~ The Beacon Project ~
2609 Oneida Street
Utica, New York 13501-6310
|Oneida Districts Chairmen|
Michael T. Dunn (1)
3836 Prospect Street
Oneida, New York 13421
Robert P. Grimaldi (2)
810 Nicholas Street
Utica, New York 13501
This is Grand Master Carl Fitje's pet project under the chairmanship of R\W\ Marwin Meller and he would like to see every Lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction involved in the exercise.
Masons have a long history of supporting learning, education, and the public schools. In several states, Masons established the first public schools. In New York, Masons have been instrumental in a very successful Student Model Assistance Program designed to help teachers identify students who may be suffering from substance abuse.
As such, it is fair to say Masons have been involved with the schools, but not necessarily in the schools. When Masons announced the Beacon Project, all of that changed.
Beginning in September 2002, a statewide team of Mason volunteers in over 400 communities will begin working with local elementary schools. In capacities large and small, from mentoring to grounds keeping, New York Masons will work to improve the experience and educational opportunities of children in their communities.
We call it the right move at the right time.
This pledge gives Masons the opportunity to make a difference and make themselves known. Too long in the background and shrouded in mystery, our Fraternity is eager to demonstrate its important role in society. Masons need to revitalize, to make real, the values and commitments they stand for, and it's our job as Freemasons to support that goal. Beacon is the perfect vehicle for that.
Over the next two years, more than 100,000 volunteer hours will have been donated, the largest gift ever of its kind in New York. Join us. Affiliated Masonic organizations, families, and friends have all been encouraged to participate in this ambitious program. If you'd like more information, or would like to become a Beacon Volunteer, please contact your District Deputy Grand Master.
The Beacon Project is by far the most ambitious volunteer effort in the history of Masonry in New York, and is the largest gift ever of its kind in the state.
The project, which asks Masons to contribute 100,000 volunteer hours in New York elementary schools over a two-year period, is our way of saying and demonstrating that we care about children.
While the gift is quite large, the effort for the individual Mason is quite modest. If only 10% of the Fraternity--active and inactive men--each contribute only 2 hours a day, 10 days a year, we will meet and exceed our goals.
We want every Mason to understand that this is a gift that goes two ways. Kids in elementary schools in our state grow because of the effort of Masons. Masons grow from the interaction with the children. What a gift !!
In addition to the Masons in the Lodge participating, we have asked every one of our affiliated organizations to give some of his or her free time as well. Already, the youth groups have made their pledge and are excited about the program.
As a result of the promise fulfilled, Masons in New York can expect to be front page news. More than that, they will be front and center in their communities, in their schools, and among the families they hope will be interested in Freemasonry and this initiative.
We welcome each of you into the Beacon Project and thank you for your gift.