“High School Ethics Bowl is one of the best ways to raise a generation of young people with strong ethical principles and the ability to reason.” Sophomore student, Kenneth
What is Ethics Bowl? Imagine teams of students contemplating moral and ethical dilemmas in a competition which prioritizes respectful and courteous discourse, reason, consideration of other perspectives, philosophy, and critical thinking. THAT is Ethics Bowl, and it has come to Oklahoma with full force.
Oklahoma colleges have competed in regional and national ethics bowl for years, but 2017 represents the first nationally recognized high school event in Oklahoma. Sixteen teams from nine Oklahoma high schools gathered on the University of Oklahoma campus January 28, 2017 to explore topics ranging from consumer privacy and government entitlement programs to arming police and conscious consumerism.
The new Oklahoma competition is a volunteer initiative spearheaded by the Student Education and Ethics Development (SEED) Foundation (formerly the OK Ethics Foundation), and sponsored by the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma. Teams from across the state are encouraged to participate, and no team will be turned away for lack of funds to register for the competition. Grants are available via funding provided by the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, and teams are encouraged to contact their local Masonic Lodge for help fundraising if travel funds are needed.
Shannon Hiebert, co-President of the SEED Foundation, feels this program represents a crucial piece of education to which not all students have access. “This competition isn’t just an exercise in critical thinking. It engages students in conversations which cause them to reflect upon their own beliefs and behavior and hopefully realize that no matter what their station in life, their own personal character is important and has an impact.”
Sylvia Hayes is a college student who has competed in Ethics Bowl at the college level for several years. She says, “Ethics Bowl has helped me to develop my own ethical framework to assess situations that I face in real life. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s interesting. It has been a great way to make friends from different majors and learn to see the world through their eyes. I love Ethics Bowl.”
Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from the competition. The event relies entirely on volunteers from business, law, and higher education who serve as judges, moderators, and event coordinators. Ginny Bass Carl, Senior Director of Development and Gift Planning at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation served as a judge in the high school competition and said the event gave her hope for the future. “I was pleasantly surprised by the level of competition, preparedness and compassion of all the students…These kids give me hope for a brighter future that is willing to engage in thoughtful discourse, have dialogues about difficult issues, truly listen with open minds and open hearts, and lead with compassion.”
Dove Science Academy’s team, “The Scientists”, took the first place prize and will travel to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in April to compete at the national high school ethics bowl event. Teams from Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics and Norman North High School earned second and third place, respectively.
Oklahoma lodges are encouraged to contact their local high schools and solicit participation in next year’s high school ethics bowl competition. The 2017 competition represents the starting point in a long-term vision for ethics education in Oklahoma. John Logan, Executive Director of the Masonic Charity Foundation, states “Engaging students in thoughtful discussion about ethics has a direct effect on the families, peers, communities, and future business associates of these students. We hope this program will continue to grow and encourage formal ethics education in every community in Oklahoma.”
For more information about ethics bowl or to register a team, contact Colin Schoonover, Co-President of the SEED Foundation, at 405-200-7382 or go to www.okethicsbowl.com.
Our Oklahoma lodges are long-time supporters of the Grand Master’s annual charitable pleas for support in the fight against childhood hunger. Did you know that donations to the central food banks – Regional Food Bank and Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma – actually support your local towns and neighborhoods? The central food banks act as suppliers for local food banks and programs that benefit the hungry of all ages.
The Fraternity has joined forces with News 9 (Oklahoma City) and News on 6 (Tulsa), Top of the World, David Gorham, and two anonymous families with a commitment to match up to $185,000 of donations to the Food For Kids programs of the Regional Food Bank and Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Food For Kids provides food backpack programs, summer feeding programs, and school pantries. This special initiative will run from August 1 through October 15, 2016.
Want to participate? Here’s how:
- Ask your lodge to support the Grand Master’s plea! Lodge contributions to the Food Bank campaign sent to our office will be automatically matched. No Matching Funds application is required.
