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.
The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma has established endowments at every public university in Oklahoma, and is now in the process of establishing endowments at Oklahoma 2-year colleges.
The endowment placed at the University of Central Oklahoma supports Transformative Learning. Learn more from this recent article in the Edmond Sun: http://www.edmondsun.com/news/education/uco-peer-health-leadership-receives-award-from-masonic-fraternity-of/article_c64e7a70-fd9e-11e4-8d0e-b357342f745c.html
The Masonic Charity Foundation is proud to have established endowments on behalf of the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma at every publicly funded university and four-year college in Oklahoma. To date, these public education endowments total $1.6 million. As part of a new campaign to place endowments at public two-year post secondary schools, a $50,000 endowment was established at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Foundation (NEO) in Miami, OK.
NEO described the gift in a press release last week:
|Miami, Oklahoma – Thursday, April 30, 2015 – The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Development Foundation is pleased to announce a recent $50,000 gift from the Masonic Charity Fraternity of Oklahoma. The gift will fund student leadership programs on the NEO campus.The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma Student Leadership Endowment will be used to provide financial support for enrichment activities such as student leadership training and mentorships, as well as activities supported by the Student Body Government and other student organizations that promote and impact the entire student body.|
|NEO has eight elite leadership programs on campus. Two of those include Student Ambassadors and Agriculture Ambassadors which are organizations that recruit for the college on the national, regional and local levels.The gift was formally dedicated at a reception in the auditorium of Commons Hall on April 30.
Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma Gary Beisly along with other masons from across the state were present to formally donate the check to NEO.
“We want to help, and do what we can,” Beisly said. “Masons are very involved in education, from pre-k to higher education, we want to advance public education.”
All state-sponsored universities in Oklahoma have received endowments from the Masonic Lodge. Now the organization is starting with colleges across the state to continue their mission in supporting education.
“Developing leadership skills and civic-mindedness is an important component of a student’s college education,” said Jennifer Hessee, executive director of the NEO Development Foundation. “This is a very generous gift to the NEO Foundation that will greatly benefit the students on our campus.”
In 2013, the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma entered into an agreement with the Oklahoma Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to provide funding to establish three (3) new outreach centers in Oklahoma. As part of the agreement, the Foundation provided $500,000 on behalf of the Fraternity over a three year period. This progressive gift provides funding to establish Alzheimer’s Association outreach offices in Lawton, Enid, and McAlester. The final grant distribution has now been made; Lawton and Enid offices are now open, with plans for the McAlester office underway. Read more in a story published by NewsOK here: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-masons-donate-to-alzheimers-association/article/4569123
In 2013, the Masonic Charity Foundation created the Masonry In Action Award to recognize lodges whose participation in Foundation programs is exceptional. Winning lodges receive a trophy during the Grand Lodge Session and $5,000 toward the charitable or educational causes of their choice.
What do winning lodges have in common? How can YOUR lodge receive this honor?
- APPLY!!! Your lodge must apply to be considered! Less than 10% of lodges applied for the award in 2015.
- Help members in need! Use Promises Matter programs, lodge time and resources to help Masons, their widows, and members of the Order of the Eastern Star.
- Respond to the Grand Master’s plea! Participate in the OETA and Food Bank fundraisers!
- Be an ACTIVE part of public education programs! Have a lodge member present SOT/TOT awards! Give prizes to Senior Essay winners!
- Get noticed in your community! Lodges ALL do good works – make sure your community knows about it! Utilize local newspapers and media outlets!
NOW is the time to increase your lodge’s participation in charitable and educational endeavors. Think how much you can accomplish by the end of 2015! Start now!
It was our to pleasure to present a check for $727,040.48 to the Oklahoma Association of Area Agencies on Aging (O4A) today. Since 2007, the Fraternity has provided $5,669,294.72 to O4A to fund direct services to senior citizens in Oklahoma. These agencies serve as a one-stop shop to provide seniors with services and information to fill needs of all kinds: hearing aids, dentures, wheelchair ramps, utility assistance, glasses, home repairs, transportation, meals, housekeeping, etc. We are so thankful for the work these agencies do, and are thrilled to offer support