Beyond its focus on individual development and growth, Masonry is deeply involved in helping people. When we were initiated as Entered Apprentices, one of the most powerful statements made to us in that ceremony is "Charity is the chief of every social virtue and the distinguishing characteristic of Masons."
The Freemasons of North America contribute over $2-million a day to charitable causes, while the Freemasons of Oklahoma contribute over $4-million a year to charitable causes, and the Freemasons of Wagoner contribute over $15,000 a year to the Wagoner community.
This philanthropy represents an unparalleled example of the humanitarian commitment of this great and honorable Fraternity. Much of that assistance goes to people who are not Masons. Some of these charities are vast projects.
In 2006, the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma prepared 834 Teacher of Today certificates, presented by 185 Oklahoma Masonic Lodges, and 2,588 Student of Today certificates, which were presented by 205 Oklahoma Masonic Lodges. The Teacher of Today program has a simple purpose -- to tell dedicated teachers that someone does notice their work, someone does care. The Foundation also supports the Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year program, which is ran by the State Department of Education. The Foundation provides a grant of $500 to each of the 11 state runners-up, and a check for $5,000 to the State Teacher of the Year.
The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma Youth Scholarship Program gives college scholarships to young people who belong to one of the three Youth Orders -- Rainbow, DeMolay, and Job's Daughters. In 2004, the Foundation disbursed $43,750, providing scholarships to 35 young men and women.
The Payne Education Center trains teachers how to recognize children suffering from dyslexia. It is here where the teachers learn special techniques to teach dyslexic children how to read. In 2004, the Foundation donated $22,515 to the Payne Education Center, to help teachers help kids.
The Foundation has partnered with Prevent Blindness Oklahoma to screen school children for possible vision problems. In 2004, the Foundation donated $85,000 to Prevent Blindness Oklahoma. According to their records, in 2004, 530 screenings were conducted; 158 Masonic Lodges participated in the screenings; 95,028 children were screened, and 9,391 children were referred for professional eye exams. In total, the Foundation has given $2,063,939 to Prevent Blindness Oklahoma.
For some years now, there has been a partnership between the Masonic Fraternity and Oklahoma Public Television. Lodges raise funds, the Charity Foundation matches those funds, and they are used to support programming on Public Television. An announcement before and after the program tells the viewer that local presentation is made possible by a gift from the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma. On the final night of the annual Festival fund-raising drive of OETA -- Mason's Night -- members of the Fraternity answer telephones and take pledges, and the funds raised by the Lodges are presented. In 2005, Oklahoma Masons contributed $42,773 to support Public Television.
The programs sponsored were "This Old House", "The World of National Geographic", "The OETA Movie Club", "Nature" and "Antiques Roadshow".
The Shrine Masons (Shriners) offer some of the best medical care in the world to children who need orthopaedic and burn care, as well as spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Because of the Shrine fraternity's commitment to the "World's Greatest Philanthropy" over the past 83 years, more than 800,000 children have been helped by the free medical care available at the 22 Shriners Hospitals.
The orthopaedic Shriners Hospitals are dedicated to providing specialized medical and rehabilitative services to children with congenital deformities, problems resulting from orthopaedic injuries, and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The most commonly treated disorders include club foot, limb deficiencies and discrepancies, scoliosis (curvature of the spine), hand and back problems, osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) and growth problems.
One of the better-known achievements of Shriners Hospitals research is the cultured skin developed by the Boston Hospital in connection with the Harvard Medical School. Researchers developed a method of "growing" skin from a tiny sample of a burn patient's own skin. In a celebrated 1983 case, this breakthrough enabled the burns hospitals to save the lives of two boys who were burned over 97-percent of their body surface, marking the first time a cultured organ had ever been used in a life-saving situation, as well as the first time any human being was known to survive such a severe injury.
In 2005, Shriners Hospitals approved 37,755 new patient applications and cared for 123,385 patients.
For 2006, the overall budget for all Shriners Hospitals totals $649 million, of which $616 million is designated for operating expenses (including $33 million for research) and $33 million is earmarked for buildings and equipment expenditures.
