lodge #1851 used lodge funds and member donations to give Thanksgiving bags full of food donations to local veterans’ families.

Pictured with the donations is Clayton Huff, Exalted Ruler.


1795 wreath 1

1795 wreath 2

Fort Walton Elks Lodge #1795 purchased 10 wreaths for the Wreaths Across America program, but they also helped a large team of volunteers lay wreaths at 1,254 veterans’ graves at Beale Memorial Cemetery in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Dec. 18. This was the second annual event held in Fort Walton Beach and it was heavily supported by many community groups. The presentation of the wreath is a special procedure. After laying a wreath on a veteran’s grave, the volunteer will take one step back, come to attention, present a slow-hand salute, mention the veteran’s rank and branch of service (if known), and thank the veteran for his or her service.

Pictured are Taz WrightReynolds, PER, Exalted Ruler; Kevin Clemons, PDD, Northwest District Leader; Rob Parks, member; Tom McLaughlin, Loyal Knight; Colette Willey, member; Mark Wynn, Inner Guard; Marcie Tingler, trustee; and Paul Willey, PER.

Also pictured is Tom McLaughlin giving a slow-hand salute to a veteran.


1224 uso

On Dec. 16 at St. Petersburg Elks Lodge #1224, the Ladies of Elks Auxiliary presented a check to the Bay Pines Elks Hospital Fund for $4,035. The donation was from the proceeds from the Nov. 6 USA Show put on by lodge members and Ladies members of the lodge. It was a sold-out event chaired by Dolly Masi, PER to raise funds for the Florida Elks Hospital Fund to replenish needed clothing and toiletries at the Bay Pines VA.

Pictured are Rudy Masi, PSP; Jan Giallourakis, Ladies of Elks President; Dolly Masi, PER, USA Show chair; Frank Jones, Bay Pines VA Director of Volunteer Services; Jan Gens; and Johnny Miller, Elks VAVS Representative.



On Dec. 9, Eustis Elks Lodge #1578 held a Christmas party at Fort McCoy VFW Retirement Home for the veterans. Funds from the Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant provided lunch, and funds from the lodge charity account provided $50 gift cards for each veteran. Gift bags with a lap blanket and treats were donated by lodge members. Ron Locke, PDD, Exalted Ruler, and Santa (Terry Jones) were in attendance and Santa’s helpers were on hand to provide Christmas songs and dances.

Pictured are Darla Orr, Sally Dupuis, Kathy Lampe, Dee Olver, Peggy Schnichels, Sue Summerall and Yevet Anderson.


221 viet

On Nov. 13, Jacksonville Lodge donated $1,000 to the Vietnam Veterans, Duval County Chapter. Pictured are Jack Ward, PER; Robin Pipkins, lodge member; and Anthony D’Aleo, chapter president.


1872 vet

On Nov. 11, Florida Keys Elks Lodge #1872 held a Veterans Day ceremony led by Angela Sayre, Exalted Ruler. Boy Scout Troop 912 performed a flag exchange ceremony and presented the colors. Veteran lodge members volunteered to represent the branches of the military.

Pictured are Chris Rigano, Angela Sayre, Lynne Kibbey, Deana Medina, Larry Barr and Vicki Gassaway, all veterans and lodge members. 


Viera Elks Lodge #2817 continued their support of local veterans at the end of 2021 by providing $900 worth of furniture to six veterans transitioning to permanent housing. The funds were provided by the Elks National Veterans Service Commission Focus Grant. The program is Volunteers of America/Supportive Services for Veterans Families (VOA/SSVF).


2520 turkey

On Nov. 24, members of Aripeka Lodge’s Veterans Committee cooked 22 turkeys along with sides and fed 250 veterans in Hudson, Florida, who are homeless. Most of these veterans live in the surrounding woods and appreciated a hot turkey dinner and the camaraderie. Since then, the Veterans Committee and lodge members have adopted a veterans’ homeless outreach group and continue to gather clothing and personal hygiene items to donate to these veterans. Pictured with the turkeys is John Gudavich, PDD, lodge advisor.


2520 k9

During Aripeka Elks Lodge’s Veterans Day observance and observance of the fallen of 9/11, members of the lodge donated $28,000 to K-9 Partners for Patriots. This organization purchases and trains dogs for veterans with PTSD and other severe disabling conditions because of their service to this country. This donation allowed them to purchase and train four K-9s for veterans in need. Recently deceased Exalted Ruler, Bob Russell, was a supporter of this organization. As a result, one of the K-9 dogs will be named Bob and a second K-9 will be named Russell. Members of the lodge will be invited to the graduation ceremony for these two K-9s and their veterans to witness the veterans receiving their K-9 partners.


On Dec. 9, Eustis Elks Lodge #1578 held a Christmas party for the veterans at Fort McCoy VFW Retirement Home. Funds from the Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant provided lunch and funds from the lodge charity account provided gift cards for each veteran. Ron Locke, PDD, Exalted Ruler, along with Santa (Terry Jones) and Santa’s helpers were on hand to provide entertainment.


1892 barnabas

On Nov. 11, Green Cove Springs Elks Lodge #1892 hosted a dinner to recognize veterans and their families. The guest speaker represented Operation Barnabas, an organization that provides support and assistance to local veterans. The lodge’s Past Exalted Rulers Association donated $1,000 from its charity bingo funds to Operation Barnabas. Pictured are Past Exalted Rulers presenting the check to Operation Barnabas members. 


829 lunch

The annual USO/St. Augustine PAL Military Appreciation Day took place Dec. 4. During this event, local attractions offer free admission for all active-duty service members and their families. St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 participated by providing lunch and handing out goody bags to the children at the lodge. The lodge served 177 lunches with the assistance of 10 lodge members and 23 USO and Ladies of the Confederacy volunteers.

Pictured are military families enjoying lunch at the lodge.