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June 17, 2004 - Benevolence Builder Grants Conclude

Dear friend of the Masonic Angel Fund,

The spring series of St. Andrew Benevolence Builder Grants concluded yesterday when the funds allocated for this series were exhausted.

Last year's winter series of BBG's deployed $20,000 in grants to Massachusetts Masonic Angel Funds. The spring series deployed another $10,000. Since Benevolence Builder grants are a partial replenishment of constituent MAF benevolences, this represents a total of $90,000 that "hit the ground" through the St. Andrew Benevolence Builder series.

We are proud of the dozens of "Masonic Angels" who have been so proactive with their benevolent outreach this year. Many of the recipients of BBG funds are Lodges that were just starting their Masonic Angel Funds. These replenishment grants played a big part in advancing the new MAF's towards success.

Most significantly, the BBG program required Masonic Angel Funds to "give money to get money". We find this is a far more effective motivator than traditional matching grants - which, in theory, permit MAF's to accumulate money without regard to how much they expend to help children in need. Benevolence Builders replenish local MAF accounts after a benevolence is conferred. Each local MAF is responsible for its own success. The BBG program rewards "successful" Masonic Angel Funds based on what they are actually doing to help children in need.

It is pleasing to see that the BBG program actually inspired Masonic Angel Funds to "do more" rather than "do the same". This is exactly what The Lodge of St. Andrew and the Masonic Angel Foundation desired! We wanted to set the bar a little higher, knowing that those running local Masonic Angel Funds tend to set the bar higher for themselves as Masons. BBG is very much a "challenge program" and our constituent MAF trustees rose to the challenge splendidly!

Those who received BBG grants are aware that the checks were issued within one business day of the Foundation's receiving an emailed or telephoned request. We felt that, since the monies were replenishing expended funds, it was vital that the Foundation get a check out to the constituent MAF right away - so that they could put that money to work immediately.

That represents a tremendous amount of work for someone.

That "someone" is Lorrimer Armstrong, Jr., the volunteer chief financial officer of the Masonic Angel Foundation. Lorry discussed the BBG program with John Sherman and me back in October and said that he wanted the turnaround of BBG's to be immediate, citing the reasons mentioned above.

Each time an application for BBG funds came across my computer screen, I immediately emailed the salient information to Lorrimer. In turn, Lorry literally dropped everything to work with me to qualify each applicant. After he printed the necessary documents and issued the check, Bro. Armstrong got into his giant Chevy Tahoe and rumbled right over to his post office. There were many days when Lorry made more than one or two trips!

This whole project exemplifies the term "Freemasonry at Its Best". The Lodge of St. Andrew was generous in funding the BBG program. The local Masonic Angel Funds did outstanding outreach work, they communicated their requests efficiently to the Foundation, Foundation volunteers re-organized their lives around instantaneous BBG processing and then the local MAF trustees went right out and used that money to help still more children in need!

We thank everyone involved for their exemplary work on this program.

Regards to all,
Robert W. Fellows
Co-Founder/Managing Director
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.