Special thanks to the North Carolina Masonic Foundation for creating this video in support of our Home and WhiteStone!
Special thanks to the North Carolina Masonic Foundation for creating this video in support of our Home and WhiteStone!
Raleigh, N.C. – The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford (MHCO) has received a $40,000 Capacity Building Grant from the SECU Foundation to help the non-profit develop a comprehensive plan for the expansion of their Independent Living Program (ILP) for youth ages 18-23 who are transitioning from foster care to adulthood. An announcement was made yesterday during a district-wide SECU Advisory Board meeting held at the Granville County campus, where SECU Foundation Board Chair Bob Brinson presented the ceremonial check to MHCO officials.
“We are pleased to help the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford further their mission to assist children and young adults who need a stable, caring, and loving home,” remarked Bob Brinson. “MHCO has a long history and proven track record of providing residential care services to children and families. We hope the Foundation’s grant will help them move forward with increasing their capacity and expanding ILP services to help address the needs of the foster care population.”
The state licensed and nationally accredited Masonic Home for Children at Oxford has been operating since 1872. It is one of the few facilities with a statewide reach to provide an independent living program for young adults in addition to offering residential care services and support programs for children from infancy to adulthood. SECU Foundation’s grant will assist MHCO with assessing organizational strengths and growth areas, improving statewide marketing strategies and fundraising efforts for continued sustainability, training staff for program expansion, and obtaining a new ILP campus design.
“The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford is honored and humbled to receive this generous and thoughtful gift from the SECU Foundation to address capacity issues,” said Kevin Otis, Administrator of the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford. “MHCO is North Carolina’s first children’s home, and over 10,000 children have had an opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed at tremendous levels thanks to the support of our gracious donors. This tradition continues today as SECU Foundation and MHCO join together to brighten our children’s futures.”
About SECU and the SECU Foundation
A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the state of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for 82 years. The Credit Union also offers a diversified line of financial advisory services including retirement and education planning, tax preparation, insurance, trust and estate planning services, and investments through its partners and affiliated entities. SECU serves over 2.4 million members through 267 branch offices, nearly 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Member Services via phone, a website, www.ncsecu.org and a Mobile App. The SECU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and human services. Since 2004, SECU Foundation has made a collective financial commitment of more than $169 million for initiatives to benefit North Carolinians statewide.
He was the one who brought you french fries after every dentist appointment. He was the one who coached your Little League team. He was the one who spent four decades at your home, dedicating his life and life’s work to provide a better home and future for thousands of children. And now, we are the ones to recognize and honor Donald L. Sizemore for the love and dedication he showed to so many children, for so many years, cared for at Oxford Orphanage and The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford.
The Oxford Orphanage-MHCO Alumni Association recently announced formation of an endowed, memorial fund honoring Mr. Sizemore. The fund, administered by the North Carolina Masonic Foundation, will make an annual contribution from its endowment to MHCO, for use of the residents in their care.
Like Mr. Sizemore, this fund will impact young lives now and provide a foundation for support and giving to all children who need our Home in the future.
The fund is built on love, memory and stories – stories that will live forever through the voices of so many alumni and employees of the Home. They tell of Mr. Sizemore’s care, compassion, and belief in our Home and its mission while he served as cottage counselor starting in 1964, and later in administrative positions and as coach for various little league teams on campus. Primary to his work was the admission of children, traveling thousands of miles, meeting with families, and serving as the first contact to those who needed a home at Oxford. For many alumni, Mr. Sizemore was the constant and caring soul during their time our Home — and even after they left.
Your tax-deductible contribution to this endowment fund of the alumni will ensure that our beloved Mr. Sizemore will be remembered for generations to come – through support every year – that will help keep out home strong into the future. This is every alumni’s opportunity to recall and cherish the impact of this employee, friend, and supporter of their lives and of this Home for years to come.
Donations can be any amount. Gifts will be recognized by the Alumni Association as charter gifts to the fund and will be part of a wonderful announcement and first gift presentation at our 2019 Homecoming.
Information on how to honor your memory of Mr. Sizemore with a gift is below. For more details , please contact Tina Gilreath (919-603-3906)/firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris Richardson (919-690-5996)/email@example.com.
