The North Carolina Mason

January/February 2010

North Carolina Mason

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January/February 2010 The North Carolina Mason Page 7 Mileposts Senior MomeNts Your questions answered By Mark Kolada Administrator WhiteStone Over the past several years, much has changed at WhiteStone: A Masonic and Eastern Star Community, most would argue for the better, a small minority might argue for the worse. An im- portant part of my job as executive director is to educate our fra- ternal members of what WhiteStone is and how it is changing. However, despite my best efforts of speaking at the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter, attending district meetings, giving presenta- tions at lodges/chapters, writing newsletter articles, and word of mouth, I continue from time to time to get objections, questions, or concerns from fraternal members about WhiteStone. So as we embark on a new year, I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight the areas of concerns and publish my responses, in hopes that readers learn a little more about their community in Greensboro and how it is operated. Why did the Masonic and Eastern Star Home change its name to WhiteStone: A Masonic and Eastern Star Community? To keep up with the changing times, the community changed its name in 2008 to modernize its image yet still respect its heri- tage. e name "WhiteStone" is a combination of two historical names in its past, Mr. White was the first administrator of the community and Mr. and Mrs. Stone were the first residents to move into the community back in 1913. e word "Home" is very rarely used now to describe a retirement community, instead it is more common to use the word "community" that has a more positive connotation of a vibrant place for retirement living rather than a traditional "home" for the aged. Who owns WhiteStone? For the past 97 years, WhiteStone has been a separate 501c(3) nonprofit company, with a dedicated 20-member board of directors consisting of 12 Masons and eight Eastern Star members. In 2006, WhiteStone hired a management company named Life Care Ser- vices to provide management services to the community, but Life Care Services does not have any ownership in WhiteStone. Why is a management company needed at WhiteStone? Running a retirement community is a complex business, and the Board of Directors decided that the retirement industry was changing too quickly for it to keep up with on a day to day ba- sis. Among other things, Life Care Services provides day to day on-site management, training to WhiteStone staff, IT support, regulatory and compliance assistance, health programs, and group purchasing. As a result of having LCS involved in WhiteStone, the community has become more financially stable, resident satisfac- tion has increased, quality of care has improved and the employees have access to more training resources. WhiteStone's Board of Di- rectors is still responsible for corporate governance, strategic plan- ning, and oversight of the management company, and are still very much in control of all policy decision relating to the community. How many fraternal members live at WhiteStone? Approximately 90% of our independent living and residential resi- dents are fraternally affiliated. In our Care and Wellness Center, the percentage drops to approximately 60%-70% fraternal due short-term patients from outside the community receiving Medicare services. Now that WhiteStone has opened its doors to those that are non-fraternal, is there still enough available homes for fraternal members? e mission of WhiteStone continues to be to provide retire- ment living for its fraternal members first and foremost. In 2006, after years of below normal occupancy rates, the community did open its doors to non-fraternal members because there were simply not enough fraternal members moving to WhiteStone to continue to make it financially viable. Today, WhiteStone has approximately 93% occupancy in its independent living and resi- dential areas and 97% census in its nursing home and Alzheimer unit. As a matter of logistics, WhiteStone can't guarantee every Mason or Eastern Star member a unit as there are over 44,000 Masons in North Carolina and only 225 units at WhiteStone. All admissions are based on a first come first serve basis. As a Mason or Eastern Star member, what types of benefits are in it for me to move to WhiteStone? While WhiteStone does not provide a discount based on fra- ternal associations there are several benefits to being a fraternal member. 1. Fraternal members have direct access to WhiteStone's fra- ternal financial assistance program. No sister or brother is ever asked to leave due to financial misfortune. is is not always the case if you move to another non-affiliated retirement community in North Carolina. 2. With such a large percentage of fraternal affiliated residents at WhiteStone, many residents feel more comfortable being in a community with other fraternally affiliated residents who share the same Masonic and Eastern star values and ideals they do. 3. WhiteStone currently has an Eastern Star Chapter, as well as weekly and monthly Masonic and Eastern Star functions that help fraternal affiliated residents stay involved in their fraternities. Whether it's having coffee every Friday at the Masonic breakfast, monthly Masonic luncheon on campus, or the Eastern Star spe- cial events held throughout the year, many residents love seeing fraternal friends from across the state on a regular basis. 