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Lakewood Ranch Elks host open house

Rotary, Rosedale women honor veterans

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  • | 9:40 p.m. January 31, 2018
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+Elks host open house

It wasn't a golf tournament, but the golf carts kept zipping past on Jan. 27 at the Lakewood Ranch Elks Lodge No. 2855 on Lena Road in Bradenton.

The occasion was the Elks' annual open house, but the most interest was in the Elks' new lodge right down the street. The golf carts were shuttling anyone who wanted a tour of the new lodge, which should be open in about a month.

The excitement associated with a new lodge also generated even more interest in those who considered joining.

Elks Membership Chairman Darrin Simone was kept busy signing up new members such as Central Park's Sheryl Zeppenfeld and her husband, Paul.

"We like they support the veterans and children," Sheryl Zeppenfeld said. "It's also the social aspect because of the friendliness."

Heritage Harbour's Laura Perun said she also decided to join because of the dedication of the members in working for veterans and children. East County's Terri Wheelock said she joined "because people are so friendly and there is so much to do."

+Honoring veterans

Rosedale’s Deb Kehoe and Kathi Skelton brought their passion for helping veterans to the spotlight Jan. 18 during the Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch’s weekly meeting.

Kehoe and Skelton are volunteers for Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit that builds and adapts homes for severely wounded veterans. The women have been organizing a charity golf tournament for the organization for the last four years, with the next event coming up April 4.

At the meeting, last year’s fundraising recipient, Army veteran Carl Moore, gave a personal thanks to Rotarian Don Weippert, who donated $10,000 to the tournament for Moore’s home. An anonymous Rotary donor matched Weippert’s contribution.

Weippert again pledged $10,000 for the cause, challenging his fellow Rotarians to contribute at least $250 apiece. 

Rotarians also met this year’s recipient, Army veteran Christopher Gordon, who was serving in Tal-Afar, Iraq in 2005 when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.  The explosion resulted in the loss of his right leg above the knee and severe damage to his left leg and arm. His Homes for Our Troops home is being built in Groveland.

At the Rotary’s Jan. 26 meeting, Lakewood Ranch Rotarians Dr. Michael and Judy Berlow matched Weippert’s contribution toward Gordon’s home.


On Feb. 10, the Lakewood Ranch Pickleball Club will hold a mixed doubles event at Country Club East. There also will be a men’s and women’s doubles challenge Feb. 18. It will follow a triple elimination format. 

Each event is $10. Sign up by contacting Bob Haskin at [email protected]

+Women’s Club contributes $36,000

The Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club on Jan. 11 donated checks of $36,000 to Hope Family Services, Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy and Solve Maternity Home at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall. 

Funding came from the club’s 2017 fundraisers, including the IC Through the Glass Fashion Show in April, the Harvest Moon Festival/Bazaar and the Holiday Jazz Supper Club Cabaret.

In addition, the LWRWC gave in-kind donations totaling more than $5,000. These donations included birthday and party bags to Hope Family Services; linens and handmade baby blankets to Solve Maternity Homes; and supplies and gift certificates to SMART.



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