Community Involvement

We provide support to the following local organizations:
Use of our facilities to:

  • The St. Johns County Veterans Service Council
  • The Ancient City Chapter of the Marine Corps League
  • Troop #345 of the Boy Scouts of America
  • United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots

Financial contributions:

  • USO
  • Betty Griffin House
  • Council on Aging
  • Fishing for Dreams
  • Kids Bridge, Inc.
  • NE Florida Community Hospice
  • St. Augustine Empty Stocking Fund
  • St. Augustine High School Band Scholarships
  • St. Augustine Pop Warner Football
  • St. Francis House
  • St. Gerard House
  • Elks Kids Fit Club
  • Chase / Resorla Scholarship Fund
  • 10 Scholarships to local high schools graduating seniors

Grace Andrews presenting Bailey Hospice Center with a check for $1500 raised from the Survivor Party on 10/30/2020

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St. Augustine Elks Lodge Host Veterans

Residents of Clyde E. Lassen State Veterans’ Nursing Home in St. Augustine were guests at our Lodge for a spaghetti lunch. Pictured with the guests are Pat Shipley, Exalted Ruler along with several members of our Lodge who prepared and served lunch. Also pictured is our Lodge Veterans Committee member Hurbert Naumann.


The first Saturday in December is designated as USO PAL Day and to show our appreciation for their service to our country members of the military and their families are invited to Saint Augustine to tour the sights. Then they board the sight seeing trolleys for a ride to our Lodge where Elks member volunteers served a complete lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs with all the trimmings including ice cream for dessert to 700 military members and their families. This is the fifty-sixth USO PAL DAY that the Lodge, working together with the USO, has hosted the luncheon. Members of the local Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter presented gifts to all the children.

Elks Lodge Annual Hoop Shoot Contest

St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 working together with the Boys & Girls Club held a their annual Hoop Shoot Contest. Fourteen children in 3 age divisions have advanced to the Northeast Florida competition. Winners were presented with trophies, certificates and tee shirts. Elks members donated basketballs to the Boys & Girls Club. The Elks hosted a pizza party for all participants and members of the Boys & Girls Club. Pictured with the group are Elk volunteers Marybeth & Jim Geronimo.

Elks Northeast District Hoop Shoot

Northeast District Hoop Shoot was held on January 7th at the St. Augustine Boys & Girls Club. Pictured are 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. The first and second place winners from each category will go on to participate in the Regional Tournament.

Elks Lodge Host Pal Day Event

St. Augustine Elks Lodge members and volunteers prepared and served lunch provided by the USO to more than 800 military members and their families attending this years PAL Day activities in St. Augustine. The children all were presented a gift bag by the Daughters of the Confederacy.

Pictured is Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler Olen Meredith, President of United Daughters of the Confederacy Judy Davis, Dan Nestor representing the Florida National Guard who presented a donation to the USO, Ron Renaud Elks Lodge USO Chairman and John Shockley, Greater Jacksonville USO Executive Director.

Annual Kids Day

St. Augustine Elks Lodge # 829 Drug Awareness Chairman, Audrey Allen assisted by Grace Smithey represented the Lodge at the 2011 annual Kids Day held at Francis Field.

Audrey and Grace spent the day informing children and their parents about the dangers of drug abuse. More than 2000 children and families attended the Kids Day activities.

Many children and their families visited the Elks booth to learn about the dangers of drug use.

The children signed a pledge not to use drugs and were given a ribbon after signing their pledge as a reminder of their pledge.

Pictured are Audrey and Grace with just a few of the families who visited the booth.

Tim Fark receives a haircut from Helen Delo during the Homeless Veterans Stand Down at the St. Augustine Elks Lodge on Saturday. ‘I needed it bad,’ said Fark about the haircut.

Tim Fark has lived in many places, the last of them New Orleans, before his move to St. Augustine in 2005. He likes living here, he said as a volunteer cut his brown hair Saturday. He likes it, even if he’s homeless. “The people here are more down to earth,” he said as his pit bull, Bumper McBones, waited outside for Fark to finish. “The situation I’m in … a lot of people look down on it … but I don’t find that here.”

Fark was one of 100 homeless people, 33 of them veterans, served at the annual homeless veterans stand down at the Elks Lodge on Anastasia Boulevard.

