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Elks donate $2,000 to Beacon Bites

May 31, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Last Tuesday, Lee Wilbur, vice president of the Greater Pine Island Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, presented a check for $2,000 to Beacon of HOPE President Elsie Stearns.

"In the past we've helped the Beacon with their SAS (Students Achieving Success) program," Wilbur said. "When we approached the Beacon this year to ask what program we could help with, Elsie suggested the Beacon Bites program. Through the Elks National Foundation we were able to acquire the funding to help the Beacon."

According to the National Elks website, "The Elks National Foundation was founded in 1928 to unite the forces of the Order into a 'mighty army' for the service of mankind." The mission of the Elks is to build "stronger communities'."

Article Photos

Jeannette Jones, Robin Lilly, Lee Wilbur, George Smith and Elsie Stearns at the Elks check presentation for the Beacon Bites program.


"I want to thank the Elks for their generosity," Stearns said. "They've always been a generous partner and have helped the Beacon for many years. I also want to thank Jeannette Jones. Jeannette has been very helpful bringing people in need to Beacon Bites. We're making an effort to reach out to the service organizations, the churches and the pastors who visit people on the island. The message we're sending is 'You don't have to be destitute' in order to receive this Beacon Bites program."

The Meals on Wheels program name was changed to Beacon Bites to indicate a refocusing of resources to combat issues facing Pine Island seniors. The Beacon Bites program delivers meals to people unable to purchase or prepare their own food.

"When Robin Lilly from Lilly's Island Deli heard about our need for meals, she volunteered to provide these meals," Stearns said. "Thanks to Robin we are able to deliver a fresh made lunch from Lilly's 5 days a week. Each meal consists of soup and a sandwich with either water or juice and a snack.

"Many of the Beacon Bites clients are isolated, extremely frail and have health issues," Stearns said. "Sometimes it's a money issue, sometimes it's a mobility issue and sometimes it's both. I urge anyone who needs this service, or anyone who knows anyone who needs this service, to contact the Beacon of HOPE,"

The Beacon of HOPE is at 5090 Doug Taylor Circle, St James City, FL 33956. For more information, call 239-283-5123 or visit



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