Master Sergeant James Lamb - USAF (Retired) - Sarasota, FL
I first met Jim at an Elks meeting in 2011. The lodge that I had just joined was having a special meeting to discuss what it could do to increase activities and membership attendance at the lodge. Jim was a member of another lodge and was asked to speak to our group and offer suggestions.
Right off the bat he impressed me with his enthusiasm and interest in the community and what we could do for the veterans and children. His ideas on fund raisers and opportunities to get our lodge more involved were infectious and I was hooked.
I have the honor of nominating James “Jim” Lamb, Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, on behalf of the “Mighty” Southwest District of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks for the State of Florida.
His work with the veteran’s through Operation Second Chance, Army of Hope, and as the Veterans Chairman for his lodge and the district shows the love he has for his fellow veterans and their families.
His volunteer time with children in the “Mighty” Southwest District is endless. As chairman for Sarasota County for Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Christmas 2016 he organized the purchase and distribution over 80,000 toys to Sarasota County needy children. As a member of the Board of Directors for the Elks Children’s Therapy Service Jim oversees the 25-automobile service and repair program for the vans that the therapist use in providing in home therapy service to children in need. Jim’s work in the community is ever present. Just talking to him, you can see the devotion he has for the veterans and children in our community.
James Lamb was born in Miami Florida June 6, 1943 and grew up in Homestead Florida. He graduated from South Dade High School in June 1961. Jim enlisted in the US Air Force in June 1961 retiring as a MSgt. in July 1981 after twenty years of service. He spent ten years in the Southeast Asia area, three of which were in Vietnam. After retiring from the Air Force, he went back to Homestead Florida and enrolled in Miami Dade Junior College earning a two-year degree in science. He also took various courses at Golf Course Superintendent College in Lakeland, Florida.
Jim worked as Head Mechanic at the largest tomato packing house in the U.S. and installed the first automatic palletizing system that is used in a tomato packing house. After finishing that project, he installed the same system in a packing house in Palmetto Florida. After completion of that project, he went to work at Longboat Key Country Club and within a year thy sent him to the Golf Course Superintendent College in Lakeland, Florida. After completion of required courses, he became the Assistant Superintendent of the Island Side Golf Course and a year later was promoted to Superintendent. After eleven years at Long Boat Key Club he became a Charter Captain and ran his own boat for the next six years until he retired.
Work with Veterans:
In 2005 as a Member of the Elks, Jim was named Veteran Volunteer of the Year for the State of Florida. That year his name was entered in the official records of Congress for what they do for veterans by Congressman Vern Buchanan.
Since 2009 he has worked with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation as Chairman for Sarasota County. This past year he was responsible for coordination of the collection and distribution of toys for North and South Sarasota.
Jim works with Operation Second Chance …patriotic citizens committed to serving our wounded, injured and ill combat veterans. We support Veterans and their families by building relationships and identifying and supporting immediate needs and interests. We are dedicated to promoting public awareness of the many sacrifices made by our Armed Forces.
In 2015 he arranged to have Sargent First Class Gregory Calvin Robinson and his family fly into Florida from South Illinois by private jet, to spend a week at the beach. “Sarasota South Elks #2495 along with Operation Second Chance flew the Sargent and his family for a weeks’ vacation on the beach, Saturday October 10 . The retreat gave them the opportunity to spend time together making memories that would last a life time. A time he could spend getting to know his daughters after spending so much time away from them while training and deployed to Afghanistan.
SFC Gregory Calvin Robinson has been in the Army for 18 years, has gone on four combat deployments and one peacekeeping deployment. In October 2006, he was wounded losing his leg supporting the Canadian Army during Operation Medusa.
After spending a year at Walter Reed hospital recovering, he decided to stay in the Army and reenlisted for another 8 years. Since losing his leg he went back to Afghanistan two more times in 2010-2011, 2012 and 2014. SFC Robinson was the first amputee to graduate from the Army Air Assault School, and the first to graduate from South Illinois Police Academy in 2012. He worked as a part time police officer back in his hometown one weekend a month. (B.P.O.E. Press Release October 2015)
When the Sargent and his family went home, Jim made sure that both daughters received special toys and even took home brand new bikes. He also organizes Bar-B-Que picnics for the residents at Bay Pines VA Medical Center. These picnics are done quarterly throughout the year by the Sarasota Elks Lodge #2495 with one big district picnic for all Elks to attend on Veteran’s Day each year. There is always, good food, entertainment, and Elk members available to assist and spend time with a vet.
