By Michelle Colesanti

Local Brandon Elks Lodge #2383 members are planning its first Annual Hoe Down. This event is open to the public and will take place on Saturday, January 11 at the Lodge, located at 800 Centennial Lodge Dr. in Brandon.

The event, which benefits Veterans, will include dinner, dancing, six-shooter shots and special half-time entertainment. The dinner includes smoked brisket BBQ with all the trimmings.

Tru Kountry, a band out of Cape Coral, considered one of best classic country bands in the south, will be the evening’s entertainment. The band is comprised of five very talented vocalists/musicians, including fiddle and steel guitar, playing the best honky-tonk classics with a few newer songs to keep you on your feet all night long.

Linda Reid, Brandon Elks Club Member, said, “The Elks are committed to supporting our Veterans and our Veterans Support programs are unprecedented throughout the nation. Our lodge invites Veterans from the local James Haley VA Hospital to our lodge each month for a free dinner and our VA committee has several events for the veterans throughout the year, including activities we sponsor at the hospital like arts/crafts, bingo, games, etc.”

The Elks also deliver Christmas gifts to the veterans at the hospital each year during the holidays and sponsor a free Thanksgiving Dinner for local Armed Forces members and their families each year. This year it served over 250. ‘So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them’ is the Elks national motto.

Dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the band will play from 6:30-11 p.m. The cost of dinner is $15 for adults and $8 for children under 12 years old. There is open seating, but tables can be reserved for eight or more people. Tickets are available at the Brandon Elks Lounge. Call 685-6469 after 4 p.m. or e-mail for more information.


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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.