- Look for ads on your local news affiliates…this program is Statewide!
- Donate online:
- Regional Food Bank donations: click here
- Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma donations: click here
- Aren’t sure which food bank to support? Check the list of counties served by Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma or check the Regional Food Bank map
Thank you for helping us in our mission to serve Oklahomans!
The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma’s Senior Essay Contest brings a new addition for the 2016-2017 school year. Every year, local contest winners are selected from every participating school and are recognized with a certificate. Those local winners compete against other Oklahoma students, with the top twenty selected as Statewide winners. Statewide winners receive cash prizes ranging from $100 to $2,000 each.
For the 2016-2017 school year, an additional cash prize has been added to recognize the top Statewide Men’s division and Statewide Women’s division winner. In addition to the cash prizes awarded to the student, a $5,000 cash prize will be granted to the school where the Statewide first place winner is enrolled. For each program year, two schools will receive $5,000 each in recognition of the Statewide first place contest winner.
Any high school senior enrolled in an Oklahoma public school is eligible to compete in the Senior Essay Contest. For more information about the program or to see a list of last year’s Statewide winners, visit our Senior Essay Contest webpage. The submission deadline for this year’s contest is October 31, 2016.
Congratulations to this year’s Masonry In Action Award winners: MARLOW LODGE NO. 103 and GUTHRIE LODGE NO. 35!
These lodges made concerted efforts to go above and beyond to care for the members of their lodge who had need. Whether it was roof repair, groceries, or help for Masonic widows, Marlow and Guthrie members took their Fraternal obligations seriously.
Like many Oklahoma lodges, they also made a difference in their local communities. As part of a volunteer partnership doing school vision screenings with Prevent Blindness Oklahoma, Marlow’s members noticed that needy families in their area needed help with the cost of eyeglasses and follow up eye exams. They networked with a local eye doctor who arranged to provide exams and glasses at reduced cost for needy kids. Marlow distributed their Masonry In Action Award grant with $500 to each of the following organizations: Marlow Volunteer Fire Department (VFD), Bray-Doyle VFD, Rush Springs VFD, Central VFD, Marlow Police Reserve, Stephens County Reserve Deputy Program, Bray School Backpack Programs, Central School Backpack Programs, Marlow School Backpack Programs, and Samaritans.
Guthrie lodge surprised Pepper’s Ranch, a home for abused and neglected children, with the gift of their $5,000 Masonry In Action Award grant. Throughout 2015, Guthrie lodge made notable contributions to support the youth in their community, including over $10,000 raised for Peppers Ranch. Guthrie lodge used the maximum Masonic Charity Foundation Matching Funds available for Community projects in both 2014 and 2015.
The Masonry In Action Award program was created in 2013 to recognize lodges who support their members, their communities, and the mission of the Masonic Charity Foundation. The program requires any lodge who wishes to be considered for the award to file an application, due March 31st each year.
Two winning lodges are selected each year, representing one of two categories: “Large” lodges (with 100 or more members), and “Small” lodges (with less than 100 members). Each winning lodge is allotted $5,000 in grant funds for distribution to the local charitable or educational cause of their choice.
Marlow lodge presented funds to the following groups on June 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm during a dinner at the lodge building: Marlow Volunteer Fire Department ($500), Central Volunteer Fire Department ($500), Marlow Police Reserve ($500), Stephens County Reserve Deputy Program ($500), Marlow School Backpack Programs ($1,500), Marlow Samaritans ($500), Bray-Doyle Volunteer Fire Department ($500), and Rush Springs Fire Department ($500).
The award presentation for Guthrie lodge occurred July 19th, before the stated lodge meeting.
For more information about the Masonry In Action Award program: http://www.mcfok.org/programs/direct-lodge-involvement/masonry-in-action-award/
The Masonic Charity Foundation Annual Photo Contest is here again in 2016! Submit photos of your favorite things of beauty: Oklahoma landscapes, nature, monuments, Masonic symbolism, etc. We want to feature YOUR photos in the 2017 Masonic Calendar & Annual Report! See the flyer below for details – please send submissions by July 15th.
