Freemasonry at its Best!
"Angel Mail" Update - February 6, 2006
A Commendation for an Outstanding Volunteer
Anybody involved with the MAF program knows what a busy time the holiday season is each year. Indeed, during the ten days or so leading up to Christmas your Foundation officers are virtually swamped by the number of requests for grants and reimbursements that cross our in-boxes.
While I am the "voice" of the Masonic Angel Fund to most of those volunteers serving in the affiliate MAF's, mine is really one of many voices in the chorus of "angels" here at the Foundation. One of the strongest voices in this group belongs to our treasurer, Lorrimer Armstrong, Jr.
Lorrimer was one of the original three trustees of the old Universal Lodge Masonic Angel Fund. He served Universal Lodge as its treasurer for seven years and is now in his fifth year as CFO of the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. Nobody works harder for the kids than Lorry Armstrong.
Each day begins with Lorrimer checking all of the Foundation bank accounts online before the sun rises. Indeed, when I arrive at my office there are almost always emails from Lorry waiting for my attention. Every transaction that we make - incoming or outgoing - ends up crossing Brother Armstrong's desk at least once and sometimes as many as three times. Whether Lorry is here in Orleans or wintering in Florida, a dozen emails or more might pass between us in a single day. When one of our affiliates applies to the Foundation for a grant the letter leaves my virtual desk and heads over to Lorrimer via email. He prints the letter, cuts the check, mails it and does all the "behind the scenes" tasks that make the Foundation's CPA happy. He balances the checkbook, maintains our fund accounts and manages our cash flow. Lorry also maintains an impeccable filing system for all of the paperwork that comes through our offices on a daily basis.
Lorrimer thought he was retired. Little did he know that his volunteer work for MAFI would turn into a twenty to thirty hour a week volunteer "job". Fortunately for all of us, his lovely wife Judy is a strong supporter of the program and encourages him to work this hard for us - some say this might even keep him out of her hair on occasion.
We thank Lorrimer for his outstanding service to the Masonic Angel Fund program - and we look forward to many more years of help from this most devoted volunteer.
St. Andrew Benevolence Builder Grant Series Concludes
This grant series commenced on November 1, 2005 and ran through January 31, 2006.
$20,000 was awarded during this latest BBG series. Since these were 50% replenishment grants, this means that at least $40,000 "hit the ground" from this grant program.
As always, we express our sincerest thanks to our Brethren in The Lodge of St. Andrew for their continued generosity to Massachusetts' Masonic Angel Funds.
Welcome to Our Newest Masonic Angel Funds
We are pleased to introduce the following new Masonic Angel Funds:
104 Framingham Masonic Angel Fund Framingham MA 12/20/2005
105 Thomas Lodge Palmer MA 12/08/2005
Since the Universal Lodge Masonic Angel Fund carries the designation of MAF #0, this places us at 106 Masonic Angel Funds in eleven states.
Did You File Your Reports?
Have you filed your financial return for the fall semester yet? These were due on January 15, 2006.
Last week we mailed a letter to those who have filed all of their reports and are in good standing with the Foundation. This letter contained an invitation to become part of our application for group exemption status. If granted, "group exemption status" essentially confers 501(c)(3) status on each qualified affiliate MAF. Only those Masonic Angel Funds in good standing will be invited to join the group application. If you have questions please contact the Foundation.
Compliance Officer Appointed
Foundation Board member Mario Mere was recently appointed Compliance Officer for the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. He is responsible for ensuring that each affiliated Masonic Angel Fund remains current in their reporting obligations. If group exemption is granted he will also be responsible for dealing with regulatory matters with members of our group.
If you are missing reports or are behind in dues, Mario will be in touch before long to see how we can help bring you up to date again.
For those who do not know Brother Mere, he has served the Foundation for the past five years as our volunteer webmaster. With instant Internet communication a major cornerstone of the MAF program one begins to realize how very much Mario has done for us over the years.