Jim became a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, (B.P.O.E.), in November 2000. As a member, he served on several committees that involved veterans acting as the chairman for his lodge as well as the Southwest District Association of Elks. As a member of the Sarasota South Elks Lodge #2495, he has held several offices. A month after he joined the “Elks” in 2000 he was elected to the office of Lecturing Knight. In 2001 – 2002 he was the Lodge Loyal Knight, Lodge Chairman of Americanism and Veteran’s Services, Boy Scout Liaison, and District Chairman of Americanism and Elks National Foundation Scholarships. In 2002 – 2003 he was elected the Exalted Ruler, Lodge Chairman of Americanism and Elks National Foundation Scholarships, Boy Scout Liaison, and District Chairman of Veteran’s Service. In 2003 – 2004 he was elected to the five-year Trustee position and was also elected the Chairman of the Trustees. In addition, he was Lodge Chairman of Veteran’s Services, Americanism, and Accident Prevention and was also Boy Scout Liaison and Veteran’s Services District Chairman. In 2004 – 2005 he was Chairman of the lodge Trustees, Boy Scout Liaison, and Accident Prevention and Veteran’s Services for both the lodge and district. In 2005 – 2006 he was Chairman of the Trustees, Boy Scout Liaison, Lodge Chairman of Accident Prevention, and both Lodge and District Chairman of Veteran’s Services.
In 2007 – 2008 Jim was the State Vice Chairman of Publicity and Public Relations, Chairman of the Board of trustees, Boy Scout Liaison and Lodge Chairman of Accident Prevention, Public Relations and Veteran’s Service. In 2008 – 2009 he was State Vice Chairman of Publicity and Public Relations. At the Grand Lodge Convention, he received the Gold Mike Award for the top public relations chairperson. Jim continued his duties as the Chairman of the Trustees, Boy Scout Liaison, Lodge Chairman for Accident Prevention and Veteran’s Services and both Chairman for the Lodge and District Chairman of Publicity and Public Relations. In 2009 – 2010 once again he was the Lodge Chairman for Publicity and Public Relations, Boy Scout Liaison, both Lodge and District Chairman of Veteran’s Services, District Army of Hope Chairman, Esquire to the District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler and served as Vice President for the Southwest District Elks the year of 2010-2011. In 2011 Jim was elected as the Elk’s Southwest District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler. He was honored as the State Elk of the Year in 2014. That was also the year Jim won an award for visiting all the Florida Elks Lodges.
Jim continues to serve the Elk’s Southwest District and his home lodge, Sarasota South Elks Lodge #2495, as a Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler. He is the lodge advisor at the districts Venice Nokomis Lodge #1854. Jim is a member of the District Advisory Board, and is on the Board of Directors for the Elks Children’s Therapy Services.
Jim also devotes a good deal of his time in working on the B.P.O.E. Army of Hope program. Each year he helps to coordinate a district fund raiser for the Army of Hope program. The Army of Hope is a program of the Florida State Elks Association established in 2007. Its mission is to provide aid assistance to the families of deceased, disabled, and deployed members of the military. The families of Florida active duty military personnel, military reservists, Coast Guard, the National Guard, and/or their dependents are eligible.
An active duty member stationed in Florida with his/her dependents would qualify as a Florida resident. Since its inception, the Army of Hope has raised $242,784 for families of deployed military members. The help you give through the Florida Army of Hope allows the military member to safely concentrate on his/her duties without worrying about the family at home. The Army of Hope also assists returning veterans with costs to re-establish their civilian life after deployment, (floridaelks.org)
- 2002 – 2003 Officer of the Year
- 2008 – 2009 Golden Mike Award
- 2013 – Florida State President’s Elk of the Year Award
- 2015 – 2016 Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award