Participants took free showers and received clothing and haircuts, and volunteers connected homeless veterans to housing, health care and employment resources.

The Elks Lodge donated the space for the day, and volunteers made hamburgers for attendees.

Elk’s Lodge recently presented another $5000.00 check to Northeast Florida Community Hospice.

Pictured are Susan Ponder Stansel, CEO & President of Northeast Community Hospice, Olen Meredith, Exalted Ruler, Bob Catuto, PDD & Bingo Chairman and James Solana, Past State President.


VFW Honor Guard and Boy Scouts along with Lodge Officers participated in the tribute to the Flags.

Immediately followed by retirement of 217 American Flags burned in the fire pit built last year as a Boy Scout Project.

St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829’s “Elks Kids Fit Club” conducted a Drug Awareness Contest at the Walter E. Harris Community Center, St. Johns County After-School Program in Hastings. The younger children submitted posters, while the older children submitted essays.

The winners received their awards at the Lodge on May 4, 2011. Pictured above from left to right are: Gene Rittenhouse (“Elks Kids Fit Club” Coordinator), Ivyanah Lewis (2nd Place Poster), Eryca Sampson (1st Place Essay), Joshua Floyd (1st Place Poster), Tyree Stephens (3rd Place Poster), Olen Meredith (Lodge Exalted Ruler), Janeshia Johnson (3rd Place Essay). Not show is Daniel Thorne (2nd Place Essay), who could not attend.

St. Augustine Elks Lodge Past Exalted Ruler, Fred DuPont and Lodge Esquire, Patty Hill gave the Easter Bunny a ride in the St. Augustine Annual Easter Sunday Parade.

This is just one of the Florida Elks Therapy Services van. Our goal is to provide in home physical and occupational therapy to Florida children that do not have easy access to these services. These services are provided in their homes regardless of the ability to pay. The 20 therapists who render these services are employed by the Florida Elks Association and licensed to practice by the State of Florida.

Florida State Elks Association President to visit St. Augustine.

FSEA President, Dr. James E. Hurst, Jr., and his wife Julia will be visiting the City of St. Augustine on February 11th and 12th. Representing 67,000 Elks in the state, he and his party will be attending various functions including a wreath laying at the National Cemetery on Marine Street.

His motto for his year as President is “You Can Count on Us”, a motto that he has lived by his entire life. A Jacksonville native, he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Florida State University and then served two years in the U.S. Army, including one year in Vietnam. After his service to our country he returned to FSU, earning his Masters Degree in Education. He taught History for the Duval County Public School System until his appointment as a principal in 1978, received his Doctorate in Education in 1985 from Nova Southeastern University and retired in 1997.

Jim joined the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in 1987 and was the elected Exalted Ruler of Jacksonville Lodge #221 for 1999-2000. He served a Vice President of the Northeast District for 2005-2206 and on the Board of Directors of the Florida Elks Properties for five years, before being Elected this year’s State President.


St. Augustine Elks Lodge hosted their annual Americanism Essay Award Ceremony and dinner to honor the six contest winners and their families.

This year’s theme was “Why I Am Proud To Be An American.” The students were presented with a Certificate of Achievement and will receive United States Savings Bonds.

5th and 6th grade winners were Janeya VanDyke-Able Middle School, Iman Barakzoy-Gamble Rogers Middle School, and Garrett Tedder-Gamble Rogers Middle School.

7th and 8th grade winners were Michael Peil-Gamble Rogers Middle School, Sophia Williar-Cathedral Parish School, and Maria Tolzmann-Murray Middle School.

The winning essays were forwarded to the Northeast District Elks Chairman with a chance to go to the statewide contest.

Pictured left to right Sophia Williar, Maria Tolzmann, Michael Peil, Fred DuPont; Exalted Ruler, Janeya VanDyke, Iman Barakzoy, and Garrett Tedder.


St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 participated in Family Day at Francis Field with a drug awareness booth to educate children as to the hazards of drugs.

Pictured are Audrey Allen, Elks Drug Awareness Chairman, and Peggy Getsinger presenting young children with information that will help them later in life.