Congratulations and THANK YOU to our 2015 winners: Ed Zweiacher, Pam Bishop, Larry Wright, Paul Hilburn, Kristina Morris, and Ed Melott,
Last weekend, some of Oklahoma’s outstanding high school students competed in the inaugural Oklahoma High School Ethics Bowl event organized by the Oklahoma Business Ethics Foundation and hosted at OU. The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma is happy to be a sponsor of this valuable program. Read more in an article featured in the Norman Transcript: article
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The Masonic Fraternity has long been a sponsor of the News 9 Oklahoma’s Own Ride Against Childhood Hunger in support of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. The 2015 Ride occured September 13, 2015 and took riders from Oklahoma City to Mulhall via Arcadia. The Masonic Charity Foundation – with support from Oklahoma lodges – contributed $35,000 to the Regional Food Bank in support of this year’s event.
The Foundation will continue to match all lodge donations submitted in response the the Grand Master’s Charitable Appeal to support this year’s campaign. Donations in support of the Regional Food Bank and Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma result in direct assistance to communities all across Oklahoma. These food banks supply smaller food banks througout the state with the food to fill their local pantries. Lodges are encouraged to respond to the Grand Master’s plea in full force. A $15,000 contribution to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma was made in 2015 in response to the appeal.
For more information about the Ride: http://www.news9.com/category/215664/stans-ride
Photo credit: Luann Lynch
The 2015 Oklahoma’s Own News 9 Ride for Hunger in support of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is scheduled for September 13, 2015. Would you like to win a free ticket to ride as a representative of the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma? The Fraternity has been a long-time supporter of this event, and will randomly award 12 available FREE tickets to the event.
To enter for a winning spot, message us on Facebook or email email@example.com. Include the following details:
– Your name
– Your phone number (including area code)
– The Oklahoma Masonic Lodge where you are a member
To be eligible to win, your LODGE must respond to the Grand Master’s plea for Food Bank support with a contribution of $2 per member.
All lodge contributions to the 2015 Food Bank campaign will be matched by the Masonic Charity Foundation. The Foundation has guaranteed at least $35,000 in support to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma for 2015. With your support, we will raise more!
For more information about this year’s News 9 Ride:http://www.news9.com/
Altus Lodge No. 62 and Stroud Lodge No. 142 will be honored this year with the Masonry in Action Award and $5, 000 each in grant funds to distribute to the local charitable or educational organizations of their choice. Altus Lodge was also a recipient of this award in 2013 and is the first lodge to receive this honor more than once.
Altus Lodge No. 62 will present a gift of $2,000 to Southwest Technology Center Foundation to help provide scholarships for local adult students, and gifts of $375 each to the following local volunteer fire departments (VFD): Granite VFD, Friendship VFD, Blair VFD, Martha VFD, Eldorado VFD, Olustee VFD, Headrick VFD, and Warren VFD. Funds will be presented Saturday, June 13th at Altus Lodge.
Stroud Lodge No. 142 will present gifts of $2,500 each to the Stroud Food Pantry and Parkview Elementary School on Saturday, June 20th at 6:30 pm at the Wilderness Center in Stroud.
The Masonry in Action Award was created in 2013 to recognize Oklahoma Masonic lodges that make outstanding effort to care for their members, impact their communities, and bring positive recognition to the Fraternity.
During 2014, Stroud Lodge made notable contributions to care for its members, and support community needs and public education programs. Similarly, Altus Lodge contributed significant time, effort and resources to care for members and positively impact the Altus community.
Over 200 Masonic Lodges in communities throughout Oklahoma use volunteer efforts, fundraisers, and support from the Masonic Charity Foundation to infuse over $3 million into Oklahoma communities each year.