During the 84-year history of Shriners Hospitals, approximately $7.6 billion has been spent to operate Shriners Hospitals, and over $1.73 billion has been spent on construction and renovation.
In their first 84 years of operation, the 22 hospitals compiled the following statistics:
Shriners Hospitals have helped more than 800,000 children
Shriners Hospitals have spent approximately $7.6 billion operating their 22 hospitals and approximately $1.73 billion on construction and renovation for the hospitals.
In 84 years, there have been:
740,945 operations performed
9,419,130 X-rays taken
1,254,854 braces and prostheses applied
7,112,840 outpatient and outreach clinic visits
16,410,800 physical therapy treatments provided
***ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND ADMISSION PROCEDURES***
Any child may be eligible for care at Shriners Hospitals if:
the child is under the age of 18, and
there is a reasonable possibility the child's condition can be helped
Shriners Hospitals are open to all children without regard to race, religion or relationship to a Shriner. There is never a charge to the patient or parents for any medical care or services provided at a Shriners Hospital. If you have questions about applying to Shriners Hospitals please call the toll-free patient referral line at 1-800-237-5055, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Time.
The Scottish Rite Masons in the Southern Jurisdiction maintain a network of 150 Childhood language Disorder Clinics, Centers, and Programs. Each helps children afflicted by such conditions as aphasia, dyslexia, stuttering, and related learning or speech disorders.
Since the early 1950's, the Scottish Rite has focused its primary charitable effort on the treatment of childhood language and communication disorders. Why? Because more children in the United States suffer from these problems than from all other medical and orthopedic problems combined!
Almost 3,000 children have received services through the Tulsa Scottish Rite Language Clinic since 1977. Located in the lower level of the Tulsa Scottish Rite Masonic Center, the clinic provides professional speech pathologists to serve youngsters who have speech, language and/or hearing difficulties. Throughout the year they have managed to see approximately 109 clients each month.
The children eligible for services at this clinic are eighteen months through eleven years of age (to age twelve). Each has a specific communication problem which does not result from permanent hearing loss, emotional disturbance, autism, or intellectual handicap. The children have trouble talking, understanding, remembering, reading and/or writing. Masonic affiliation is not a criterion for entry into the program.
***WHAT SERVICES ARE PROVIDED AT THE CLINIC?***
Eligible children are seen for speech and language evaluation and Home Therapy Management. This innovative approach is family-centered, since at least one parent is trained to administer therapy to one or more children at home. The parent is given as much support as necessary to be an effective home therapist. The children may be seen for regular or intermittent Clinic sessions for testing or therapy as needed. Home Therapy Management is flexible and can be structured to meet the family's needs.
Hearing testing is provided for children who receive speech, language or reading services through the Clinic.
***WHO PROVIDES THE SERVICES?***
Three speech-language pathologists and a secretary staff the Clinic. Adrienne Rains Rogers, M.A., CCC, (Clinic Director), Kathleen Barry Plumb, M.S., CCC, Carissa Miller, M.S., Kelli Croucher, M.S..
Rogers received her Bachelor's degree at the University of Texas in 1969 and a Master's degree at the University of Oklahoma in 1970. She was honored with the Outstanding Clinical Achievement Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 1993. Rogers has been at the Tulsa Scottish Rite Clinic since 1979.
Plumb received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1978 and her Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology in 1979, both from Southern Methodist University. She interned at the Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, and has been with the Tulsa Scottish Rite Clinic since 1982.
Miller recently joined the staff as a part-time clinician. She earned both her B.S. and M.S. from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Croucher has joined the staff as a full-time clinician on July 1, 2005. She earned her B.A. from Southwestern College in Winfield, KS and her M.S. at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
In addition to having earned both Bachelor's and Master's degrees, all of our Clinicians are licensed by the State of Oklahoma and have either earned or are in process of earning a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This certification program ensures that Speech Language Pathologists have met the requirements to be recognized by their peers as professionals.
