The North Carolina Mason

September/October 2010

North Carolina Mason

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September/October 2010 SENIOR MomeNts A mid-year report By Mark Kolada Administrator WhiteStone Annual Communication is always one of the highlights of my year, and this year was no exception. I appreciate the opportunity to give WhiteStone’s report to the Grand Lodge and to meet Brothers from all across the state and enjoy fellowship. As has been the case the past few years, I have taken the liberty of publishing my Grand Lodge report in this column to those of you who were not able to at- tend Grand Lodge or will not have had a chance to read the proceed- ings, can get an update on how we did this past year: To the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of North Carolina: It is my honor to submit this report on WhiteStone: A Masonic and Eastern Star Community to the Grand Lodge. I am pleased to report that our 98-year-old community in Greens- boro continues to make steady progress in its fiscal health, operations, and quality of care and services. In 2009, our efforts to stabilize the community’s finances have been productive, with WhiteStone, for the second straight year, being in the black and having positive cash flow. Te operating income of the community increased from $82,000 in 2008 to over $1.5M in 2009. Tese improving results were achieved primarily due to consistently high occupancy, higher investment in- come, lowering expenses, and bringing the cost of charity in line with donations received. Tus far in 2010, these positive fiscal trends have continued and we are on track to meet our budgeted goals. As our financial situation improves, it has allowed our charitable mission at WhiteStone to remain strong and generous. WhiteStone currently serves more than 270 residents, of which about 68 require Let me help Masonry's charities ❍ Te North Carolina Masonic Foundation ❍ WhiteStone (MESH) ❍ Te Masonic Home for Children ❍ Send information about wills and bequests. ❍ Please have someone contact me. My name Address City Phone In memory of (optional) Address To assure that your gift is properly credited to the fund of your choice, please make the check payable to that charity. Mail to Te Grand Lodge of North Carolina, PO Box 6506, Raleigh, NC 27628. financial assistance. In 2009, the cost of our charity remained stable and was approximately $1.5M and WhiteStone collected close to $1.4M in contributions, of which donations from Masonic sources totaled over $460,000. We are extremely grateful to the members of Grand Lodge and its foundation for its continued financial support. Please know that 100% of your contributions go directly to support our Brothers and their families, which help pay for their room and board, medical supplies, medications, and other medical bills they otherwise could not afford to pay on their own. Going forward the level of charity the community continues to provide will be depen- dent on the donations it receives. In other words, the more donations we receive the more charity we can give. In 2009, we also expanded our charity program to include a new toll-free hotline to help Brothers and their families access benefits through Medicaid, Medicare, Home Health, and Veteran Affairs. We know how tough accessing these bureaucratic systems can be, and our experienced staff can help navigate these systems, and get people the benefits they are entitled in order to make their lives a little more comfortable. So far this year we have assisted 22 people and provided over 21 hours of staff support. Our outreach program also introduced a medical equipment loan program which makes equipment such as scooters, motor- ized wheelchairs, hospital beds, walkers, and so on available for loan to Brothers and family members from anywhere in the state who needed them. When those people are done using the equip- ment, it is returned to WhiteStone and given to another person for reuse. WhiteStone already has in its storage numerous pieces of equipment available, and is always looking to receive more. As an example of this program in action, we recently were able to help a Brother in the eastern part of the state who was the victim of a seri- ous motorcycle accident. As a result of a call we received from his lodge, we were able to provide him with a new motorized scooter and other needed equipment at no charge to him, and it was deliv- ered to his door by WhiteStone staff. So far this year we have pro- vided more than 15 pieces of medical equipment to 14 fraternally related people throughout the state. Finally, special thanks to Grand Master William Dill for initiating the “adopt a resident” project. More than 40 residents receiving finan- cial assistance from WhiteStone were “adopted” by a Brother, lodge, or district through out the state and are now directly receiving cards, gifts, and money to help make their lives a little brighter. In addition to our charity program, we are also working hard to State My lodge Zip continue to make improvements in the services, amenities offered, as well as capital improvements to our community. At the end of 2009, work was completed to redo an elevator in Bennett residen- tial building as well as install a new chiller that was needed in the Linville administration building. Also in December, thanks to the a generous contribution of Cary 198, the Care and Wellness Cen- ter began the Snoezelin room program, which is a multi-sensory room designed to stimulate those with severe cognitive disabili- ties. In April, a new state of