Together we make a profound difference

May is Youth Orders Month

BEST PRACTICE: Hosting a cancer prevention program

HOW-TO: Honor cancer survivors

Could your lodge be a winner?

Introducing: Resources

Question of the month


May is Youth Orders Month

As a fraternity, we've declared strengthening youth orders a strategic priority for 2010-2015. As we work on this goal, we address a number of priority areas - from "membership experience" to "beyond the lodge."

When you get involved with youth orders, you strengthen your bond to the worldwide body of Freemasonry. You create meaningful ways for brethren to be active in the fraternity. You even increase your community’s awareness of Masonry.

Above all, you support the young men and women of DeMolay, Rainbow for Girls, and Job's Daughters.

During Youth Orders Month, Grand Master Bray is urging lodges to attend youth order meetings, host programs that include youth orders, and seek new ways to show their support. For a list of suggestions, read this HOW-TO article.

How will you get involved?



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BEST PRACTICE: Hosting a cancer prevention program

A major strategic priority for the fraternity is to enhance the member experience, and as part of it, improve lodge programs.

What makes a program successful? The details can vary from lodge to lodge, but there are a few common strategies: engage your members; give them useful, meaningful information; and make it memorable.

That's what Harding San Juan Lodge No. 579 did for their National Cancer Prevention Month program in February. Master James Watt explains:

I’m a salesman by vocation. When it came to finding a guest speaker for our Cancer Prevention Month program, I wasn’t afraid of cold-calling.

After contacting cancer treatment centers in and around our community of Citrus Heights, I found the Marshall Cancer Treatment Center. The director jumped at the chance to come to our lodge, and even brought an oncology certified nurse with her.

Some 90 brethren and guests turned out to hear them speak. It was an informative, emotional, and memorable night.

Coordinating the event

  • Finding a presenter: I searched online for cancer research centers in the area, then called to inquire about guest speakers. The director of the Marshall Cancer Treatment Center responded immediately, and enlisted an oncology certified nurse to join her.
  • Advertising: To "sell" our event, we used multiple forms of communication over a number of months: stated meetings, the Trestleboard, email database, our "Big Mouth" phone system, and word of mouth.
  • Team effort: I coordinated individually with presenters. Lodge officers helped get the word out to members.

The program

    • Multimedia messages: Our two presenters came prepared with a PowerPoint presentation and informational handouts.
    • Topics: They spoke about cancer treatment, cancer screening, and cancer prevention. They also explained the nurse oncology certification, and why it's so important.
    • Personal touches: We followed the presentation with a lively question-and-answer session. I asked members of the audience to raise their hands if cancer has touched them or a loved one. Two-thirds of the hands went up.
    • Takeaways: Each guest received literature from our presenters, copies of Grand Lodge literature, and By Your Side donation forms to take home and mail in. 


  • By Your Side: We raised money for a good cause by providing donation forms for By Your Side.
  • Fraternal resources: Our two speakers offered their services for any interested lodges, so I put them in contact with two area lodges and the Sacramento Valley Scottish Rite.
  • Life-savers: The best result was simply to have raised awareness about cancer prevention. We’re doing what we can to protect our fraternal family and loved ones from this dreaded disease.

The most memorable parts of the evening were the personal stories that were shared. My father died of cancer in 1988 and my mother is a cancer survivor. It was very emotional to think of them, and to know that through our program, we may just save a life.

For more information, contact: James Watt,


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HOW-TO: Honor cancer survivors

By Your Side, the Grand Master's Project for 2010-11, is a fraternity-wide effort to put more certified nurse oncologists in California's hospitals, clinics, and medical care facilities.

As part of By Your Side, and in honor of National Cancer Survivors Day on June 5, California lodges are encouraged to recognize cancer survivors at the June stated meeting. Read on for program reminders and ideas.

Already completed?

  • Read the program guide (online in the Member Center under Lodge Support)
  • Form a June stated meeting/National Cancer Survivors Day committee
  • Assign event responsibilities (refreshments, program, etc.)

In May

  • Ad and/or article in Trestleboard
  • Prepare Trestleboard article for June
  • Identify brethren and family members who are cancer survivors
  • Finalize event plans
  • Arrange transportation for any survivors in need of a ride
  • Contact cancer survivors with pertinent event information, such as if their meal will be free; if they will be invited to speak about their experience; etc.

Program suggestions for June stated meeting

  • Honor cancer survivors with a free meal
  • Read the names of cancer survivors, or invite them to stand and say their names and years of survivorship
  • Create a banner or wall display with survivors' signatures, handprints, or pictures
  • Ask a lodge musician to write or perform a song celebrating survivors
  • Invite survivors to speak briefly about their experience
  • Distribute lapel ribbons in lavender, the color of cancer awareness
  • Read an uplifting poem, story, or speech
  • Observe a moment of silence from those who have passed away from cancer
  • Host a raffle to raise money for By Your Side
  • Remind everyone to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and see a doctor for preventive screening
For more information, contact the Office of Philanthropy at 415/292-9139 or


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Could your lodge be a winner


One of the fraternity’s 2010-2015 strategic priorities is to go “beyond the lodge.” That means instilling a wider Masonic perspective inside and outside the fraternity.

The Mark Twain Masonic Awareness Award recognizes just that.

The annual award goes to lodges that have done exemplary work in constructing a positive Masonic identity, both in the lodge and in the community. That includes resourceful and creative Masonic awareness campaigns, as well as overall commitment to Freemasonry’s philosophy of self-improvement and enlightenment.

The award is sponsored by the Masonic Information Center and open to lodges throughout North America. In 2009, California’s Moreno Valley Lodge No. 804 was a winner.

For your chance to be a 2011 winner, visit and register your lodge by June 1.


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Introducing: Resources

Keeping our fraternal family safe and secure is one of Masonry's fundamental obligations. And thanks to your charitable contributions, Masonic Assistance offers support services for the whole family. But too often, members and widows don't know about the services available to them.

One of the most important things a lodge can do is educate members about Masonic Assistance. We've created this new section to help: Download fliers to use in your Trestleboard, in mailings to widows and homebound members, on your website, and posted in the lodge.

Because of you, our fraternal family will know where to turn for the support they need.

This month: Masonic Center for Youth and Families

The center offers single-point-of-service care for youth age 4 to 17 who struggle with behavioral, academic, emotional, or social difficulties. Here, find answers to common questions about this new service for California Masonic families. To request a lodge presentation, call 877/488-6293.


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Question of the month

Last month we asked if your lodge awards scholarships. Of the 82 that responded:

49% - yes
50% - no
1% - don't know


Of those that said yes, 60 percent said their lodge's scholarships total more than $1,000.

Here’s your next question.





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