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lodge and gave each veteran a canteen book for use at the Bay Pines VA medical facility.

Port Charlotte, FL, Lodge donated $1,000 to the Douglas Jacobson State Veterans Nursing Home to purchase patio furniture and gave a large box of gifts to the home to be distributed to resident veterans.

St. Petersburg, FL, Lodge members, accompanied by Santa, visited the Bay Pines VA medical facility and gave presents to almost 300 veterans being treated there.

Covington, GA, Lodge members sent Christmas cards to two veterans living in the area.

Jerseyville, IL, Lodge, along with members of a local AMVETS post, donated 20 winter coats to the Marion VA Medical Center to be distributed to homeless veterans.

Joliet, IL, Lodge donated $5,000 to the Illinois Veterans Home Manteno.

Princeton, IL, Lodge members, accompanied by Santa Claus, traveled to the Illinois Veterans Home LaSalle, visited more than 170 veterans in their rooms, gave each veteran a box of chocolate-covered cherries, and

donated poinsettias to be put on display at each of the home’s five nurses’ stations.

New Orleans, LA, Lodge members treated 125 homeless veterans to lunch at the lodge.

Farmington, ME, Lodge donated a lift chair to a local veteran to replace one that was worn out. The lodge also donated $100 to Wreaths Across America, a collaborative project that placed more than 100,000 wreaths on veterans graves this past year. Additionally, lodge members sent more than 200 Christmas cards to hospitalized veterans at the Togus VA Medical Center and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Attleboro, MA, Lodge members treated 80 volunteers from the Wreaths Across America organization, which placed more than 100,000 wreaths on veterans graves this past year, to dinner at the lodge.

Montague, MA, Lodge donated more than $700 worth of winter clothing and toiletries to the Northampton VA Medical Center.

Newton, MA, Lodge donated hundreds of pairs of reading glasses to the West Roxbury VA medical facility.

Brainerd, MN, Lodge members visited the St. Cloud VA Medical Center and gave gifts of clothing, books, and toiletries, with a total value of more than $400, to more than 60 veterans residing there. Lodge members also treated the veterans to bingo games and a snack.

Hutchinson, MN, Lodge members visited 40 veterans living in local nursing and assisted living homes and gave each of them a fruit tray. In other news, lodge members visited the St. Cloud VA Medical Center and treated 50 veterans to bingo games, with $75 in canteen books as prizes, and a snack.

Greenview, MO, Lodge donated $1,500 to Lake Area Helping Hands, a homeless shelter in Camdenton, and donated $500 to the Share the Harvest Food Pantry in Greenview to support programs for needy veterans. In other news, the lodge donated $500 to help sponsor the fourth annual Support the Troops Dinner, which honors troops and their families and which more than 175 veterans and guests attended. Among the veterans honored at the dinner was Medal of Honor recipient Don Ballard.

Jefferson City, MO, Lodge members visited the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital, treated 24 veterans to lunch and bingo games, and gave each veteran a gift.

Lake of the Ozarks, MO, Lodge members visited the Missouri Veter- ans Home Warrensburg and gave gifts to the 200 veterans living there. Gifts included more than 600 Christmas cards from lodge members and students at local schools, more than 60

Hickory, NC, Lodge members, along with Santa Claus, visited the Asheville VA Medical Center and gave each of the 77 veterans living there a gift bag that contained a sweatshirt, a pair of sweatpants, a ball cap, a blanket, a pair of socks, some candy, toiletries, and a Christmas card. Santa also gave the lodge’s adopted veteran, Harold Osborne, a case of peanut butter. Pictured are (from left) lodge member James Tate, ladies auxiliary member Beth Dellinger, veteran Harry Odum, Santa (lodge member Bruce Sigmon), and lodge member Donna Webb.

T H E E L K S M A G A Z I N E 53

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