Annual Trip to James A Haley Veterans Hospital

On Sunday October 14, Lakeland Elks Lodge 1291, went to James A Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, FL, to cook and serve lunch for the patients, and provide donations. A crew of 26 Elks helped make this possible. We provided lunch to approximately 400 patients and some staff. Meals were delivered to the patients rooms, for those that were not able to get out and join us. Music and karaoke was also provided. Truly an honor to serve those that gave so much for our country.
The annual trip to James A Haley Veterans Hospital will be on Sunday October 14th . We will prepare and serve lunch to the patients and staff. We will need approximately 35 volunteers to help feed 250-300 veterans. This is an Elk event; therefore you must be an Elk or spouse of an Elk to attend.
We will be collecting donations to take to the veterans at the hospital. There is a collection box at the lodge with a wish list.
This is the time when we give a little back to those who gave for our country, so let ’s stuff our donation box !!
The Veterans Day Ceremony will be on Veterans Day, November 11th, starting promptly at 11am.
Our next fundraising event will be a dinner on Friday 11/16, as Veterans Day falls on a Sunday this year. See flier for details.
See you at the Lodge,
Char and Kristen


Haley Visit 18 Wish



4th of July Picnic Fundraiser

Lets celebrate the 4th and support our Vets. Wednesday July 4, 1-3pm (Food served at 2) “Dunk” Tank!

Brats, Burgers & Dogs with Homemade coleslaw & pasta salad, corn on the cob, watermelon, & cake.

Contact Char Fisher or Kristen Franks to volunteer to help out.


May News

Elks 1291 has been helping local veterans. We received a request that a disabled veteran in Lakeland needed a ride to Bay Pines Medical Center to finish submitting his disability paper-work. Duke Schneider graciously gave his time and made this happen. Another request was received from the James A Haley Outpatient program. They received a 91 year old veteran in-to their program that did not have any clothes. They requested assistance with supplying him with socks, underwear, t-shirts and pants. Alice Murray took on the shopping task and we were able to provide this veteran with these necessities. Thank you Duke and Alice for assist-ing these veterans. Lakeland Elks continue to amaze!

Another request came in to assist a veteran in the outpatient program that has dementia. They wanted to provide a Deluxe Manipulation Board for this veteran; however the cost was too ex-pensive. The board is used to help Alzheimer’s patients with familiar tasks, and with cognitive and motor skills. We were able to provide the funds for them to purchase the items to make a board. They had an Active Duty serviceman that was in-patient build the board, thus incorpo-rating the young service members with the older generation in need. They can use this board for years to come with other Veterans.

Kathryn wanted me to share with the Elks that the gifts and donations they receive from us are put to good use.

She quotes “It is SO very nice to know we have support like this in the communi-ty!!! Thanks so much to Lakeland Elks for purchasing the supplies for our Veteran to have this board!!! It also made my in-patient Active Duty guys so happy to have this purpose. Thanks for all the Lakeland Elks do.”

So that we can continue helping veterans in need, our next fundraising event will be our 4th of July picnic. See the flyer for all the details. We will have a dunk tank!!! Justin Troller and Walter Thomas have volunteered to sit in the tank! If you would like to volunteer to sit in the tank, please contact Char.

Char and Kristen

Cell Phones for Soldiers Drop-off Box at the Lodge

Lakeland Elks will be collecting old cell phones, and tablets to send to Cell Phones For Soldiers.  We have a collection box at the Lodge and will collect these items for a few months.

Cell Phones for Soldiers

Helping VA Hospital with donations…

Lakeland Elks Lodge 1291 is helping the Domiciliary and Psychiatric, unit at James A Haley VA Hospital which includes homeless veterans.

Their immediate need was for T-Shirts and underwear for both men and women, and men’s athletic shoes. These patients come in to the program with nothing, and most are wearing shoes that are worn out. We have donated $1,015.00, of these items, that include, 38 pair of shoes, 12 packs of men’s t-shirts for a total of 85 shirts, 11 packs of men’s underwear for a total of 71 pair of underwear and 15 packs of women’s underwear for a total of 107 pair of underwear.

We were also able to donate 22 personal care kits from member Dan Wait’s Sandpiper community. These care packages were tailored towards the homeless veterans and included toiletries, socks and puzzle books.

Lodge Helping Vets in Lakeland -Donations

Lakeland Elks Lodge 1291 is helping our local veterans at the Lakeland Veterans Center on Ariana.

We have donated $575.00, of beverages, that includes: 20 cans of coffee, 12 cans of creamer, 2,000 packets of sugar, 12 cases of Gatorade and 15 cases of soda. These items are used by the veterans during counseling and therapy sessions. Having something to drink during a counseling session helps the veteran relax and stay focused. It also takes the expense off of them, as currently they provide their own beverage, as the Center is not provided with any funds for beverages.

