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January 1, 1998, was effective date of the name change from The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for the Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Children to The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children. The mission of reducing drug and alcohol abuse by young people, through education, intervention, and counseling remained the same. The new name actually reflects the diverse concerns that are addressed by the major programs supported by the Foundation. The Student Assistance and D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Programs expanded through the years to encompass other vices such as, tobacco and gambling. Other issues addressed by these programs are conflict resolution skills and emotional issues faced by adolescents. The name now reflects the universal mission of helping children become vice free, well adjusted, upstanding adults.

In 1998, The Foundation continued to support the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Student Assistance Program. There are now student assistance teams in place in every high school and junior high school in the Commonwealth. During 1998, the number of teachers trained since 1985 topped the 10,000 mark. The latest statistics show that these teams saw 59,092 students during the 1997-98 school year. They provided 49,652 students with required further "in school" or "out of school" services. The good news is that 91 percent of all students referred to the Student Assistance Program for drug and alcohol violations had no additional violations since initial referral. This success rate is up by 20 percent from the previous year. Pennsylvania has a successful Student Assistance Program, thanks to Pennsylvania Masons.

In the Spring of 1998, the selection committee for the Carl W. Stenberg Scholarship met in Philadelphia. This committee awarded seven college scholarships of $1,000 per year for four years. The applicants are students, recommended by their student assistance team, who successfully completed a counseling program and turned their lives around. Thanks to Student Assistance and the help of the Foundation, these young people are now getting the chance at a college education. They must maintain a "C" average and be drug and alcohol free. Twenty-six of these scholarships were awarded since 1993.

The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children continued its support of D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). The Foundation supplied the Masonic Conference Center, Patton Campus to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. At this facility, Law Enforcement Officers from throughout the Commonwealth train, to teach this program to 5th and 6th grade elementary school students. Since 1994, The Masonic Conference Center, Patton Campus has been designated the D.A.R.E. Training Center of Pennsylvania.

The Foundation began administering a new Scholarship Program. On December 27, 1998, James L. Ernette, R.W.G.M., instituted the Grand Masters Law Enforcement Scholarship Program. This scholarship is for sons, daughters, grandsons or granddaughters of Pennsylvania Masons seeking a degree in Criminal Justice and a career in Law Enforcement. It provides up to $2,500 per year for up to four years to these students. They must maintain a 2.5 Grade Point Average for continuation of the scholarship. This program has received overwhelming support from the lodges and as a result four awards were given in 1998. Thanks to this program the Fraternity assures that the future includes well-educated Law Enforcement Officers.

The public is being made aware of the resources of the Foundation and the Fraternity. The quarterly newsletter continued in 1998. It keeps all grand lodge officers including the district deputy grand masters, district chairmen, and speakers aware of the activities of the Foundation.

The Foundation's work would not be possible without your help. I thank you for all your support in the past and ask that you remember us through your Masonic Charity Contributions.

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January 1998 - D.A.R.E. Class at the Masonic Conference Center, Patton Campus.

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Pennsylvanians Against Underaged Drinking, 1998 Summer Camp, Fort Indiantown Gap.

 

 

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