Donations can be mailed to: MHCO c/o Tina Gilreath, 600 College St., Oxford, NC 27565. Checks should be made payable to The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford or “MHCO” and must include “Donald Sizemore Memorial Fund” in the memo line.
Online donations can be made at www.mhc-oxford.org or www.mfnc.org. Be sure to note “Donald Sizemore Memorial Fund” on your online gift form.
Thank you for your consideration and for helping us remember in a meaningful way how Mr. Sizemore dedicated his life to giving children a chance at our Home in Oxford.
On February 13, 2019 the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford will turn 146 years old! On that day, our Home began caring for children in need and we continue to provide a stable, safe, and caring home today. We will be turning 150 years old in 4 short years. Check our website often for news regarding the upcoming celebration, our history, and our bright and promising future.
Check out these other notable happenings from 1873!
•January 01, 1873 – Origin of Japanese Era
•January 11, 1873 – 1st livestock market newspaper published, Drover’s Journal, Chicago
•January 14, 1873 – Celluloid registered as a trademark
•February 13, 1873 – Oxford Orphan Asylum opens in Oxford, NC (Known as MHCO today.)
•February 20, 1873 – University of California gets its 1st Med School (UC/SF)
•March 03, 1873 – Congress authorizes federal departmental postage stamps
•March 09, 1873 – Royal Canadian Mounted Police found
•May 01, 1873 – 1st US postal card issued
•May 20, 1873 – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive United States patent#139121 for using copper rivets to strengthen the pockets of denim work pants. Levi Strauss & Co. begin manufacturing the famous Levi’s brand of jeans, using fabric from the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in Manchester, New Hampshire.
•May 23, 1873 – Postal cards sold in San Francisco for the 1st time
•June 02, 1873 – Construction begins on Clay St (San Francisco) for world’s 1st cable railroad
•June 18, 1873 – Susan B Anthony fined $100 for attempting to vote for President
•August 01, 1873 – San Francisco’s 1st cable car begins service
•August 14, 1873 – Field & Stream begins publishing
•August 18, 1873 – 1st ascent of Mount Whitney, Calif (14,494′)
•August 26, 1873 – 1st kindergarten public school opens in St Louis
•September 17, 1873 – 19 students attend opening class at Ohio State University
•October 30, 1873 – P T Barnum’s circus, Greatest Show on Earth, debuts (NYC)
•November 04, 1873 – Dentist John Beers patents gold crown
•December 30, 1873 – American Metrological Society forms (NYC) weights, measures & money.
The Importance of a Pool in the Lives of our Kids at Oxford
For decades the swimming pool has been a part of the summer experience and generated positive and lasting memories in the lives of children living at Oxford Orphanage and the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford. From the “swimming hole” on the Orphanage Farm to the first pool built in 1921 to the latest location completed in 1988, the pool has been a social gathering place for recreation and fun and is vital to the care of our kids!
Why is a new Pool for our Kids Needed?
Due to its age, major leaks, and the absence of the most current and most efficient safety and environmental features the difficult, but necessary decision was made to close the pool in the summer of 2017. The shower house and pump house also showed signs of disrepair including significant leaks, wiring issues, broken decking, and disconnected ladders. As with any facility on our campus, physical condition and a safe living environment are the first and most important factors in deciding when to repair, to renovate, and ultimately when to close and rebuild.
A swimming pool is more than just an added feature to an already incredible living environment for our children. It is a place of gladness and relaxation. Throughout history our pool was a gathering spot for cooling off, first swimming lessons, and quality time with staff and other residents alike. Our pool is a place that brings the campus together to celebrate birthdays, childhood milestones, and to create lasting memories. Our pool is a place to get away, providing a positive and fun setting that aids our children with difficult and daily feelings of living apart from or without a family. With its current condition and for the health, safety, and well-being of our kids, we must build a new pool that is safe, affordable, and enjoyable, for years to come.
What is the plan for a new Pool at MHCO?