Veterans Day Ceremony and Fish Fry Success

Veterans Day Ceremony and Fish Fry on November 11th, was a huge success.  Speakers, Bill Norden and Boomer Bass, gave very heartfelt and moving speeches.  Garry Malone sang Hallelujah and Bob Decker of the Florida Bras Band performed taps.

We had 5-6 Veterans from the James A Haley Out Patient Foster Program join us for the day.  We followed the ceremony with a Fish Fry, with music and raffles.

MFH Vets come to Dinner at the Lodge

Medical Foster Home Vets

I am very excited to tell you that we have worked out details to host a small number of veterans, from the Lakeland Outpatient Foster Program and their caregivers,  on the second Wednesday of the month for dinner and socialization.


These are Lakeland Community based Veterans, that James A Haley VA Hospital provides primary care for through their Medical Foster Home Program.


The Medical Foster Home Program (MFH) provides primary health care for dependent, chronically and terminally ill Veterans in a non-institutional community based setting. This alternative level of care will allow Veterans to have the option to remain in a community family setting when they lack the social supports to remain in their own home. It is an alternative to nursing home placement and at the same time improves the quality of life of our frail disabled Veterans. The MFH program demonstrates the collaboration between the Veteran and his/her family or legal representative paying for the care, the Medical Foster Home caregiver providing the care and the James A Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinics homecare team providing the medical care. The Veteran’s will receive home care through the Home Based Primary Care Program (HBPC) or Spinal Cord Injury Home Care (SCI-HC) team.

Medical Foster Home is a privately owned residence situated in the community. It makes available a Medical Foster Home family, which provides a loving, nurturing and safe environment while offering 24-hour care and supervision. It also incorporates individualized daily living routine, private/semi private rooms, and a permanent living arrangement.

Veterans Committee Update Nov 2017

On Sunday October 15th, Lakeland Elks 1291, visited James A Haley Hospital. With 30 volunteers, we were able to cook and serve 600 meals, with about 425 of those going to veterans, the rest to staff. Mobile patients, enjoyed music and karaoke in the picnic are, along with their meal, while those who were not had their meal delivered to their room. We would like to thank all of our volunteers who helped make this trip a huge success. Their hard work and dedication, made the event flawless.

We were once again able to provide numerous toiletries and comfort items for the veterans, along with an additional gift of $1,000.00, in gift cards to Wal-Mart and various restaurants that are within walking distance to the hospital. This was made possible with your support and generosity through our fundraisers, therefore, another huge thank you to all that have donated, supported and volunteered.

November 11th, at 11am. Veterans Day. All I can say is wow! If you missed our ceremony this year, then you missed a great one. Our speakers, Bill Norden and Boomer Bass, gave very heartfelt and moving speeches. Garry did a phenomenal job with singing Hallelujah. We need to give a special thank you to Dan Gilbert for his donation of the Patriotic booze basket. Also, a special huge thank you goes to Andy Haynes’ mother for making and donating the quilt. It was a beautiful quilt, done in a Patriotic theme, and she did an amazing job on it. The quilt auctioned for $805.00. We cannot thank her, and Andy and April, enough, for making this happen, a true example of Elks Care, Elks Share. It was a great day. To honor and pay tribute to all that have served, or is serving our country is our num-ber one priority as Elks!

One last reminder, our visiting veterans will be returning the second Wednesday in December, the 13th, for spaghetti dinner. They truly enjoy their time at our lodge, so please come and get to know them.

Char and Kristen

Veterans Committee Update July 2017

It’s hard to believe our first quarter is over, and we have completed two of our events. Armed Forces Day was a fun evening. The Legion of Honor Unit of the Tampa Shriners started us off with a wonderful Table of Remembrance Ceremony. It is a very meaningful ceremony and they did a spectacular job. We served 21 veterans that evening.The 4th of July picnic went off without a hitch, thanks to all for sharing the Patriotic Day with us.

We would like to thank everyone that was involved with these events, from cooking, volunteering, donating and attending. Your support never ceases to amaze us, and it is truly appreciated.

Our annual James A Haley VA Hospital cookout is scheduled for Sunday October 15 th. We will need your assistance to help make this another successful event, so mark your calendars, and watch for further information.

We are currently working out the details to host, at the lodge, for a Wednesday dinner, a small number of veterans and their caregivers. They are in the James A Haley Medical Foster Home Program. We hope that many of you will join us, so that we can provide these veterans not only a great meal, but with some socialization and support. We will provide more details when we have them.

“So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.”

Char and Kristen