Volume LIIIAugust 2006Number 3

Youth Appreciation Day is a Celebration of Children & Sponsors

"A Legacy of Time - How Do I Want to be Remembered?" The theme for this year's Youth Appreciation Day at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, held May 26, 2006, couldn't have been more fitting. Not only did the theme provide an opportunity for the youth of the Masonic Children's Home to reflect on their lives, but it also was appropriate for the unveiling of the Memorial Garden to recognize gifts to the Masonic Children's Home from generous donors.

Virginia Migrala, Director of Children's Services, presented each of the 40 youth from the children's home with medallions for their participation in various academic and extracurricular activities and plaques and certificates of achievement.

Following the awards program, the four graduating seniors (Dana Balmer, Yadira Diaz-Colon, Kisha Fields and Bro. Kenneth Henry, Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682) participated in the annual Tree Planting Ceremony to commemorate the occasion and to leave a living symbol of their ties to the Masonic Children's Home.

The day's events concluded with the unveiling and dedication of the Masonic Children's Home Memorial Garden.

Left: R.W. Grand Master Aungst, major contributors and staff and children from the Masonic Children's Home unveil the Masonic Children's Home Major Contributors Plaque.
Left: R.W. Grand Master Aungst and members of the Committee on Masonic Homes participate in the Tree Planting Ceremony at the Masonic Children's Home in Elizabethtown with the four graduating seniors and Masonic Children's Home staff.
The Story of the Memorial Garden

The Memorial Garden originated from the Advisory Committee, comprised of Bro. Alvin H. Blitz, Esq., Chief Director of Gift Planning; Gilson "Buz" Cash, former Director of Children's Services; Virginia Migrala, Director of Children's Services; Evelyn Hunter- Longdon, whose late husband, Bro. Stan, was raised at the children's home; and the following Masonic Children's Home alumni: Bro. Daniel Weller, Brenda Drawbaugh, Bro. Mason and Joy Crawford and Bro. William and Dorothy Stout.

The purpose of the garden is to recognize donations from benevolent contributors. Individuals who contribute to the Masonic Children's Home Endowment Fund are recognized by the following plaques:

Child Endowment Plaque: Recognizes individuals making a commitment of $600,000 or more to endow a child for the duration of his/her stay at the Masonic Children's Home.

Named Endowment Plaque: Recognizes those making a commitment of $250,000 to name an available cottage in their honor or in memory of a loved one.

Major Contributor Plaque: Recognizes donors who contribute $25,000 to benefit the Masonic Children's Home.

Thank you to the following contributors:

Child Endowment Contributors
Quincey and Elizabeth Norwood
Daniel L. Weller

Named Endowment Contributors
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Dougherty
Daniel L. Weller

Major contributors
Mason and Joy Davis Crawford, Lloyd S. Gerhart, John "Jack" Harding, Stan and Evelyn Hunter-Longdon, Frank T. Kelly, Lodge No. 9, Perseverance Lodge No. 21, Richard E. and Mary Ellen K. Sheesley, William S. and Dorothy Slothower Stout and Daniel L. Weller
Meet one of our Legacy Builders
Daniel L. Weller
The Grand Master presenting Bro.Weller with his medallion in March 2006.

Bro. Daniel L. Weller, Lodge No. 45, can easily recall the way the Masonic Village campus looked just before the onset of World War II. That was when Bro. Dan became one of nearly 100 children living in the Masonic Children's Home. Looking back upon his time at the children's home, Bro. Dan is filled with many fond memories of working in the dairy barn, planting lilies in the Formal Gardens' reflecting pool and establishing friendships that will never be forgotten.

When asked where he got his start in life, Bro. Dan's answer has unwaveringly remained, "at the Masonic Village." It was at the Masonic Children's Home where he learned the value of responsibility. During his high school years, the boys' counselor at the children's home asked him to become a monitor. It was Bro. Dan's job to look after 16 boys. He made sure they were clean, nourished and orderly on a daily basis.

"I wouldn't be where I am today if I stayed in the little town of Aristes, Pennsylvania," Bro. Dan said. As he was preparing to leave the children's home to enter the real world, the Masonic Village aided in his decision to enroll in a university. After a stint as a Paratrooper Medic in the Army, Dan returned to school and graduated.

Bro. Dan led a successful career in the business world whereby it became his privilege to aid the Masonic Children's Home in several ways - the most important being a part of the endowment to secure the Masonic Children's Home in perpetuity.

The respect and gratitude Bro. Dan has for the Masonic Children's Home has been the inspiration, through the years, to make significant contributions to benefit the children who currently reside there.

The last time Bro. Dan visited the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown was in the late 1970s. And, though the campus has seen dramatic renovations through the years, it will remain the same in Bro. Dan's mind - a village of hope, a mission of love and, most importantly, a place to call "home."

R.W. Grand Master Aungst; Andrew Shore, great-grandson of donor Daniel L. Weller; and children who reside in the cottage named after Weller, show off the Masonic Children's Home Child Endowment Contributors Plaque.
Lodge No. 9, represented by Bros. Robert Burns and Wayne Greensburg, was recognized during the dedication of the Memorial Garden for being a Major Contributor. Bros. Robert and Wayne stand with the Grand Master, residents and staff of the Masonic Children's Home in front of the two vans purchased with the $68,000 contribution the lodge made to the children's home. The lodge also donated $32,000 toward the Masonic CHIP program.

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