By Michelle Colesanti

The Brandon Elks Lodge #2383 recently won the Non-Profit Volunteer Organization award from the Brandon Roundtable.

“With so many wonderful non-profit organizations in our community, we feel honored to win this award,” said 2013 Brandon Elks President, Mary Lou Dixon, who accepted the award and the $500 check.

The money will go toward the many Elk charities.

“It is so rewarding to be part of such a wonderful organization that works so hard to help others and has so much fun doing it. We are a true family, and it is such an honor to be recognized for something that is core to our commitments and beliefs,” said Dixon.

In April, over 120 community kids ages 3-13 and their parents participated in The Elks “Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs” free event in April. A free lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza was served to all families. Over 50 lucky winners received prizes such as fishing poles, tackle boxes, basketballs and footballs.

This event is one of several free youth events sponsored by the Brandon Elks Lodge to provide youth in the community a fun and safe activity focused on building character and staying away from the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

The Brandon Elks will be holding a Memorial Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 10 with an 8:30 a.m. start to raise money for its many community charitable programs. It will take place at The Claw at USF located at 13801 N. 46th St. in Tampa.

Tournament entry, cart fee and lunch costs $60 per person. Lunch and awards ceremony will follow at The Brandon Elks Lodge located at 800 Centennial Lodge Dr. in Brandon.

For registration forms and more information, contact Randee Lee Hickey at 394-4144 or, or Larry Oliver at 767-0870 or

Funds raised will support the many Elk charitable programs helping those in need in the community, as well as veterans and youth programs.

For more information on how to become part of this award winning organization, contact this year’s President, Larry Oliver at

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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.