Volume LVIOctober 2009Number 3

Challenge Met!

Pennsylvania DeMolay was issued a challenge at its Annual Convention in July of 2008. At that event, Bro. Victor Frederick of the Hiram's Scottish Riders Motorcycle Club gave a presentation on his planned motorcycle trip to make a visit to each of the 32° Masonic Learning Centers in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. He asked each DeMolay chapter to sponsor him by donating 1 cent per mile he traveled on his motorcycle tour, amounting to a $120 donation from each chapter. To close his presentation, he promised that "Dad" Thomas R. Labagh, Executive Officer for DeMolay in Pennsylvania, would throw a pizza party at Convention 2009, paid for out of his own pocket! Bro. Labagh agreed, but only if EVERY chapter participated-100% or no pizza!

Left-right: Bro. Victor Frederick, Union Lodge 479, Birdsboro; Miss Mary Noble, DeMolay State Sweetheart; and Bro. Jeffrey C. Bortz, State Master Councilor and a member of Lodge No. 479, who was raised in the fall by Bro. Frederick and a degree team made up of many members of Hiram's Riders.

One year and $2,880 later, "Dad" Labagh was eating his words, and his pizza, of course. Each of the 24 Chapters in Pennsylvania came through with a donation to the cause, supporting Bro. Frederick and his ride. In addition, State Sweetheart Mary Noble raised $1,000 through a variety of fund-raiser activities during the year, and that amount was added so Bro. Frederick received a check for $3,880, with a request that a portion of it be equally credited to each of the Masonic Learning Centers in Pennsylvania.

This is the first time in more than 20 years that all the Chapters in Pennsylvania have come together to fully support a single cause. Full of pizza and good feelings about what they accomplished, Pennsylvania DeMolay welcomed Bro. Frederick and his wife to the party and enjoyed his company for the rest of Convention 2009. Bro. Frederick was heard to remark that, "Next time, we'll make the bet to get 'Dad' Labagh a tattoo!"

Triumph Over Dyslexia

Duncan Shaw, a member of Steel City DeMolay Chapter in Pittsburgh, spoke about his battle with dyslexia to the leaders of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania at the annual Council of Deliberation of the Scottish Rite, held at Seven Springs in July. Duncan very eloquently, and without notes, explained what dyslexia is and how it has affected his life. He also spoke of his experience at the 32° Masonic Learning Center in Pittsburgh and how staff taught him to read. Duncan's presentation captivated the audience by his honest assessment that if he hadn't learned to read by the help of the Scottish Rite, he would have ended up in the judicial system. After his presentation, R. W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner praised Duncan's presentation for the wonderful ripple effect it will have on future students at the learning centers.

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