Hearing testing is provided at the Clinic by audiologists from Eastern Oklahoma Ear, Nose and Throat. Each audiologist holds a Master's Degree in audiology, is certified by ASHA, and is licensed to practice in Oklahoma.
***HOW CAN A CHILD BE REFERRED?***
A parent should contact the Clinic between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to provide basic information about the child. From this information, we determine the child's needs. If you would like to observe a session, need more information about the clinic, or know a child who might benefit from speech-language therapy, call (918) 622-7764.
***ARE THERE FEES?***
While comparable services in the community cost about $65.00 per hour, at the Tulsa Scottish Rite Clinic all clinical services are provided on a no-fee basis. There is no billing department. Voluntary contributions are always appreciated and are tax-deductible as The Tulsa Scottish Rite Charitable and Educational Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) entity. Donations may be mailed to 6355 East Skelly Drive, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135-6108.
The Tulsa Scottish Rite also provides financial assistance for some forty graduating high school seniors in Northeastern Oklahoma each Spring to attend college. And, they support a Teacher Training Program in which the Payne Education Foundation of Oklahoma City trains teachers from our Northeastern Oklahoma area in newer techniques of teaching children that have learning disorders, and Dyslexia.
The Tulsa Scottish Rite Almoner, through the Foundation, provides emergency revenue to individuals who require food, housing and clothing.
Also, the York Rite Masons founded the Knights Templar Eye Foundation in 1956 to aid those who need help in the preservation of sight. The Foundation's objectives are to provide research, surgical treatment, and hospitalization for those who suffer from eye diseases, including strabismus (or cross-eyes) in children and eye injuries which, if untreated, might result in blindness. The Foundation also co-sponsors the National Eye Care Project with an agreement with the American Academy of Ophthalmology (Persons 65 years of age or over may receive help by calling 1-800-222-EYES. Persons must state that a Knight Templar has referred them to the N.E.C.P.). Please visit www.eyecareamerica.org for more information. Since 1956 the Foundation has handled over 76,000 applications representing over $91 million. In addition, research grants totaling over $8 million have been made to researchers working in the field of pediatric ophthalmology or development biology.
The Knights Templar Educational Foundation, the first program of its kind, was organized in 1922. Since then, more than $32 million dollars has been loaned to students to complete their last two years of college. This financial assistance is given without regard to race, color, creed, age or Masonic affiliation.
In 2004, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation presented two $30,000 grants to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center for their research relative to retinal degeneration.
The Knights Templar, whose membership is limited to Christian Masons, also founded the Knights Templar Holy Land Pilgrimage. The purpose of this program is simple: send Ministers of the Gospel to visit the Holy Land. The Masonic Knights Templar pray that this travel experience will inspire pastors in their individual ministries. It is one thing to study the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, but actually to walk where Jesus Christ walked can bring the details of the Gospel message to life. The understanding and enthusiasm that can come from visiting the land of Jerusalem can inspire a pastor for a lifetime. It is this holy inspiration that the Knights Templar seek to foster. The Knights Templar Holy Land Pilgrimage program has sent a total of 1,571 Christian ministers to the Holy Land since the program began in 1977.
Many Wagoner Masons are also Shriners, 32-Degree Scottish Rite Masons, and York Rite Masons. One must be a Master Mason in order to be in the Shrine, Scottish Rite, or York Rite; however, not all Master Masons belong to one of the appendant bodies.
A Few Examples of The Wagoner Masonic Lodge's Charity:
Grad Night (Drug & Alcohol Free Senior Trip)
Girl Scout Troop 1036 of Wagoner
Boy Scout Troop 627 - charter sponsor (10 years) -- which has produced 11 Eagle Scouts.
