Florida Elks News Editor:
Rachael King
Entire contents copyright 2023 by the
Florida State Elks Association Inc.
P.O. Box 49
Umatilla, FL 32784-0049

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Florida Elks News Online

Sustaining Donors, Leadership for a New Year, and a Fond Farewell!

For the last nine years I have had the privilege of assisting in the development and support of our sustaining donor program for our Harry-Anna Trust Fund. That’s right, our first sustaining donation was received Aug. 14, 2015. Since then, it has proven to be a very popular way to donate, and as a funding source, it continues to grow.

A sustaining donor is one who gives monthly to Harry-Anna, typically through a recurring credit card charge or an auto draft from a checking or savings account. We still even have a few donors who choose to mail a check to us each month. The beauty of a sustaining donation is that it is usually a small amount and is therefore relatively painless to give, often the price of a couple of cups of specialty coffee each month. To borrow a phrase from an oft heard informercial — “set it and forget it!”

As easy as it is, donors come and donors go. They become sustaining donors when someone asks them to, but many times it is the first thing they stop when something changes at the lodge. Nonetheless, it demonstrates power in numbers and a sharing of responsibility — crowdfunding at its best. It is a reminder to us of the altruistic nature of our Elks members.

Here are the donations by the numbers:

1,121 Unique sustaining donors since inception

702 Sustaining donors on record as of this writing

29,776 Gifts processed since inception

$21.92 Average gift each month

$652,656 Cumulative give since inception

$14,686 Donations received each month

20 Average number of months a now-lapsed donor gave

We also take great pride in recognizing our sustaining donors in every issue of this publication: the Florida Elks Magazine. Check out our list of donors, starting on page 8 of this issue.

Our goal with sustaining donors is to one day have enough individual sustainers so our lodges do not have to raise one penny for Harry-Anna — not one penny for Harry-Anna — so that lodges can focus on raising money for causes closer to home and within the community. At the rate of our average donation, it would take only 2,963 donors to meet that goal. This is a few more than our 702 today, but from almost 55,000 members statewide, that’s just over 5% of our members who would need to donate to help us reach our goal. How about it, are you a sustaining donor? Would you like to become one?

Donate at: floridaelks.org and click on the DONATE HERE link at the very top of the web page. Once at the donation form, make sure to click Recurring for your gift.

To view our giving reports, go to floridaelks.org and click on the image that says ENF & HATF Donor Reports.

enf hatf donor reports image NEW

There is no easier way to support our Therapy Services and Youth Camp major projects, and I thank you for your consideration of this request!

The Order of Elks is alive and well, as witnessed by the almost 300 Florida delegates attending the recent national Elks convention in Austin, Texas. The Elks is one of the few organizations that requires participation of elected officials at the state and national level, and in my opinion, this is why we remain the large and dynamic organization we are today! I have always taken great pride in my role at these events as our State Secretary, helping to provide opportunities for socialization and fellowship. Thanks go to everyone who attended our conventions this year, and next year, I hope you might consider bringing a new member or two with you so they too can experience Elkdom on a different scale than just the lodge.

Our State President, Russ Smith, and our National President, Doug Schiefer, are off and running. Russ rolled up his sleeves at our state convention and promised to do his best to enhance and promote the programs and mission of the Florida State Elks Association. His motto is “Exemplifying Elkdom” and through it he challenges us to join him in rolling up our sleeves and following his lead. He believes that by doing so, we will make our lodges even warmer and more inviting than they already are, that our membership will soar, and the support for our many projects and programs will increase exponentially. Our Grand Exalted Ruler (GER), Doug Schiefer, is an Elk from the great state of Ohio and his motto is “Elkdom’s Heart for America.” GER Schiefer believes that promoting the programs of Elkdom in our lodges and communities will forge a greater sense of unity and involvement among lodge members. He also asks every Elk to perform small acts of patriotism every day! I hope you will endeavor to attend the visit of the State President to your district and the visit of GER Schiefer to Florida at the February Quarterly at the Florida Elks Youth Camp Feb. 6-8, 2025.

Finally, we bid a sad farewell to our member and good brother, Joseph B. Rogers, affectionately known to Elks everywhere as Big Joe! Joe’s larger-than-life persona was known nationwide, I kid you not! I attended many a national convention with Joe and rarely did you have to walk far before someone would yell out, “Big Joe!” After the announcement of Joe’s passing went out, the tributes started pouring in. The phrases used to describe Big Joe included Great guy!, Great Man!, Great Elk!, One of a kind!, One of the good guys! Joe was awesome and An iconic figure!” I believe Past State President Mike Phillips said it best: “There has never been and will probably never be another Elk like Joe Rogers.”

To know him was to love him. The man knew not a stranger! He will be deeply missed.

Joseph B. “Big Joe” Rogers
Dec. 2, 1936 — July 12, 2024

Rest in peace, my friend!


Carl Seibert


Carl Seibert, COO
State Secretary
Florida State Elks Association