Volume LVIIIAugust 2011Number 3

Celebrating Life's Accomplishments

At the 88th Annual Youth Appreciation Day on May 27, the Masonic Children's Home staff publicly recognized the children's scholastic and extracurricular achievements throughout the year by presenting them with awards, scholarships and certificates. Family members, employees, donors, Committee on Masonic Homes members and special guests from local schools were invited to celebrate the occasion and recognize the role these groups of people have played in the youths' success.

The theme for the day, gratitude, reflected the children's appreciation for those who have impacted their young lives.

To kick off the event, four youth who have been taking music lessons performed individually on the piano, guitar and violin (Jasmine Schmitt is pictured playing the guitar). The youngest boys led the Pledge of Allegiance (pictured together) and "Star Spangled Banner." Then, when the children heard their names, they paraded across the stage to receive their many honors. The five seniors reflected on their time at the children's home before R.W. Grand Master Thomas K. Sturgeon addressed the crowd. "It's humbling to be able to do so much for people in need," he said, "but that's what Freemasonry is all about." (Jazmin Asencio and the Grand Master are pictured letting out their inner child, third from bottom.)

After the awards ceremony, the program moved to the Masonic Children's Home, where the Donor Recognition Garden was rededicated in honor of the new and faithful donors to the children's home (pictured second from the bottom, Shawn Dodson reads from a plaque). Grand Master Sturgeon; Ginny Migrala, director of children's services; and the five seniors (pictured left-right) Rose Bert; Clem Varence; Bro. Mike Moyer, Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682, Elizabethtown; Shawn Dodson; and Jazmin Asencio planted a tree to leave a living symbol of the young adults' ties to the children's home.

Jazmin moved to the Masonic Children's Home on June 25, 2009. This honor-roll student worked at McDonald's; served on the Resident Council; volunteered at GEARS; and participated in Key Club, the prom committee and Literary Magazine at school. She will attend the Art Institute of Philadelphia to pursue a bachelor's degree in fashion marketing and hopes to become a professional stylist and self-image consultant.

Rose moved to the children's home on Aug. 12, 2009. This avid reader attended a Quaker youth group, volunteered, joined a science club, attended a leadership conference, worked at Hersheypark, served on the Entertainment Committee and participated in color guard, chorus, voice and piano lessons. Rose will attend Lancaster School of Massage to become a massage therapist. Eventually, she wants to pursue a degree in nutrition.

On Aug. 6, 2007, Shawn moved to the children's home where he made honor roll, worked at Mike Shaffer Auto Sales and Kmart and participated on the track team. He will attend Pennsylvania College of Technology to pursue an associate degree in plastics and polymer technology.

Bro. Mike moved to the Masonic Children's Home on Aug. 8, 2002. During his senior year, Bro. Mike took a college-level computer course, served on the Resident Council, took guitar lessons, played golf, worked at Kmart and Mike Shaffer Auto Sales, and volunteered. He is a member of the math Quiz Bowl team, National Honor Society, DeMolay and the Masonic fraternity. Bro. Mike plans to attend Drexel University to study computer engineering.

On Jan. 6, 2006, Clem moved to the children's home where he excelled in football and track and field, took saxophone lessons, served on the Resident Council, joined DeMolay and worked at Turkey Hill. Clem will pursue an associate degree in criminal justice at Central Penn College, with the hopes of working for the FBI as a translator and eventually moving to a Spanish-speaking country to work in law enforcement.

Jazmin, Rose, Shawn and Bro. Mike are sponsored by Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682, Elizabethtown. Clem is sponsored by Robert Burns Lodge No. 464, Harrisburg.

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