Veterans Affairs News

There are three Veteran Facilities within our district – Bay Pines Veteran’s Hospital, Baldemero Lopez Nursing Home, and the James A Haley Veteran’s Hospital. The Tampa Lodge has been assigned to service the James A. Haley Hospital, and holds two regularly scheduled activities each month.

In addition to the above, Tampa Elks Lodge participates in the Annual James A Haley Stand Down for Homeless Veterans. Held in the fall, the VA rounds up the homeless Veterans and brings them to a central location where they can receive an abundance of support, a hot meal, and supplies and clothing. Tampa Elks is one of 50+ vendors that participate. Each Year 200 to 300 Veterans come through the door looking for relief.

Tampa Elks also offers recreation activities to the transitioning Veterans at the V.A, Domiciliary. These Veterans are included in Lodge activities as funds permit.

Tampa Elks Lodge participates in the Welcome Home Program, which is designed to help a veteran moving into a home from the street with needed furnishings and supplies.

The sponsors a Veteran’s Arts & Crafts show in April. Hand crafted items are submitted by the Vets for competition. The top 15-20 items are then taken to the Florida State Elks Convention in May to compete with other Veterans from around the State. Some of these paintings and sculptures are amazing!

The Elks also help sponsor the Re-Creation Show at the James A Haley Hospital. This is a top-quality Vegas-Review type of performance by young adults who donate two years of their lives to entertain Veterans around the country. The Elks provide lodging, meal tickets, and, funds permitting, tickets to Busch Gardens for these entertainers. Tampa Lodge members are invited to attend the show.

The Tampa Elks Veteran’s Committee is expected to raise enough funds each year to cover their expenses, which, as you can see, are considerable. They traditionally host a large 4th of July Celebration each year with food, music, and fun for all. They also usually have at least one other fund raiser each year. Keep your eye on your newsletter so you can support these important events!