Are you an Oklahoma public school teacher or administrator interested in student and teacher awards, curriculum, and CASH PRIZES? The Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma can help!
Awards for teachers and students:
- Student of Today / Teacher of Today: All nominated students and teachers are recognized with certificates. Some local lodges provide cash prizes in addition to the recognition certificates. This program accepts nominations from March 1 through May 31.
- Oklahoma Teacher of the Year: The Masonic Fraternity is a long-time sponsor of the State Superintendent’s Teacher of the Year program. Each year, eleven teachers are selected as finalists and receive a $1,000 grant from the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma, in addition to prizes from other event sponsors. The Fraternity also provides one winning finalist with a $5,000 cash award, plus an additional $5,000 grant made to their school district. For more information, visit the Oklahoma State Superintendent’s website here: http://sde.ok.gov/sde/oklahoma-teacher-year
Curriculum, Contests, and Cash Prizes:
- Senior Essay Contest: High School Seniors submit a 1,000-1,250 word essay on a pre-chosen topic. Local winners receive certificates. Statewide winners and their school districts win cash prizes from $100 to $5,000! Entries must be postmarked by October 31.
- High School Ethics Bowl: Any Oklahoma High School can create team(s) to participate in this statewide, friendly debate styled competition which discusses pertinent topics in ethics. Winners compete for cash prizes with the potential for advancement to competition at the national level. Any student may participate! Preparation for this competition makes an ideal curriculum enhancement for talented and gifted programs, english programs, debate and speech teams, civic and volunteerism clubs, or just students looking to interact with other students and professionals across the state! Register by November 1. Financial assistance for the $75 registration fee may be available. Program of the SEED Foundation.
- Photo Contest: Cash prizes of $25 for each winning photo, with winning photos published in our annual report calendar. Students of any grade level may compete. Ideal for journalism and photography clubs. Entries accepted all year long, but deadline for current year publication is July 15. Entries received after the deadline will be included in the following year’s contest.
- Members of DeMolay, Rainbow, and Jobs Daughters: Members of Masonic Youth Orders are eligible to apply for scholarship annually. Application deadline is May 1.
For more information, check out our Programs for Public Schools webpage and sign up for Public School e-blasts for reminders and current events!
Grand Master Allison proudly presented a check for $50,000 on behalf of the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma to Carl Albert State College Staff for establishment of a new endowed fund at the state funded school.
The endowment will fund the Leadership Empowerment and Development (LEAD) program, which is designed to provide leadership training and workshops accessible to the community’s students.
See Carl Albert’s article about the program and funding here: https://www.carlalbert.edu/casc-development-foundation-receives-50000-endowment-from-masonic-charity-foundation-of-oklahoma/
On March 6, 2017, Connors State College graciously hosted representatives of the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma to commemorate the establishment of a $50,000 permanent endowment at the state-funded school.
The grant represents an ongoing effort by the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma to place endowed funds at every publicly funded university and college in Oklahoma.
Income from the endowment will be used for a new program in which students apply for grant funds to accomplish community projects for which they see a need. The application process requires students to put together a project plan, and committee of administrators and local community representatives choose which grants will be funded each year.
For more information, see Connors State’s website article about the endowment: http://connorsstate.edu/news/the-masonic-fraternity-of-oklahoma-donates-50000-to-connors-development-foundation/
Twelve outstanding photos have been selected to be featured in the 2018 Annual Report Calendar. Winners will each receive $25 per selected photo, and will be featured on our website and in the annual report calendar.
THANK YOU to everyone who submitted fantastic photos! If your photo was not selected this year, please re-enter next year. We simply had too many great photos to choose from! Photo contest submissions are accepted all year via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no limit to the number of photos an individual may submit, but to preserve the quality of the photo we request that only one photo is included in each email submission.
Some preference is given to certain photo themes: freemasonry, patriotism, holiday, and Oklahoma themes, however all beautiful photos are considered and appreciated! Landscape orientation is preferred, with minimum resolution of 300 dpi required for publishing. For complete contest rules, see our program webpage at http://www.mcfok.org/programs/on-behalf-of-the-fraternity/annual-photo-contest/
Special thanks to Edward Zweiacher of El Reno Lodge for a beautiful shot of the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma offices.
