youth appreciation day

The Masonic Children's Home celebrated its 76th annual Youth Appreciation Day with an awards banquet in the Assembly Room at the Masonic Health Care Center on May 28. All 36 youth were recognized for their many varied activities and accomplishments throughout the year, and several were given special recognition for outstanding achievements in the areas of creativity, scholarship, vocation, athletics, and citizenship.

Special focus was on three high school graduates: Tella Mercado, who is going on to Central Penn Business School to study Office Administration; Kristina Lewis, who will continue her employment as a Resident Care Assistant at the Masonic Health Care Center; and Megan Davey, who will begin her job at the Center for Industrial Training in Mechanicsburg.

Along with their graduation certificates, the three seniors were presented with Bibles from Rev. A. Preston Van Deursen, associate pastor and a graduate of the Masonic Children's Home, and with gifts from the Masonic Homes - Patton School Alumni Association representative, Judy Wooters.

Much of the program was presented by the children, sharing duties as ushers, emcees, award presenters, and providing musical entertainment.

Attending were parents, relatives, and friends; Dr. Allan Thrush, Dr. Donald Donley, Gerald Lorson, and Miss Carol Myers of the Elizabethtown Area School District; Masonic Children's Home staff and children; and members of the Committee on Masonic Homes. R.W. Grand Master James L. Ernette congratulated the seniors on behalf of the Committee on Masonic Homes for an excellent job during the year, and wished them good luck and much success in their future years.

"You may be leaving this program, but you will remain an important part of our lives," Grand Master Ernette said.

Tella Mercado shared some thoughts on behalf of the seniors. "The Masonic Homes has always been on our side, and never let us fall behind," she said. "Thank you, Masonic Homes, for helping not only me, but all of the kids find our way to happiness."

The graduating seniors continued the tradition of planting a tree on the grounds of the Masonic Children's Home to commemorate the occasion and to leave a living symbol of their ties to the Masonic Homes.

Melissa Balmer receives a trophy at Youth Appreciation Day.

youth appreciation day

Megan Davey, Grand Master James L. Ernette, Kristina Lewis, Tella Mercado, and Bro. Gilson (Buzz) G. Cash, Director of the Masonic Children's Home, get ready to perform the ceremonial tree planting on the grounds of the Masonic Children's Home.

youth appreciation day

Thirty-six smiling faces -- the residents of the Masonic Children's Home