Volume LIVFebruary 2007Number 1

In the Tradition of Helping Others

For generations, Bro. Jack Baum's family has been part of the brotherhood known for their promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind. His Masonic family tree includes his father, who was also a Shriner; his uncle; and his natural grandfather and foster grandfather, who were both officers.

Bro. Jack, of Union Lodge No. 334, wishes to see the fraternity's altruistic efforts continue for generations to come, so he and his wife, Evelyn, decided to make a donation to the Masonic Charities Fund.

"I've always been impressed by the Masonic Charities and the good work Masons do in many areas, especially the residence for children," Bro. Jack said. "The Masonic Charities Fund supports the villages and a number of other charities helping people who wouldn't otherwise be able to live a good life."

The Masonic Charities Fund supports scholarships, educational loans, personal and disaster relief, restoration and renovation of the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia and the Monument Preservation Fund.

The Baums' generous decision to give to the Masonic Charities Fund was made easier thanks to Bro. Alvin H. Blitz, Esq., Chief Director of Gift Planning, who made several personal visits to their home in New York. He assisted them in selecting the option that would best serve them and the Masonic Charities.

Through their charitable gift annuity, they receive a fixed rate of return on their contribution, which is deposited directly into their personal account. They also received a federal income tax charitable deduction. After their deaths, the Masonic Charities Fund will receive the remaining amount.

"We selected that option for two reasons: to support the [Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania] and we needed the cash flow, and this was a good way to get both," Bro. Jack said. "The process was very well-handled."

Bro. Jack's career as an electrical engineer took him from Harrisburg, Pa., to Buffalo, N.Y., to Bradford, Pa., where he joined the Masonic lodge more than 50 years ago, then to Corning, N.Y. He received his 50-Year Service Emblem, presented to him by officers of the Grand Lodge of New York.

Evelyn was a "professional volunteer," according to her husband. Among her volunteer ventures, she worked with the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, local hospitals and churches.

The Baums made a habit of traveling throughout the years to Europe, the West coast, on a tour of National Parks, Florida and Gettysburg. Bro. Jack was fortunate to travel to several foreign countries through his job. He embraced the differences in the way foreigners lived and worked.

He retired in 1987, and the Baums settled in New York to be close to their sons. He and Evelyn, whose marriage spans 52 years, reside in an assisted living home near the Finger Lakes and wine country.

Bro. Jack's Masonic history makes him proud because of the work Masons do in assisting others. His willingness, and the willingness of all donors, to contribute to the growing needs of the Masonic Charities will ensure the Masonic tradition of helping continues for many more generations.

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