matching grantsThe Masonic Matching Charity Grants program continues to make an impact throughout the Commonwealth in 1999. The caring of Masons is becoming known in their communities and remembered in the hearts of the many lives they are touching.

Among the many touched by Pennsylvania Masons is that of a young man in Tarentum, who needs a kidney transplant. Masons of the 54th Masonic District joined the community in raising funds to assist in the operation. A local church held a spaghetti dinner and the Masons of Pollock Lodge No. 502 held a pancake breakfast.

The breakfast became a community effort to save the life of a young man and brought everyone from the community together. Helped by the Matching Charity Grants program, the Masons of Pollock Lodge became part of the life of a special young man, B. J. Taraszewski, son of Floyd Taraszewski, a detective in Harrison. At the benefit breakfast, Detective Taraszewski recognized a man whom he had arrested three times for burglary, who shook Detective Taraszewski's hand and said, "Don't worry, you were just doing your job. I have no hard feelings. I'm here for your kid."

Is your lodge improving the quality of life in its community and touching the lives of individuals with the help of the Masonic Matching Charity Grants program? If not, then ask your lodge why not. Each lodge can apply for up to a total of $5,000 this year in Matching Charity Grants. The program was designed to assist lodges in making an impact in their communities. Raising the funds for a specific project isn't the most rewarding experience of the program, it's knowing that you made a difference.

Ideas for lodge charity programs can be found on the Grand Lodge web site at www.pagrandlodge.org. All applications are processed by the Masonic Matching Charity Grants Committee in the offices of the Pennsylvania Youth Foundation, Elizabethtown. For further information on the Matching Charity Grants program click here.

matching grants

Orient Lodge No. 683, Penn Hills, contributed $1,000 to the Penn-Trafford Hockey Club. Dropping the hockey puck at the Center Ice Arena in Dormont is James B. Woleslagle, P.M.

matching grants

Westmoreland Lodge No. 518 contributed $10,800 to the Westmoreland-Fayette Council, Boy Scouts of America, to be used for building a handicapped-accessible health lodge at the Eberly Scout Reservation (Camp Conestoga) in the Laurel Mountains. Westmoreland Council serves more than 13,000 youth and leaders. Funds were raised through voluntary contributions by members of the lodge. Gerald A. Sutherland (left center), W.M. of Westmoreland Lodge, and Bro. and Dr. Edward Lewis (right center), President of the Scout Council, hold the ceremonial check. Looking on are Charles Kapalka (left), Secretary of the Lodge, and Jeff Morris (right), Scout Executive.