Cub Scout Pack 627 - charter sponsor (10 years)
Venturing Crew 627 - charter sponsor (Boy Scouts High-Adventure Organization)
Boy Scouts of America, Indian Nations Council - Friends of Scouting program
Wagoner Masons have served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Assistant Cubmaster, Venturing Advisor, Venturing Associate Advisor, Committee Member, Committee Chairman, Den Leader, and Webelos Leader for Wagoner Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, & Venturing. Five Wagoner Masons have received the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award. The award is a national recognition approved by the Boy Scouts of America and promoted by the Grand Lodges of Masons in the United States. It is awarded to Master Masons who have made significant contributions to youth through Scouting. Wagoner Masonic Lodge #98 has more Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award recipients than any other Masonic Lodge in Oklahoma.
Wagoner Masons are also members of the Wagoner Lions Club, Rotary Club, Wagoner Chamber of Commerce, Odd Fellows Lodge, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Wagoner Historical Society, FFA Booster Club, Wagoner Traditional Archers, Wagoner All-Sports Booster Club, Wagoner Band Booster Club, & Grad Night Committee.
Several Wagoner Masons are also active in their local churches - including church committees, deacons, and Gideons.
Blue Star Mothers of America, Oklahoma Chapter 2 - Wagoner
Wagoner High School Band
Little League Baseball teams
Business Professionals of America (formerly Future Business Leaders of America)
Wagoner Teacher of the Year
Outstanding Boy - Wagoner High School
Outstanding Girl - Wagoner High School
Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA - Public Television in Oklahoma)
Several anonymous individuals in need.
Wagoner Jr. Livestock Show
Wagoner Special Olympics
Several High School scholarships
Wagoner High School Tennis Team
Technology Students Association - Technology Programs of Wagoner Middle School and Wagoner High School
Oklahoma Blood Institute - Blood Drive Sponsor
Wagoner Law Enforcement - Fund-raiser To Help Purchase A Drug Detecting Dog
Prevent Blindness Oklahoma - Children's Vision Screening Program in Wagoner Public Schools
Wagoner S.T.A.R.S. Academy (Students Taking Another Road Successfully -- formerly the Wagoner Alternative School)
Wagoner 4-H Youth Group
Bikes for Books Reading Program in Wagoner Public Schools - Promoting an interest in reading at the elementary level.
American Legion - Boys State Sponsor
Wagoner Youth Soccer Club - Provided financial assistance to children attending Summer Camp.
Allow Wagoner County Election Board to use Wagoner Masonic Lodge #98 building as polling place during elections.
Wagoner Takedown Club - Sponsored Wagoner wrestler to the Cliff Keen Reno World Championships in Reno, Nevada. Wagoner's Malcolm Rodriguez won the 2006 World Championship.
Wagoner High School Academic Team - Sponsored 2006 team to attend National Tournament held in Chicago.
Wagoner County Sheriff Department - purchased Taser Stun Guns to aid officers.
Wagoner County Child Welfare - helping several anonymous children in need.
U.S. Marine Corps Toys-For-Tots Sponsor
Wagoner Public Schools Gifted and Talented Education -- "In Every Child's Hand" Project -- Fundraiser to promote literacy.
Wagoner Public School Teachers of Ellington Elementary - Sponsored 2007 trip to the 52nd International Reading Association Convention held at Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to receive literacy award.
i S. Brent Morris, 33º, Masonic Philanthropies: A Tradition of Caring, 2d ed., The Supreme Councils, 33º, N.M.J. and S.J., Lexington, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., 1997, pp. 58 & 76.
ii “Who Are The Masons? And What Do They Do?,” Scottish Rite Journal, Vol. CIX, No. 10, 2001, pp. 6-9.
iii Shrine pamphlets
iv Wagoner Masonic Lodge No. 98 records
v Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma
vi L.R. Jerry Grubbs, 33º, “Tulsa Scottish Rite Philanthropies,” Double Eagle News: Official Publication of the Tulsa Scottish Rite Bodies, Summer 2002, p. 6.
vii “2002-2002 Facts & Figures Shriners Hospitals for Children,” www.shrinershq.org
viii “Eligibility Requirements And Admission Procedures,” www.shrinershq.org
ix “Purpose and Activities of the Knights Templar Organization,” www.knightstemplar.org