The North Carolina Mason

May/June 2016

North Carolina Mason

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Page 2 The North Carolina Mason May/June 2016 OXFORD — e weekend of April 23 marked a new era for your Masonic Home for Children. Twelve Master Masons from across the state gathered, most with their spouses, to experience life on campus and learn more about the operation, programs, and plans of the Home. ey are the first Ambas- sadors of the Home commissioned by Grand Master Bryant Webster with the goal of carrying the message of the Home to families in need. Alumni, many of whom are Masons, have been instrumental in helping bring this no- tion to reality. In 2014, the Marketing Coordination Group including alumni, Robert Batchler, Billy Willis, and John Belk met and proposed a plan to some- how involve Masons with the Home in a more personal manner. is idea de- veloped into the Ambassador Program. On Friday evening, April 22, Grand Master Webster welcomed the inaugu- ral class of Ambassadors to the Home. ey had games in the gym with three of the cottages. e class was then di- vided into groups of three for dinner in different cottages. After dinner, they toured a cottage and the Cobb Center. It was then off to the York Rite Cha- pel for reflective activities. Older resi- dents, including 1968 Alumnus Dan Rice (PGM), shared their experience at the Home and its importance in their lives. ey discussed the difficulties of being raised out of one's home, having to abide by campus rules, and the per- spective of guardians having to let go of their children and trust them to others. Saturday's working breakfast was conducted by Marketing Chair and Board Member Phil Johnson. ey talked about the role of the ambassador, governance of the Home, discussion of its current programs and procedures (including the referral process), and the different departments and services of the Home. It provided a well-rounded understanding of the operation so it could be shared with others. Each per- son developed an action plan to begin connecting with lodges in their dis- trict, identify community groups to ap- proach, and to reach families in need. One important message is a familiar one: the Masonic Home for Children is in need of house parent couples to work as child care workers. If you know any- one who would be good house parents, have them contact MHCO at (919) 693-5111 or visit the website at . At the graduation ceremony, each Ambassador received a certificate, pin, and a walking stick. PGM Preslar pre- sented the walking sticks and explained that they were hand-crafted by David J. Stapleton of Greenville 284 and Dan River 129, for the ambassadors to em- body the strength, support, and impor- tance of their work. Each cane is unique and made from 1930s white pine tobac- co sticks cut in Pitt County, NC. ey represent the journey of taking the light of the Home to those in dark times. Grand Master Webster commis- sioned the class by presenting the Ambassador Charter, which currently hangs in the Home's York Rite Cha- pel. A class photo each year will be hung next to the charter. Ambassadors are asked to provide a three-year com- mitment to the program. Additional classes each year are planned. Within three years, every Masonic District in North Carolina should have its own ambassador. ey will work with lodges to help provide information, make con- tacts, assess their relationship with the Children's Home, and develop action plans. ey will also present programs and information to various groups and help take the Home's message of hope to families in need. e inaugural class of 2016 includes John and Heather Harrelson, District 6; Joe and Barb Fuller, District 9; Hubert and Pat Williamson, District 13; David and Gwen Nyce, District 15; David and Julie Parde, District 16; Tommy and Annie Greene, District 21; Todd and Alicia Smith, District 22; C. Ray Hall, District 23; Doug Earnhardt, District 28; Chris and Liz Wilhoit, District 34; Kenneth Sudderth, District 37; and Wiley Kessler, District 38. The Home for Children Ambassador Class 2016 seen here, from left, includes David and Julie Parde, Grand Master Bryant Webster, Chairman Dan Rice (PGM), Gwen and David Nyce, Marketing Chair Phil Johnson, Annie and Tommy Greene, Chris and Liz Wilhoit, Vice Chairman Dewey Preslar (PGM), C. Ray Hall, Doug Earnhardt, Hubert Williamson, John and Heather Har- relson, Wiley Kessler, Kenneth Sudderth, and Alicia and Todd Smith. Barbara and Joe Fuller, and Pat Williamson are not pictured. e Masonic Home for Children continues to be a great place to be a kid, and the impact of our work together reaches for generations. ank you all for helping bring this program to light to be shared brightly across the state. If you are interested in the Ambassa- dor Class of 2017, please contact your district deputy grand master who may make a formal nomination. Home for Children taps first ambassadors Holiday joy delivered from one Home to the other GREENSBORO — In the holiday spirit, more than 20 carolers, including of children and staff, from the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford delighted resi- dents of WhiteStone: A Masonic & Eastern Star Community with good old fash- ioned Christmas tunes. In addition to singing, the group also took time to visit with Independent Living and Care and Wellness Center residents. The WhiteStone residents felt abundantly blessed and filled with Christmas spirit after the visit. This was the second year in a row for the carolers to visit, and they were encouraged to make this an annual tradition between the two Masonic Homes. — Richard Spivey

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