Oakland Park Elks Team with United Way to Help Veterans

On August 14, 2021 Oakland Park Elks Lodge #2407 had the honor of hosting the State President Suzi Simonelli and First Gentleman Joe Simonelli for breakfast.

After a light breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit salad, and toast or bagels, members sponsored a Homeless Veterans Survival Kit event in which 50 backpacks were stuffed with essential items including water, snacks, toiletries, sunscreen, and thermal blankets in conjunction with their partners at The United Way/Mission United.

In the group picture in front are scout troop members Declan Thomas, Logan Benari, David Pena and Joshua Wenig. Behind them with Cannon, Satran, White, the Simonellis and United Way members are Matthew White, Lecturing Knight; Michelle Pignotti, Leading Knight; Nancy Cufino, chaplain; Loyal Knight Mindy Hardial, and member Doug Smith.

Event Funded Through the Freedom Grant

This event was funded through the Freedom Grant, one of several offered through the Elks’ Community Investments Program. Scouts from Troop Pack #497 assisted with clearing the tables after breakfast, setting up the Hall for the backpack stuffing, and organizing the packs once completed.

The event began with a few words by ER (Exalted Ruler) Doug Satran. Suzi was overjoyed by the union formed with The United Way/Mission United, lauding the community partnership and inviting them to become Elks. 

Stuffing the Backpacks

Elks from other lodges in the South-Southeast district, along with State President Suzi Simonelli and Vice President At-Large Mark Thompson, rolled up their sleeves and joined in on the work of stuffing backpacks, making the event a true community effort. All felt the spirit of giving and doing their best for our Veterans and honoring the Elks’ motto: “As long as there are Veterans they will never be forgotten.”

Chris Cannon, United Way; Douglas Satran, Exalted Ruler; Suzi Simonelli, State President; and Kristian White, United Way.

Oakland Park Elks Lodge 2407 is looking forward to more events like this one in the near future to further promote their State President’s motto: “Teamwork makes Elkdom Shine!” Elks Care ~ Elks Share.

The lodge is always planning events in order to fulfill their mission. For details on their other events please stop by the lodge or call at (954) 563-2407 for details.

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*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

About the Author

Anamaria Moreno

Anamaria Moreno

Anamaria Moreno is an Elementary school teacher. Born in Costa Rica, but mostly raised in Venezuela, Ms. Moreno came to South Florida in 1996 where she has resided ever since. She graduated from Lynn University, with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has taught in the classroom for 18 years, most recently teaching the first grade for the past seven years. Before becoming a teacher, Ms. Moreno was involved in volunteer work with the Child Life Specialists Department at Miami Children’s Hospital. She also served as member of the Board of Directors for “A Caring Pregnancy Center” in Miami. Most recently, Ms. Moreno has taught at an elementary school in Oakland Park. Ms. Moreno also teaches ESOL to Adults in Night School. When Ms. Moreno is not in the classroom, she enjoys baking custom specialty cakes, face painting, and enjoys creating Arts and Crafts.

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