Matching Grants

While the business operations of most of the lodges slowed during the summer, many of the members of the lodges were quite active in their communities. Across the state Masons continue to exemplify the Grand Master's philosophy of "Faith, Family, Fraternity, and Community" through their active participation in the Matching Charity Grants Program.

In only seven months since the program began, nearly a half-million dollars have gone to assist in meeting community needs. As of Sept. 1, six Masonic Districts -- 1, 14, 47, 49, 52 and 55 -- had 100 per cent lodge participation. Another 21 districts have at least 50 per cent of their lodges involved. (Status reports and the types of lodge programs can be accessed by clicking here.)

Among the achievements, several outstanding community projects have been funded through the unanimity of efforts among neighboring lodges.

Ronald Little, Jr., D.D.G.M. of the 49th Masonic District, reports that eight lodges joined together to raise the moneys needed for the completion of a playground at the Long Run Road Learning Center for Exceptional Children. The Center is an integrated preschool for children of ages three to five with exceptional needs.

The District's lodges that raised more than $23,000 for the project are: Aliquippa Lodge No. 375, McKeesport; Stephen Bayard Lodge No. 526, Elizabeth; Homestead-Amity-McCandless Lodge No. 582, Dravosburg; Youghiogheny Lodge No. 583, McKeesport; McKeesport Lodge No. 641; Wilson Lodge No. 714, Dravosburg; Duquesne Lodge No. 731, McKeesport; and East McKeesport Lodge No. 765.

Another successful joint project was the united efforts of Melita Lodge No. 295, Philadelphia, and Thompson Lodge No. 340, Paoli, in District B, where John R. Miller is the D.D.G.M. When the two lodges learned that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Challenger Day was going to be held in Berwin and the Little League "Field of Dreams" needed assistance and funding for two handicap ramps, the lodges were quick to lend a hand.

The two lodges decided to sponsor the event, which hosted approximately 250 physically and mentally disadvantaged youths between the ages of five and 18. Melita Lodge covered the cost for building the two ramps, and Thompson Lodge supplied the needed chairs and tables for the event.

Those are just two of the more than 200 community projects to which lodges have been donating their time and financial resources as part of the Matching Charity Grants Program. Other charitable contributions have been going to assist Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, children's camps, Little Leagues, YMCAs, community playgrounds, and drug and alcohol treatment centers, to name a few.

For a related Matching Grants article click here or for further information on the Matching Charity Grants program click here.

Matching Grants

Matching Grants

ON THE TRAIL -- In a ceremony at the West Newton Main Access area to the Youighiogheny River Trail, Blyth Lodge No. 593, West Newton, presented a check for $2,000 to be used to install a drinking fountain there. The money was raised at a spaghetti dinner held at the lodge for which members and their families donated the supplies and the time. Making the presentation to the trail manager, Robert McKinley (center), are (l-r): William Kable, Secretary; Jerome Ross, S.W.; George Hott, Jr., D.D.G.M., 31st Masonic District; Hartland Tarr, Jr., W.M.; Robert Jones, Committee Chairman; and Earl Greenawalt, Treasurer.

Matching Grants

THE BUILDERS -- Officers of Montgomery Lodge No. 19, Philadelphia, went to the Habitat for Humanity work site in the Germantown section of the city to present a contribution. Making the presentation are (l-r) Brian Fegley, S.W., and Edwin Schultz, P.M., W.M., to Shelly Halloran, Coordinator and Acting Directory of Habitat for Humanity; Jon Hoffman, Construction Supervisor; and James Chew, member of the Executive Committee.

Matching Grants

BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT -- Washington Lodge No. 164 presented $11,134.50 to the family of six-year-old Jordon Lynn Wingate to help pay for a bone marrow transplant. Jordon (front, left) is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Wingate of Shreveport, LA, and the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Martin, P.M. (front right) of Washington. Her nine-year-old sister, Courtney (front center), was a perfect match and the transplant was accomplished in St. Judes Children's Cancer Hospital in Memphis, TN in January. Jordon was released from the hospital in May. The lodge conducted a spaghetti dinner and vidalia onion sales to raise the money. In the rear are (l-r) David L. Richards, W.M.; Wilbur E. Meeks, Secretary; and D. Everette Plants, P.M., Treasurer.