|Volume LV||August 2008||Number 3|
Students Receive Awards at Masonic Children's Home
Youth Appreciation Day
Residents of the Masonic Children's Home were honored at the 85th annual Youth Appreciation Day on May 23 at the Masonic Village in Elizabethtown.
Following a luncheon, Virginia Migrala, Director of Children's Services, presented each of the 36 youth from the Masonic Children's Home with medallions for their participation in various academic and extracurricular activities and plaques and certificates of achievement.
Three graduating seniors, Danielle Balmer, Ashley Bratina and Thomas McQuait, were honored with special words of encouragement and graduation certificates. All three graduated from Elizabethtown Area High School and Lancaster County Career and Technical Center (LCCTC).
Danielle and Ashley both attained honor roll status at LCCTC, where they plan to continue to study cosmetology to complete their hours and take the test for their state licenses before pursuing careers in the field. Danielle has worked as a waitress and is a former high school cheerleader. She competed in several cheerleading competitions and has won numerous awards for her ability. She was the recipient of athletic scholarships and citizenship awards at Youth Appreciation Day. Danielle took the opportunity to thank the Masonic Village "for giving my sisters and me a home so we could all stick together."
Ashley worked as a cashier at a grocery store and volunteered for the local recreation center. She thanked the Masonic Village "for giving me shelter, clothing, food and an education."
Tom attended LCCTC for Printing and Graphics and is working at a co-op at a Lancaster printing company. He plans to attend Harrisburg Area Community College in the fall to major in music technology and marketing. At Elizabethtown Area High School, he won awards for his graphic design and has designed the cover for the Masonic Village Mini Grand Prix. He is an avid guitar player and belongs to a band. In his remarks, Tom thanked the Masonic Children's Home staff for their support, his family and his house mates, who he said are "just like brothers to me."
Stephen Gardner, R.W. Grand Master, and Mrs. Migrala presented various trust fund awards to youth who exemplify the characteristics and qualities taught at the Masonic Children's Home.
Grand Master Gardner addressed the attendees: "I thank the donors for your generous support of the Masonic Villages in general, and the Masonic Children's Home in particular. Today we see firsthand the fruits of your labors and your generosity. Without you and many other silent heroes, we could not prepare for the next generation." To the graduating seniors, he said, "Every person here wishes you heartfelt success. Thank you for your contribution to this campus; you have left your mark, and have become a permanent part of the children's home. You are our future, and your tremendous accomplishments show everyone here that we will be in good hands. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have known you. As you go forth, I encourage you to remember your Masonic family."
The three graduates, Grand Master Gardner and Mrs. Migrala planted a tree to commemorate the occasion and to leave a living symbol of the graduating seniors' ties to the Masonic Children's Home.
The day's events concluded with the rededication of the Masonic Children's Home Memorial Garden, which recognizes donors for their generous commitments to the future of our youth.
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