4. One of the most generous contributions a Masonic Brother or Eastern Star sister can make is an investment in WhiteStone. Each resident that pays an entrance fee is helping to support the fraternal community and ensure its viability for future generations to come. Why retire elsewhere, when your retirement dollars can help support your fellow sisters and brothers here at WhiteStone, while enjoying retirement living, services and amenities that are better than most retirement communities around the state. Beside the fraternal appeal, how does WhiteStone compare with other retirement communities in North Carolina in terms of care, services and amenities? Every Mason and Eastern Star member can be very proud of their community in Greensboro. WhiteStone is a completely gated community located on 42 beautiful acres in the heart of Greens- boro and has several unique features such as: 24/7 security, state of the art Care and Wellness Center featuring an indoor pool, on- site medical clinic, on-site pharmacy, duet bike program, snoozelin room (for those with severe cognitive impairment), excellent nurs- ing care, flexible dining options, full activity calendar, transpor- tation services, library, computer lab, and parlor areas. With the upcoming renovation, we will soon be adding a fitness center, new resident store, game room, multipurpose room, renovated dining room, and activity area. Some of our residents compare living at a retirement community to vacationing on a cruise ship! I hear it's too expensive and I can't afford to live there. How much does WhiteStone cost? Compared to other retirement communities throughout the state, WhiteStone provides exceptional value and affordable re- tirement living with a wide variety of entrance fees and contract types to choose from. Currently our entrance fees fall between $60,000 to over $225,000, and our monthly fees average approx- imately $1,750 a month. We also offer three different types of contracts that allow the residents to get a refund of either 50% or 90% of their entrance fee through the return of equity program. It should be noted that WhiteStone no longer has the assigned asset system whereby perspective residents give a percentage of their overall assets to the community. Is there anyone available to answer more questions or give me more information on WhiteStone? e executive director, Brother Mark Kolada is always available to answer any questions or concerns a fraternal member may have and can be reached at (336) 547-2992 or email at mkolada@live- In addition to being a proud Masonic Brother, Mark is an Eastern Star member and member of the Scottish Rite and is available to speak at lodges and chapters when requested. ose members of lodges and chapters who are on the WhiteStone committee can also request at any time a brief update or report on the community to give back to their membership. Simply call Mark, and he will be happy to provide any information you will need. We will be carrying more questions and answers in the next issue of e North Carolina Mason. BURNSVILLE — When Burnsville 717 celebrated their 50 th birthday in August, they also saluted Bob Boone for his birthday, twice the lodge's — 100 years. He has been a Mason for just over half of his life. — Jerry K. Laws BISCOE — On November 7, Biscoe 437 held its awards night. K. A. McLeod, third from left, received his Diamond Jubilee Award for 60 years Masonic membership. Seen here making the presentation are, from left, Senior Warden David Parsons, Junior Warden Jimmy Harris, and Tony Hutto. McLeod will be 90 years old in April. — Carl Brown WINNABOW — On De- cember 14, St. John's 1 presented George R. C. Thompson Jr. his 70-year membership award on behalf of his home lodge, Mariner 2, in Charleston, South Carolina. — Lignell W. Hood III WENDELL — Wendell 565, in December, presented Jessie Sat- terwhite, third from left, his Diamond Jubilee Award for 60 years as a Mason. From left are Derrick Satterwhite (grandson), Wendell Mas- ter Rodney Brown, the senior Satterwhite, and Jessie Satterwhite Jr. (son). Both son and grandson were presented their aprons by the awardee at their initiations the same night. — Ray Burch GOLDSBORO — Goldsboro 634 recently presented Roy Ren- frow his Veterans' Emblem for 50 years Masonic membership. He is pictured, center, with his wife and Tenth District Deputy Grand Mas- ter David Crisp who presented the award. — Paul Worley Brown CLEMMONS — Enterprise 752 held it Past Masters' Dinner during the summer. They presented Veteran's Em- blems for 50 years as a Mason to Thomas Walker Allen, left, and Ted F. Cook, right. — Tom Allen Jr. SMITHFIELD — At Fellowship 84's Annual Past Masters' and La- dies' Night in the late fall, then Deputy Grand Master William L. Dill, center, presented Diamond Jubilee Awards to two Fellowship mem- bers: John Simon Shallcross and Billlie Eugene Combs. Also earning the awards for 60 years membership, but unable to attend the dinner, were Daniel Gray Matthews and Adrian Gordon Howell. — Harvey Evans GOLDSBORO — Norman Raulston, seen here with his daughter, recently received his Veteran's Emblem for 50 years membership from Goldsboro 634. — Paul Worley Brown STEDMAN — This fall, Haywood Bunyan Smith Jr., center, received his Veteran's Emblem for 50 years Masonic member- ship. His wife Nancy, right, affixed his pin. Then Grand Master Dan Rice, left, presented the award. Smith was the charter junior warden of Stedman 730. — Jim Hay Mehran Davidian photo

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