Members of Elks Lodge #829, Hubert Naumann and George Milroy, serve coffee and donuts at the St. Augustine VA Clinic. The Elks are not alone in this gesture, the VFW and the American Legion also let veterans needing medical care know that their service to our country is appreciated

The Elks Kids Fit Club began its third year of operation under the direction of Tonya Jackson at the Walter E. Harris Community Center and Gym in Hastings on January 19, 2011. The Chairman of the St. Johns County Commissioners, Ken Bryan, and Florida State Elks Association President, James Hurst, took part in the opening ceremonies. Each thanked the 60 children present for their eager participation in the program.

This once a week program consists of an exercise program directed by a professional trainer, Joseph Quarto and presentations on healthful lifestyles by members of the St. Johns County Sheriff Office’s Police Athletic League and local health professionals. It is aimed at helping children choose a healthy living lifestyle and is paid for by a grant from the Elks National Foundation.


Members of St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 Veterans Service Committee visited all of the local nursing homes and the VA Hospital in Gainesville to distribute Christmas cards and gifts donated by the Bingo Ladies to over 100 veterans to let them know they are not forgotten and thank them for their service to our Country.

Pictured here are Elks Frank Schmidt, George Milroy, Viggo Melin, and Hubert Naumann, with some of the residents of the Clyde E. Lassen State Nursing Home.

Arc Chrismas Party

The Elks of St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 hosted a Christmas Party for 192 of their special friends on Sunday, December 12th. Arc Clients, Center for Living, and Adam’s Acres were treated to presents and a visit from Santa Claus.

Pictured are those enjoying the party and a photo of Jimmy Dobbing and Lodge Secretary George April sharing a joke.


St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 hosted the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program for St. Johns County.

On Saturday, December 18th Gunnery Sergeants Keith, Gaskell, Moore and Pruitt of the Marine Corps Reserve, the St. Augustine Chapter of the Marine Corps League, and the Elks provided Christmas presents for 348 needy children.

Pictured here are all the volunteers and one of GySgt Moore trades salutes with a future Marine.


St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 has been named the Veterans Service Organization of the Year by the St. Johns County Veterans Service Council. To earn this honor the Elks:

  • Made monthly visits to the VA Hospital in Lake City to host bingo and donating prizes, additional toiletry items, and over 80 gifts for their annual Christmas party
  • Hosted the Florida State Elks Army of Hope Charity District fund raiser donating over $3,000 to this charity that supports the families of our deployed military
  • Held St. Augustine’s USO Pal Day Luncheon serving over 500 meals to the families of our military who came to town to celebrate the holidays
  • Donated $1800 to the USO to purchase phone cards for our military heroes
  • Was the local distribution point for the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots
  • Hosted the St. Johns County Veterans Service Office Homeless Stand-down allowing the VA and other government agencies to use their facility to provide assistance to these forgotten warriors while serving a warm meal, haircuts, and hot showers

The Elks also offer their facility free of charge as the monthly meeting place to the Ancient City Chapter of the Marine Corps League, the Marine Corps League Ladies Auxiliary, and the St. Johns County Veterans Service Council.

Pictured is Bill Dudley of the St. Johns County Veterans Service Council presenting the award to our Exalted Ruler, Fred DuPont.


St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 hosted its fifty-fifth annual PAL DAY Luncheon on Saturday, December 4th. Fifty Elks, working in conjunction with the Greater Jacksonville USO, volunteered to cook lunch for 826 active duty military and their families.

This year’s event was dedicated to the memory of Don Gebert, “The Earl of Bean”, who cooked the baked beans for this event for over 20 years. His two sons John and Geoff were able to pick up the slack and carry on the family tradition, albeit with heavy hearts.

Pictured here is a plaque of Don Gebert that is hanging in the kitchen at the Elks Lodge.

Pictured here is event chairman Ron Renaud presenting a donation of $500 for the USO’s phone home to John Shockley, Executive Director Greater Jacksonville USO.

Pictured here in the kitchen are John Shockley, Executive Director Greater Jacksonville USO, and John and Geoff Gebert.


On October 8th, St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 partnered with the local Boys and Girls Club to hold a “Hoop Shoot” contest with over 50 kids ages 6-13 participating. 1st and 2nd place winners will go on to the Elks District completion.

