Volume LVIMAY/JUNE 2009Number 2

Masonic Charities' Capital Campaign
Comes To A Successful Completion

At the recent donor recognition celebrations held on May 13 at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown and on May 14 at the Masonic Village at Sewickley, R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner shared his thoughts with the more than 250 combined attendees. Here is an excerpt from his comments:

"This first-ever Masonic Charities' capital campaign, 'Yesterday's Legacy...Tomorrow's Promise' was a vision shared and accomplished in unanimity. This campaign began with Right Worshipful Past Grand Master Marvin A. Cunningham, Sr., and Right Worshipful Past Grand Masters William Slater II and Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., carried the torch with steadfast commitment. This truly is a testament to the strength of Pennsylvania Freemasonry's vision and our focus on 'Preserving our History for Future Generations.'

"I am proud and honored to announce the completion of the $50 million campaign, with a grand total of $50,177,398. What an outstanding accomplishment considering we are in the midst of one of our nation's, and the world's, most challenging economic times!

"'Yesterday's Legacy' is the history of Freemasons' dedication to responsibility, action and philanthropy. It has spanned the centuries, and despite tremendous changes and trials, this commitment to excellence is apparent in the mission of each of the Masonic Charities, delivering the highest quality services in the most magnificent and compassionate environments. Lives are changed every day through the benevolence of the family and friends of Freemasonry.

"Five years ago, we established a vision and created a steadfast plan to ensure 'Tomorrow's Promise.' In 2003, the Grand Lodge leadership made a commitment, and from there, the building of this campaign began by the formation of a steering committee and regional committees, who met to establish and implement policies, procedures and strategies. I thank each and every one of you for your help.

"We are certainly aware and acknowledge that many long hours and hard work to achieve this goal came from the efforts of the Office of Gift Planning, Public Relations and Administration staff. It is great to have a dedicated group of employees on our team with servant hearts. Thank you.

"The TRUE success of this campaign came from you, our donors, and YOUR commitment and generous support. From each of us, THANK YOU for making this first-ever capital campaign a success, for EXCEEDING the goal by an incredible $177,000!"

As Grand Master Gardner closed the program with his comments, he invited Past Grand Masters Cunningham, Slater and Aungst to come forward and assist with the unveiling of a mock bronze plaque.

During this 5-year campaign, we had the opportunity to recognize and highlight a few of the individuals who made significant gifts to help build the endowments of the Masonic Temple, The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania and the Caring Masonic Communities (Masonic Villages and the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation).

The first area to be named as a result of the Capital Campaign was the large lobby at the Masonic Conference Center-Patton Campus thanks to a gift made by Bro. Robert F. Stark to officially name this area "The Stark Atrium." Bro. William M. Ryan selected the Clinics Building of the Masonic Health Care Center at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown to memorialize his parents, Bro. William F. and Mary E. Ryan. Then-R.W. Grand Master Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., honored the late Bro. John W. Dean, III and his wife, Kay, at the Renaissance Gala in December 2006 at the Masonic Temple for their generous gift to the restoration and preservation of Corinthian Hall.

R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner, center, heralded the completion of the Masonic Charities' first-ever Capital Campaign along with two of the three R.W. Past Grand Masters who also provided leadership during the five-year campaign, Bro. Marvin A. Cunningham, Sr., left, and Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., far right. Missing is William Slater II. The 30" x 23" plaque, which proudly displays more than 250 names of all those who helped make this campaign successful, will be located in the Atrium of the Freemasons Cultural Center at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown.

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