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Celebrating 50 Years of Support for Masonic Youth

View a slideshow celebrating 50th anniversary of Demolay.

On April 23, 2017, fraternal leaders gathered in Union City to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the DeMolay Foundation of California. The mission of the DeMolay Foundation is:

“To promote the guidance of DeMolays in their physical, mental and religious development through specific programs in the fields of physical education, sportsmanship, citizenship, public speaking, and the arts; all designed to promote a keen sense of the principles of good citizenship, sportsmanship, respect for parents and fellowmen, and to instill a philosophy of life that will sustain them in the future.”

Today, the DeMolay Foundation has expanded to include fellowships for youth leaders, funding 16 scholarships each year. Bro. Tim World, master of Oakland-Durant-Rockridge Lodge No. 188, is the DeMolay Foundation’s current president and gave an uplifting welcome address celebrating the organization’s historical and contemporary accomplishments. Afterward, Nicholas Chan – a current member of DeMolay who recently received the Degree of Chevalier – offered the invocation.

Robert “Bob” Laversin, past master of California Lodge No. 1, offered a thorough history of the organization’s founding. Along with his father, Emile Laversin, he has been deeply involved in the organization, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s. The elder Laversin, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 92, was a former grand chaplain and longtime member of the Grand Lodge Memorial Service Committee. Michael Stern, Charles Wilson, and current scholarship recipient Eliseo Paniagua also offered remarks.

The DeMolay Foundation has deep roots within the Masons of California. A number of California past grand masters have served on the board of the foundation for many years, including Warren J. Blomseth, Donald B. McCaw, Kenneth G. Nagel, and C. Ray Whitaker. This year, Past Grand Master Frank Loui gave an inspirational address on behalf of the Masons of California.

James E. Banta, former assistant grand secretary and current executive director of Northern California DeMolay was among the luncheon’s many guests. “It was such a wonderful experience to have an opportunity to truly celebrate the Foundation’s many accomplishments over the past half century,” Banta says. “Because of the dedication of so many Masons and former DeMolay members, today’s current youth leaders have the support they need to truly excel both within DeMolay and their lives beyond it. I am so grateful to the DeMolay Foundation for their ongoing efforts in support of our Masonic youth.”

Oakland-Durant-Rockridge Lodge No. 188 funded the celebratory luncheon, which was held on campus at the Masonic Home at Union City.

To learn more about the DeMolay Foundation of California, visit demolayfoundation.com.

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