Justin Black, Director of the Boys and Girls Club, is pictured here with some of the participants.

Volunteers from the Elks Lodge are, seated: Suzanne Murphy and Bob Dooley; standing are: Mark Morgan, Coordinator Dean DeKnight, Suzan DeKnight, Sol Kaufman, Darla Aaslund, Bubbles Kaufman, Marge Dooley, Wayne Reyes, and Deborah Haass.

Elks Kids Fit Club is paid for by an annual grant from the Elks National Foundation, we partner with St. Johns County Parks and Recreation, Florida State Health Department, and the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency at the Solomon Calhoun Center in an after school program to address childhood obesity in our community.

Pictured with Elks Coordinator Dean DeKnight are the winners of the 6-7 year old category.


St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829 partnered with the Boys and Girls Club to hold their annual soccer shoot on September 15th. Elk members Dean and Sue DeKnight, along with Irv Stockdale and Suzanne Murphy, challenged over 50 kids to score as high as they could with the following results:

12-13 Years old 10-11 Years old
1st Place Damiah Finsh 1st Place Kenny Logan
2nd Place Trichael McRae 2nd Place Chelsea Kima
3rd Place Shelby Johnston 3rdPlace Alphonso McCall
8-9 Years old 6-7 Years old
1st Place Deshay Harper 1st Place Jabari Carpenter
2nd Place Adrae Fullwood 2nd Place Hataja Gordon
3rdPlace Zahki James

1st Place winners will move on to the Elks Northeast District Playoffs.

The Elks Lodge of St. Augustine, Florida hosted a Homeless Veterans Stand Down on Saturday, August 28th, 2010. As a member of the St. Johns County Veterans Service Council, members of St. Augustine Lodge #829 and Mandarin/St. Johns Lodge #2866 partnered with volunteers from all of the other area veteran groups to let 25 homeless vets know they are not forgotten. Additionally, approximately 200 other homeless people received clothing, sleeping bags, back packs and bicycles provided by Wal-Mart Corporation. Haircuts, showers and hot meals were also provided. The Veterans Administration, The American Red Cross, The Homeless Coalition, and other government agencies provided medical assistance, housing and job opportunities. According to St. Johns County Commissioner Ray Quinn, “The Elks are an invaluable asset to the community”. Elks Care, Elks Share.

Exalted Ruler Fred DuPont and Elks Bingo Chairman Bob Catuto present two $750 checks to Head Coach Mike Shield and his son M.J. Shield, sponsoring two Pop Warner football teams for the 2010 season. In the past year, The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America donated over $306 Million to various charities.


Sixty-one children at the Solomon Calhoun Community Center participated in the Elks Kids’ Fit Club 14-week program. The program’s aim is to help children learn about healthy life-styles, through exercise and healthy eating. Each week consisted of trainer led exercises and health lectures provided by the St Johns County Offices of the Florida State Health Department.

The exercise equipment needed for both group and individual activities was provided by St Augustine Elks Lodge #829 through a $5500 grant from the Elks National Foundation. The children participating were part of the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency’s after school program. To encourage continued exercise each participant was given their individual exercise equipment to use at home.

The program was established in 2009 with an initial Elks National Foundation grant of $8500 in coordination with the St Johns County Parks and Recreation Services to meet a need for which there were no funds available. It has been staffed with Elk volunteers along with staff members of the other organization under the guidance of the County Parks and Recreation Services.

On Sunday, June 13th a Ceremony honoring our Country’s Flag to celebrate the anniversary of its birth was appropriately held at St. Augustine Elks Lodge #829. This ceremony has been held nationwide by all Elks Lodges annually since 1908. This unique distinction as being the strongest promoter of “Flag Day” is most becoming as the The Order of Elks is distinctively American. It has linked its destiny with the destiny of our country and made this Flag its symbol.

The history of the Flag was given by Gene Rittenhouse, Loyal Knight assisted by Boy Scout Troop 345. Pictured are Tyler Stockley, Rhys Bennett, Erol Bahadiroglu, Ben Green, Chase Jones, Luke Mahan, Trey Payne, Kevin Mahan, Griffin Gard, Travis Hull with their leaders, Bunny Geores, Dennis Mahan and Bill Barrett.