the art fitness center was completed in the Care and Wellness Center featuring air-compressed weigh machines as well as cardio machines, which are being well utilized by residents and staff. In late May, the Bennett Building received a fresh look, with replacement carpet and paint in its common areas, as well as several rooms being combined to create one bedroom suites. In June, WhiteStone’s main dining room began offering a Mileposts full restaurant-style service whereby residents can order off the menu rather than going through the line and being served buffet style. In early July, extensive renovation work began on the Lin- ville administration building to create an exciting new clubhouse for our residents and modern office space for WhiteStone staff. By the end of the year, the renovated space will have residents enjoying a new library, new game room, lounge, arts and crafts area, as well as resident store. In August, the CWC was designated with a five- star ranking by the CMS as being one of the top nursing homes in North Carolina for quality. In September, work was completed on six new independent living houses and duplexes. Our expansion project continues to make steady progress on our new construction plans. In May, WhiteStone’s board of directors approved the reducing the number of independent living units from the original 76 to 46, as well as agreeing to proceed with renovation of the main dining room, rotunda, and addition of a multipurpose room and bistro area. Reducing the number of units in phase one will allow the development to proceed sooner and take advantage of historically low interest rates and construction costs. During this past summer, WhiteStone’s executive director and marketing direc- tor conducted fraternal workshops in Raleigh, Statesville, Charlotte, and Southern Pines area for Masonic members and their families who wanted to learn more about retirement living and the White- Stone campus in Greensboro. If all goes according to plan, the 70% pre-sales needed to obtain financing will be achieved in late 2010, construction will begin in 2011, and be completed by 2012 in time for our centennial anniversary. In conclusion, on behalf of the residents at WhiteStone we extend sincere gratitude to all of the members of the Grand Lodge for your hard work fundraising, the continued financial support of the Ma- sonic foundation, and Grand Master, Grand Secretary and the other 12 Masonic Board Members, for their continued support. May God continue to bless all of you and our community in Greensboro. As always if you have any questions or need more information about the home, feel free to call me at (336) 547-2992 or email me at . EXPANSION, from page 8 this fall with occupancy planned to begin in July 2011. New residences will range from 844 square feet for one-bed- room deluxe to 1,299 square feet for the two-bedroom with sun- room. Residences are designed to ensure plenty of natural light – with large windows, as well as spacious closets, the latest kitchens and bathrooms, and other current amenities. In keeping with its commitment to a social and family-like community, WhiteStone is rebuilding all common areas. Located at the heart of the cam- pus, the newly renovated Linville Clubhouse will include 12,000 square feet of renovated space and 4,820 square feet of new space. In addition to the Clubhouse, a 360-degree rotunda with all glass walls, invites residents to socialize and enjoy refreshments before proceeding to the newly renovated 4,900 square foot dining room, private dining, and outdoor dining. It is also notable that the rebuild and expansion are moving forward despite the challenging economic times, due largely to WhiteStone’s conservative approach and debt-free operations. The North Carolina Mason Page 7 Beaufort — Earlier this year, members of Prince Hall’s Hero 248 visited Franklin 109. Both lodges enjoyed their visit so much that Hero invited members of our local lodges for a return visit just a couple of weeks later. More than 20 members of Ocean 405, Crissie Wright 741, and Franklin 109 made the trip. Past Grand Master Leonard Safrit spoke at the later gathering. WHITEVILLE — Lebanon WALNUT COVE — John Willis, seen here with his wife Janie, was recently presented his Diamond Jubilee for 60 years Masonic membership. Willis is a member of Walnut Cove 629. — Billy Joe Joyce 207 presented service awards July 15 during their Past Mas- ters’ and Awards Night. Her- man Williams was presented his Diamond Jubilee for 60 years Masonic membership. Master Andy Leggette made the pre- sentation. — John Norosky WHITEVILLE — Lebanon 207 presented service awards July 15 during their Past Mas- ters’ and Awards Night. Dewey Hill was presented his Veteran’s Emblem for 50 years Masonic membership. Master Andy Leg- gette made the presentation. — John Norosky WHITEVILLE — Whiteville Eastern Star Chapter 211 hosted Past Masters’ and Awards Night at Lebanon 207 on July 15. Past masters present were, front from left, Donald Currie, Terry Miller, Pete Huggins, Richard Davis, and John Norosky. Back row: Kenneth Dowless, Gary Bass, Doug Buffkin, Edward Davis, and K. M. Simmons. Edwin Russ was not available for the photo. — John Norosky WALNUT COVE — Two members of Walnut Cove 629, P. W. (Buck) Johnson and Billy R. Holbrook, recently got their Veteran’s Emblems for 50 years in the lodge. Seen here after the presentation are, from left, Walnut Cove Master Gary Handy, Johnson, Holbrook, and Grand Master William L. Dill. — Billy Joe Joyce 

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