Last month we promised to share some additional benevolence stories from the holiday season. Below are a few more from the holidays plus some new ones from January. We wish we could list all the stories but are just able to provide a representative sampling.
Golden Fleece Lodge (Lynn, MA) - Obtained assistance from several area Lodges that don't have MAF programs to fund the entire purchase of a sophisticated hearing aid for a little girl in Lynn. We will have a longer story on this remarkable benevolence as soon as we have all the pertinent information in hand.
Sanctuary Lodge #347 (Eau Claire, WI) - We received a very long report from this active Wisconsin MAF. Highlights include: shoes for four boys (one of these kids' shoes was held together with duct tape and the school provided photos), winter clothing for twenty-three children (at a low cost of 569.95), bus pass for a handicapped child and her mother, numerous requests for warm clothing and footwear and school lunches for three children (total cost of $36) who arrived in town too late to apply for the free lunch program.
St. John's Lodge (Newburyport, MA) - Winter jacket, hat and gloves for a fourteen year old girl.
North Reading Lodge (North Reading, MA) - Emergency items for diabetic children at North Reading High School. Also a specialized sound device for a hearing-impaired elementary school girl.
Tahattawan Lodge (Littleton, MA) - A specialized calculator for a student in the special education program at Littleton High School.
Level Lodge (Worcester, MA) - Provided books for two third graders and field trip fees for two fifth graders.
Friendship Lodge (Wilmington, MA) - Assisted four children with the fee necessary to attend their band's trip to Florida.
King Hiram's Lodge (Provincetown, MA) - Provided field trip fees to permit twelve sixth graders to attend an educational class trip in historic Boston.
May Flower Lodge (Middleboro, MA) - Funded the purchase of clothing for a family with five children. The school reported that the kids were wearing the same clothes to school each day and had absolutely no winter outerwear at all.
Howard Lodge (Yarmouth, MA) - Holiday gifts for a family of five children.
Pythagorean Lodge (Marion, MA) - Provided holiday food cards to families covering ninety children throughout the local school system.
Rufus Putnam Lodge (Holden, MA) - Purchased winter clothing for a total of nine children at three different schools.
Nauset Light Lodge (Orleans/Chatham, MA) - Assisted with the purchase of a hearing aid for a student referred through the Latham Centers in Brewster.
Simon W. Robinson Lodge (Lexington, MA) - Purchased eyeglasses for a local child.
John Cutler Lodge (Abington, MA) - Purchased eyeglasses for a ten-year-old girl.
Mariner's Lodge (Cotuit, MA) - Provided clothing for four middle school students and helped with handicapped access items in the home of a child in Head Start.
Simonds Lodge (Burlington, MA) - Provided afterschool program tuition for a local student.
Universal Lodge (Orleans, MA) - Provided boots and socks for a young boy in Brewster as well as partial funding towards a hearing aid for a girl at the Eastham Elementary School.
Please send us news of your holiday benevolences so we can share them with the rest of the MAF on-line community.
Zip Code Directory
Several people in the MAF community have asked for an easier way to find out if a particular community is covered by an extant Masonic Angel Fund. Our current directory of Masonic Angel Funds lists the city where the sponsoring Lodge is located. However, there are many of our constituent MAF's that serve children in several towns.
In order to come up with a "zip code search engine", our webmaster needs a list of all zip codes that are served by each Masonic Angel Fund. Please save us some postage by emailing your MAF name and the zip codes/city names it serves to firstname.lastname@example.org - information should be submitted as it is in the following example:
Universal Lodge Masonic Angel Fund
02643, East Orleans
02662, South Orleans
02651, North Eastham
Thank you for providing our webmaster with the information necessary to fuel this new search engine.
Share Your News!
Do you have benevolence stories you would like to share with the rest of the MAF on-line community? If so, please email them to email@example.com and we will pass them along to your colleagues.
Regards to all,
Bob Fellows, Co-Founder/Board Secretary
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.