Brethren and Friends,
You will want to read this Annual Report from cover to cover. It relates a positive chapter about charity in the history of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, a "Brotherhood Serving Mankind." Reports throughout these pages reconfirm that "Masons Care" and we are there to help where needs exist.
The Masonic Homes of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania experienced another banner year in 1998. It began with the announcement of our affiliation with the two Eastern Star Homes - one in each end of the state - giving our brothers and sisters and their loved ones the availability of the Masonic Homes' "Mission of Love" services closer to their home areas.
During the year, we heralded the completion of the Masonic Health Care Center, culminating a ten-year project to construct new wings and renovate existing areas to provide the residents with facilities and services to meet their varying levels of health care needs. A new Respite Cottage was opened to serve both our members and the community. Those are just hints of the extensive caring and service-oriented progress at our Masonic Homes and the Masonic Children's Home in 1998.
Masons Care About Youth. Read on in this Annual Report and appreciate the character-building and educational development efforts that the Masonic Charities provide to help our youth. The opening line of the Pennsylvania Youth Foundation report states it well: "Teaching responsibility is a key theme of our Masonic youth groups." That Foundation leads the way with a myriad of programs, activities and scholarship opportunities for DeMolay, Rainbow for Girls, Job's Daughters, and Knights of Pythagoras.
The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children works with experts in their fields to cope with drug and alcohol abuse. There's an interesting story to be found in this report about the Foundation for Children, which makes possible the ongoing training of educators for the Student Assistance Program in schools across the Commonwealth and in the training of law enforcement officers in the D.A.R.E. program.
As Freemasons and Americans, we cherish and preserve our heritage and culture. The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania in the 125-year-old Masonic Temple, home of the Grand Lodge in Philadelphia, is world-renowned for its historical collections, archives, resources for research, exhibits, and displays.
Among the Masonic Charities, there is the Grand Lodge Masonic Charities Fund. It quietly, but effectively, helps people and communities, supporting worthy programs for education, treatment, personal relief, and disaster relief when and where it is needed.
This Annual Report reconfirms our dedication to serving mankind. It also tells a proud story of stewardship. Your support has made all of it possible. You can make a tax-deductible contribution anytime to all of the Masonic Charities, or directly to one of them, simply by designating where you want your gift directed. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
Sincerely and fraternally,