Volume LVIIIAugust 2011Number 3

Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness "fever" is spreading, as brethrens' wives and children step up to help society. In some instances, individuals seek out ways to assist others, but often, a seeming stranger appears in quiet need of a helping hand. It may be a stranded motorist, a hungry family or a sick hospital patient all waiting for a hero or unassuming angel. Masons and their families are making a big difference in their communities, one act a time.

You can record your good deeds on the Random Acts of Kindness Registry at www.pagrandlodge.org/rak. Click on "Submit a Random Act of Kindness or a Community Service Initiative" and fill in the fields that appear. Once you are done, click the button "Add Your Report to the Registry," and you will see your submission within several days.

A Walk in the Park

Bro. Andrew Shecktor, Knapp Lodge No. 462, Berwick, and his daughter went into a local park loaded with bags and picked up all the trash. They even split out the recycling and took it to a recycling center located in the park.

"The fellow [at the center] was amazed that we took the time to do this, and offered to take the trash as well as the recycling," Bro. Shecktor said. "Now there is a group that has formed to maintain this, following in our footsteps, and my daughter has learned a wonderful lesson in kindness and humility."

Angels On Wheels

Bro. Richard R. Reimer, P.M., Portage Lodge No. 220, Hollidaysburg, and his wife, Bonnie, run a service for the First United Methodist Church called Angels On Wheels. Started two years ago through a system of volunteers, the program provides transportation for members of the church to and from appointments - physical, dental, visual, cancer treatment, etc. Drivers even offer a "third" ear for those who need another person to listen to a doctor's instructions. On average, about five to eight people request the service each month. The rides are always provided free of charge for the patient, with the volunteer driver covering the cost of gas.

"We have seen the need to serve members of our congregation who either have no immediate families to see to their transportation needs or have families who are working during the day and are not able to provide transportation," Bro. Reimer said. "We often stay very busy and have developed a number of very positive relationships. Our church and our community are very important to us."

Giving Couples a Head Start in Life

Bro. Daniel J. Richmond, Richard Vaux-Ivanhoe Lodge No. 384, Philadelphia, and his wife, Maryjane, volunteer to conduct Pre-Cana sessions for engaged couples who are planning to be married at their church each year. This is a marriage requirement for couples conducted twice a year, usually during the spring and fall season. The Richmonds also facilitate a class on marriage communications.

"We have met approximately 800 couples over the past 20 years," he said. "We enjoy meeting young couples and sharing our experiences and lessons with them ... to assist them with some of the challenges they may encounter in their married life. Also, we believe it strengthens our relationship and helps us learn from their experiences."

A Heartwarming Mission

Bro. Theodore D. Zinn, Sr., Robert Burns Lodge No. 464, Harrisburg; his wife, Tara; his daughter, Jesi, age 18; and his sons, T.J., 16, and Charlie, 12, volunteer for mobile missions at the Bethesda Mission, a homeless shelter in Harrisburg. Jesi and T.J. worked with the mission through their church's youth group and inspired the whole family to help.

"It is humbling to travel the city at night giving food and clothing to the folks on the street," he said. "We have gained a love for all people no matter [their] social standing, race, religious background, etc., and a deep appreciation for the life that God has provided for us. We talk often about life experiences and have grown closer through quality family time spent serving others. We are thankful for all in our lives and this great fraternity called Freemasonry."

Spreading their love even further, Jesi and T.J. went on a mission trip to an orphanage in Mexico this summer.

Lending a Hand

A recent medical problem caused Bro. Denton L. Miller, Ephrata Lodge No. 665, the loss of his left leg, below the knee. On a sunny day in May, seven of Bro. Miller's brother Masons volunteered to stain his deck, and completed the job in just three hours. Everyone enjoyed the comradeship and the opportunity to lend a hand.

Left-right: Bros. William L. Bensing, P.M.; George C. Quickel (on ladder); Kevin L. Frymyer, P.M.; Norman A. Wangman, P.M.; John F. Harley, P.M.; Eugene R. Gockley; Sean B. O'Hanlon; and Denton L. Miller, sitting with his dog, "Misty."
RAK Across State Lines

Bro. and Dr. Ishwer Bharwani, P.M., Lawrence Lodge No. 708, Erie, is an attending physician at the Erie VA Medical Center. Upon learning Bro. Bharwani was a Mason, the family of a terminally ill patient asked if he could conduct a 50-year Service Emblem presentation for their loved one. The patient is a member of a New York Masonic lodge, but Bro. Bharwani did not hesitate to accommodate the family's wish.

With the assistance of Bro. Richard N. Fitzsimmons, District Deputy Grand Master of District 24, Bro. Bharwani and Bro. Dana Perry, P.M., Lawrence Lodge No. 708, and two members of Peacock Lodge No. 696, Mayville, N.Y., presented Bro. Edwin Preston Seaton, Peacock Lodge No. 696, with a 50-year Masonic Service Apron and a 50-year Masonic Service Emblem recognizing his 50-year membership in the Masonic fraternity on May 12.

Bro. Seaton passed away May 23.

Left-right: Bros. Ishwer Bharwani, P.M., and Dana R. Perry, P.M., both of Lawrence Lodge No. 708; Bros. James Wilcox, P.M., and Larry King, P.M., both of Peacock Lodge No. 696; Richard N. Fitzsimmons, D.D.G.M. of District 24; and (in front) Bro. Edwin Preston Seaton, Peacock Lodge No. 696, N.Y.

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