Northern California Mason Antonio Cimarra has seen Masonic relief and charity up close. Now a member of the Cornerstone Society, he makes a point of giving back.

California Freemason: What inspires you to be charitable and give back through the California Masonic Foundation?
Antonio Cimarra: Growing up in Manila, giving back to the community has always been an important value in my family. During typhoon disasters, my parents were always there to volunteer and help with our local church. At Christmas, my mother would cook meals for the less fortunate and serve them out of our garage. We weren’t rich, but we were blessed to have enough for ourselves and have the opportunity to give back. Seeing my parents do stuff like that really made an impact on me. I moved to California in 1979 and if one thing’s for sure, it’s that we have so much in America—so much food and clothes. It makes you wonder, Do I really need all these possessions? Will these clothes benefit someone back home more? 

CFM: As a Cornerstone Society member, you’ve left a gift for Masonic charity in your will. Why did you decide to do that?
AC: I’m always looking for new and unique ways to give. I want to encourage the younger generation— especially my own kids—to learn about the importance of charity and generosity. I want them to realize how fortunate they are. You can create a great legacy if you take the time to volunteer or give to charity. I knew the Cornerstone Society would be a great way to give back to the organization that has given so much to me in return. 

CFM: What do you enjoy most about your lodge?
AC: Thanks to Masonry, I’ve found true friendships within my lodge. I can talk to them about anything, not just about Masonry. Especially during my lowest points, they were always there for me. They would stop by my house just to see how I’m doing and even drop some food off. In laughter or in sadness, everyone there makes you feel right at home.

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Cayce Clifford

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