Elks Lodge — Terrible experience!
The BPO Elks USA Web Site, Elks.Org, proclaim “BPO Elks Pledges Aid to Florida Hurricane Victims” and yet the Elks here in Ocala, FL have not only neglected, but refused to help their own neighbors who suffered damages from their trees.
Sunday, September 5, 2004 Hurricane Frances came through Ocala, FL and knocked down several large trees from the Elks Lodge property located at 702 NE 25th Ave in Ocala, FL which fell onto our property and crushed 80’ feet of our fence. While neighbors all over the State of Florida took responsibility for damage cause by their tress to their neighbors property, this Elks Lodge has refused to remove their trees from our property and fix our fence damaged by their trees. They have not even taken the time to come here and look at the mess.
My wife & I wrote numerous officials within the Elks organization, including a Mr. Sid Carter who is an official at the lodge in Ocala, their Exalted Ruler Mr Harold Floyd, Mr. Jack Jensen Grand Secretary of the Elks National in Chicago, Elks USA Grand Lodge Headquarters in Chicago, Mr. Frank Palladini Florida Elks State President, Mr. James M. McQuillan, the Grand Exalted Ruler and the President of the Elks. The response we received was a letter from their attorney, Mr. Daniel Hicks of Ocala who indicated that he represented the Elks Lodge and stated "The damages your complex suffered were a result of an act of God and your insurance policy should cover your damages". I was flabbergasted and outraged because he essentially told us the Elks Lodge has no intentions of doing anything about the damage caused by their trees.
On December 5, 2006 I wrote the current Grand Exalted Ruler and the President of the Elks, Mr. Louis James Grillo about this matter and have received no reply.
If average Joe good neighbors all over the state of Florida can accept responsibility for damage caused by trees to their neighbors property and repair the damage, the Elks who touts themselves as a philanthropic organization, should more than any neighbor in Florida do the right thing and remove their trees from our property and repair the damage to our fence. The Elks failure and refusal to do so is hypocrisy personified, and unless they have a change of heart, I feel that the world needs to be made aware of how we are being treated. This Elks Lodge's claim of an "Act of God" to avoid responsibly is an outrage.
At the top of their web elks.org site it says "The Benevolent and & Protective Order of the Elks". In their Motto and Creed, they state "Elks Care – Elks Share". In our case, the Elks has proved that they are NOT Benevolent and do NOT care!
Damage estimates are over $1,200. Our deductible is 1% which equals $1,370. out of pocket before the insurance pays one dime which means we will have to pay for all of the damages out of our own pocket. I think this is an outrage which needs to be reported so people will know what hypocrites and bad neighbors this Elks Lodge at 702 NE 25th Ave in Ocala, FL has turned out to be. As of this date, March 30, 2007, the damage still exists and the Elks has done nothing!
It seems that the Elks loves doing good for others as long as they are getting good publicity and positive press.