|Volume LIX||August 2012||Number 3|
75th Celebration of Masonic Youth
CHIP Program Thrives in S.E. Pennsylvania
The CHIP Program is so important to the 6th Masonic District that it recently spent more than $2,000 to refurbish its CHIP Trailer, a converted mobile office unit that enables members to provide Child Identification Program services throughout Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties.
This mobile unit features two distinct carpeted, heated and air-conditioned private photo studios. It is the only one of this kind in Pennsylvania. The normal complement of equipment carried aboard this traveling studio consists of cameras, height charts, Purple Packets, administrative forms, tables, chairs, directional signs, safety cones and even a pop-up canopy, with side curtains, to shield all participants from sun or rain. It will be on display and in use at Autumn Day on Sept. 22 this year.
During the past two seasons, thanks to our 55 volunteers, including Rainbow Girls and DeMolays, we CHIP'd 1,353 children, supported 31 district events, and the CHIP Trailer traveled more than 670 miles.
CHIP not only protects our children, but gives parents and guardians peace of mind should something unforeseen occur. The entire CHIP program is AMBER ALERT compatible.
Job's Daughters March for Babies
For the second consecutive year, Bethel 15 of Elizabethtown formed a team for the March of Dimes "March for Babies" in honor of Owen Zeager. Owen is the son of Majority Member Kristi Zeager, Director of Epochs for Bethel 15. Owen was born on Jan. 17, 2011, 14 weeks early at 1 pound, 9 ounces, suffering from chronic lung disease and multiple complications from his premature birth. The Bethel, under the leadership of new Honored Queen Kelsey Osborne, participated in the three-mile March for Babies at the Greenfield Corporate Center in Lancaster on April 29, 2012. While the final total has yet to be determined, Team Oz has already exceeded $2,800 this year.
Last year, the daughters of the Bethel, led by Honored Queen Courtney Osborne, worked hard to form Team Oz. They started fund raising and designed shirts for the walk. The shirts were personally sponsored by Grand Master Jay W. Smith and his wife, Nancy, to allow the team members each to have a team shirt at no cost to them. Nicole Baker, granddaughter of the Grand Master, took this worthy cause to her school and raised $200 in donations. The team also convinced local businesses to donate to their charity project. On May 1, 2011, Team Oz participated in the Lancaster March for Babies and was recognized with a plaque for being the top new team for raising more than $4,000.
DeMolay Returns to the Altoona Area
March 25 started with the obligating of the 17th member of al-Aksa Chapter, Order of DeMolay, in the Masonic Temple lodge room in Altoona and ended with a full-fledged celebration for more than 75 members, advisors and guests.
By the start of the formal ceremonies, the lodge room was packed when al-Aksa Chapter officially received its Letters Temporary and installed its first corps of officers. State Master Councilor Matthew Blaisdell presided over the Ceremony of Institution and proudly presented the framed Letters Temporary to Master Councilor-Elect Dustin Beckwith, Chapter Advisor "Dad" Ian Lang, and to representatives of the sponsoring bodies.
The sponsoring bodies for al-Aksa Chapter are the Valley of Altoona, A.A.S.R., represented by Past Commander-in-Chief and District Deputy Grand Master for the 20th Masonic District "Dad" Jack Speece, and Mountain Lodge No. 281, Altoona, represented by Worshipful Master Lawrence Bilotto. Bro. Blaisdell also presented Bro. Beckwith and "Dad" Lang with a check from Pennsylvania DeMolay for $500 to help the Chapter with its early expenses.
Following these presentations, the Advisory Council was installed by Deputy Executive Officer "Dad" Dave Berry. Bro. Blaisdell and an installing team made up of Pennsylvania DeMolay State Officers then installed Bro. Beckwith and the officers of al-Aksa Chapter.
Bro. Beckwith offered his inaugural remarks, sharing his goals and plans for the future, reviewing the upcoming activities and introducing the guests who attended the special day for al-Aksa Chapter. Guests included DeMolays and advisors from Elizabethtown and Westmoreland Chapters, members and advisors of Altoona Rainbow Girls, officers and members of the lodges that meet in the Altoona area and Senior DeMolays and Past Advisors of al-Aksa Chapter. "Dad" Ian Lang presented Bro. Beckwith with his gavel and beautifully crafted presentation box.
A number of special presentations were made during the installation, including a 50-year DeMolay pin and certificate to "Dad" Speece, who then assisted Bro. Blaisdell in presenting 10-year pins and certificates to three advisors who have been instrumental in bringing the DeMolay Chapter back to the Altoona area: "Dad" Ian Lang, "Dad" Patrick Lang and "Dad" Christopher Ferguson. "Dad" Ian Lang was presented with the DeMolay International Advisor Honor Key in recognition of his work and the successes of al-Aksa Chapter in 2011.
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