FECTS Director Message
- Written by Colleen Gallant
W ell, here we are, happily preparing for cooler weather – or so we hope.W ell, here we are, happily preparing for cooler weather – or so we hope.
So many great things are happening with Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services.
We are fully staffed with a total of 28 therapists – 21 occupational therapists and seven physical therapists. Rebecca Fenner who was our occupational therapist in the central Florida area had to leave us in September, but we are pleased that she will be able to continue as a contract therapist in that very busy region. Althea Montgomery is replacing Becky and started with us Sept. 25. We are happy to welcome Althea to our FECTS family.
Over the past couple of months, our therapists have treated an average of 508 children each week and our contract therapists have treated an additional 22 children for a total of 530 children each week. This continues to be an amazing number of children being treated, especially when you consider that when the hospital closed, we were only treating 30 children each month.
On Sept. 8, we enjoyed the Day at the Rays along with our new CHAMP, JJ D’Angelo, who made the “Play Ball” announcement. We were also pleased to have our FECTS ambassador, Jackson Barth, and his family in attendance. With several of our therapists, we had a great day and enjoyed a Rays win!
As the therapists and I travel around the state with our State President, Tom Ludwick, the therapists and I continue to meet amazing Elks and hear the wonderful work that each lodge does in their community. Our therapists are truly enjoying the opportunity to meet so many of our members and our members seem to really enjoy the stories our therapists have to tell.
As the Director, I love hearing from a family where one of our therapists has made a huge impact on their child’s life as well as theirs. I’m also moved when an Elks member who has witnessed this tremendous change in a baby’s life tells me that he knew about our program and heard us speak about FECTS but was overwhelmed when he saw the difference it made firsthand. Thank you, Florida Elks, for allowing our therapists to continue this amazing work.
We just returned from the Florida Ladies of Elks (FLOE) conference in Daytona Beach, Fla., and what a wonderful event that was. The ladies of FLOE do such an amazing job of supporting our major projects. At the meeting where Paula Tarver and I spoke, FECTS was presented checks totaling $9,500 plus an additional check from FLOE for $1,987. All I can say is, “Wow!” You ladies are awesome, and we are so grateful at FECTS for all your support. Thank you!
If you would like to have a therapist at your lodge for an event, go to the Therapy Services page at floridaelks.org and complete the therapist participation form and we will do our best to have a therapist at your event.
On behalf of our 28 therapists, Deborah and myself, thank you for being the best Elks in the nation and for your amazing support of Florida’s major projects and especially Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services.
Stay safe and enjoy the cooler weather!
Colleen Gallant, Director
Florida Elks Children's Therapy Services