2017 Photo Contest winning photos:
Owasso Lodge 545 and Pilot Lodge 367 were honored with the 2017 Masonry In Action Award. Both lodges received $5,000 in grant funds for the charitable or educational cause of their choosing.
Owasso Lodge 545 used their $5,000 prize funds to support an upcoming Eagle Scout project which will host a community outdoor education day with the local boy scout troop: http://www.tulsaworld.com/communities/owasso/news/communitynews/owasso-masonic-lodge-earns-prestigious-masonry-in-action-award-for/article_1c464535-7998-544c-b532-d8f2092c626b.html
Pilot Lodge 367 designated Lawton Food Bank, Fletcher Volunteer Fire Department, Elgin Volunteer Fire Department, and the Great Plains Chapter of the American Red Cross as recipients of their $5,000 in grant funds. http://www.gloklahoma.com/subscriptions/album/
All Oklahoma Masonic lodges are eligible to apply for the Masonry In Action Award. Lodges are scored based on the prior year’s participation in Foundation programs, with greatest weight given to participation in Promises Matter programs and the Grand Master’s charitable appeals. The prescribed scoring matrix considers the lodge’s charitable involvement (time, donated labor, community presence) as well as fundraising, with a focus on caring for the Masonic family and creating a favorable reputation for freemasonry in the community.
For more information about the Masonry In Action Award, or to apply, see our program webpage: http://www.mcfok.org/programs/direct-lodge-involvement/masonry-in-action-award/
The Grand Master’s charitable plea for the benefit of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is underway! Is your lodge participating? The Grand Master has asked lodges to contribute $1.50 per member to this campaign.
Matching Funds are available and will be automatically applied to your contribution unless the lodge specifically requests that the donation not be matched. To be included in the campaign, simply mail your lodge’s contribution check to our office and write “Food Bank Campaign” in the memo line. No Matching Funds application is required. We will automatically match the contribution and transmit the contributions to the food banks with acknowledgement of each lodge’s participation.
To track campaign giving, visit our Food Bank Campaign page here.
Thank you for making Oklahoma strong!
When Oklahoma weather or fire strikes, remember to check on your brothers! Master Masons, their widows, and female members of Order of the Eastern Star are eligible for assistance under the Promises Matter program.
If a member of the Masonic family has been completely displaced from home and assistance is needed quickly, an Emergency Promises Matter Grant can provide help with immediate needs. No application is required.
If you know of a Masonic family member in need, contact our office at 405-348-7500.
Does your school or lodge participate in all of the programs offered by the Masonic Charity Foundation?
There is now a streamlined reference page for public schools and the lodges who support our public school programs at http://www.mcfok.org/programs-for-public-schools/. Here you can find forms, program links, and information about program rules and deadlines.
For emailed updates, sign up for our Public Schools eBlasts here! We never share your contact information, you’ll only receive up-to-date information about our current public school programs!
The Grand Secretary and Executive Director of the Masonic Charity Foundation will be conducting six (6) Secretary/ Charity Foundation Workshops for 2017. Each lodge is encouraged to return the registration forms as soon as possible with the date/location you plan to attend, so that appropriate amount of materials are prepared. The cost for registration is $20.00 to cover the cost of the materials. Attendance by any lodge officer, not just secretaries is highly encouraged.
Topics will include forms and materials of the Grand Lodge, reports, and other issues pertinent to daily operation of your lodge. W\ John Logan, Executive Director of the Masonic Charity Foundation, will also be there to answer questions and explain Matching Funds, Promises Matter, and other Foundation-related issues that affect your lodge.
- Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 9:00 AM – Delta Lodge 425
- Saturday, March 18, 2017 @ 9:00 AM – Grand Lodge
- Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 5:00 PM – Lawton Lodge 183
- Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 5:00 PM – McAlester Lodge 9
- Tuesday, May 30, 2017 @ 5:00 PM – Garfield Lodge 501
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 – Woodward Lodge 189
Please register using the Registration Form and return to the Grand Lodge as soon as possible. These dates and locations are subject to change based on weather and event conflicts. Each lodge and participant will be notified of any changes.
“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.