For 64 years, the California Masonic Memorial Temple in San Francisco has been the home of the Masons of California. But it’s so much more.
Diveristy in Friendship
by Antone R.E. Pierucci
COMING TOGETHER TO GIVE BACK
PACE SETTER LODGES ARE MAKING THIS CAMPAIGN POSSIBLE
In the 2017-2018 fraternal year, 18 lodges made the decision to support the Let’s Write the Future campaign as Pace Setter donors, pledging between $100,000 and $300,000 to the California Masonic Foundation. These unprecedented gifts truly set a new example of philanthropic leadership in our fraternity. Learn why three lodges chose to write a better future for California communities.
WE ARE DRIVEN TO SERVE
Nevada Lodge No. 13
We are an older lodge, and many of our members are children of the Great Depression. We are conservative about spending money for any purpose because so many of us remember a time when our lodge was barely able to meet its financial obligations. As recently as the 1970s and 1980s, we were nearly broke. But mixed with that, we are a very generous membership. We want to be fiscally responsible, but we are even more driven to be of use to others. When we came together to discuss making a gift, the overriding theme was that we aren’t here to amass wealth; we are together to help each other and our communities; to take care of our brothers and their wives and children. Our Pace Setter gift was an ideal opportunity to do just that.
Coming together to make our gift has renewed our commitment to actively engaging in service within our own community. We are reaching out to our elderly brethren and widows, actively seeking opportunities to support them better and provide hands-on services. For the first time in several years, we partnered with our local Masonic youth for a service project. The last time we did so, four members attended. This time, there were more than 20. This gift has truly renewed a sense of community within our lodge.
– G. Sean Metroka, 2018 Lodge Master
During a Foundation presentation at our lodge, we learned that presently, residents at the Covina Masonic Home might be sent to other facilities to get the care they need, thus separating couples. Our hearts went out to those seniors who would have to endure such a separation, while at the same time, the anxiety of being in a strange place. Together, we decided that it was extremely important for us to support advanced care at the Masonic Homes. The idea that there is a place that any of our brothers can turn to if we are in need makes us proud to be Masons.
Through the process of making our gift, every one of our brothers had the willingness in his heart to help; having a way to show this spirit collectively gave us the capability to participate as a team. It has been the culture of our lodge to help or lend a helping hand. Being a Pace Setter Lodge is something that we cherish. Through the years, we have always supported Masonic charitable causes, because we believe helping others is of utmost importance. Where we are able to extend a helping hand, we try to give our best.
– Ricardo Z. Escalante Jr., 2018 Lodge Master
When we learned about the campaign’s goals, and that the fraternity needed our lodge to step up, we basically said, “Yes, we’ll figure it out.” In the end, it was an easy decision: We have always seen ourselves as leaders in California Masonry, and philanthropy is no exception. We strive to set an example for other lodges. It wouldn’t do for us not to give.
Raising A Reader is near and dear to our hearts, as many of us have seen how reading has developed our children’s critical thinking skills and thirst for knowledge. As the saying goes, we spend the first seven years of our lives learning to read; the rest reading to learn. We have to foster a love of reading at an early age, so children can succeed at school and grow into productive adults. And, as Masons, we are obligated to care for the men and women who have supported our lodges for the entirety of their adult lives. To do it well, we need the Masonic Homes, and the new advanced care and memory care facilities we’re building. Philanthropy is just what we do. It’s part of our lodge culture.”
– W. Jay Sener IV, 2018 Lodge Master
PHOTO CREDIT: Andy Amyx (top), Mathew Scott (middle), Danielle Penn (bottom)