Our MHCO Board of Directors has thoroughly reviewed proposals and approved the design and construction of a new six lane pool, with a “beach-type” zero entry feature allowing children of all ages and ability levels to safely enjoy their experience. New features include a “splash pad”, replacing the maintenance and safety concerns associated with a “baby pool”, and will include a mushroom shower, bubblers, and fountains. The project also includes a new pool house equipped with ADA compliant showers, an upgraded lifeguard office, and a modern concession stand serving the needs of our children and staff when visiting the pool. Finally, a new location on campus for the pool was chosen to allow closer proximity to parking and bathrooms with accessibility both inside and outside of the pool. With these features comes the most important addition – the construction of a safe, efficient pool, built for the health and well-being of all children at MHCO.
We can only make this wonderful part of a child’s life possible at MHCO with your help. Read on to see out how YOU can support this vital and exciting project.
CURRENT CONDITION OF POOL – MHCO identified many safety, electrical, and structural concerns that have grown worse over time and because of the risks associated in keeping it in operation, closed the swimming pool and its ancillary facilities, May 2017. The pool remains closed currently and for the first time since 1980.
Determining factors regarding replacement of the pool versus renovation include the following:
CONSTRUCTION AND COST – Taking into consideration these factors, the cost to renovate the current pool and its structures, and the ability to properly address these issues with renovation, the MHCO Board of Directors voted in February 2018 to construct a new swimming pool, at a new location on campus, to include a new pool house, decking, pump house, and with added safety and convenience features. Planning also included the replacement of the “Baby Pool” with a more hygienic, safe, and environmentally-friendly, “Splash Pad, to accommodate younger children.
Primary consideration was given in selecting the appropriate contractor, while examining the ability to secure donated funds and financing to complete the project without additional costs negatively impacting MHCO’s budget dedicated to the care of the children. In February 2017, MHCO accepted proposals for construction of the pool reviewing several designs, analyzing costs, and determining a price point necessary to promote and secure donations sufficient to fund the cost of the project. After thorough review and multiple revisions to determine that price point, Greenville Pool & Supply Company was chosen in February 2017 as the pool contractor.
The total cost approved by the MHCO Board in February 2018 for pool construction was $307,950 and does not include the cost of a slide. DanCo Builders Inc. was selected as the contractor for the Pool House, Pump House, fencing, lighting, decking, and engineering at an approved cost of $274,509, including a $75,000 allowance for site work. With these two costs the project total for the pool and ancillary structures equals $582,459. This is a reduction in the original plans and bids first submitted in May 2017 of $220,000. Additional costs will be realized in sewer, water, and electrical connections and phone installation. Additional purchases will include pool amenities, lifeguard stands, pool cleaning and safety equipment, deck furniture, recreational, and concession equipment at an estimated cost of an additional $143,355 for a total project cost of $725,814.
Do you have fond memories of summer and swimming at the pool? Wasn’t it the perfect place to meet friends and have great times? How important was your first swimming lesson and how proud you were to be able to swim? Is this an experience you would like to give to a child at MHCO?
For almost 80 years the pool has been an essential and important part of the lives of children at MHCO. We need your help to ensure that children today and for years to come will continue to enjoy this wonderful part of the care we offer. As of May 1, 2018, $271,000 in donations have been given to this significant project in the lives of our kids. With your donation to our MHCO Pool Project – 2018, we can fully fund our goal of $725,000, “making a splash” for those in our care. Know with this contribution you will be giving to more than the construction of a pool. You will be giving directly to the health, safety, confidence, and happiness of a child at MHCO, now and for many summers to come.
RECOGNITION/NAMING RIGHTS – Donors who designate funds for the purchase of these items receive exclusive naming rights on the locations indicated below.
PROJECT SPONSOR: $500,000
Six Lane pool: $308,ooo
Pool House: $150,000
Pump House: $20,000 – Pledged
Splash Features: $12,600
Pool Slide: $50,000
Fencing: $12,000 – Pledged
Lighting: $4,000 – Received
Concession: $15,281 – Pledged
Guard Stands: $4,400 – Pledged
Deck Furniture: $12,100
Pool Equipment: $930 – Pledged
On Saturday, February 10 friends, family, former co-workers, and current staff members met at the Masonic Home Chapel to celebrate the working career of Wayne Roberson. At 40 years, Wayne was one of longest tenured employees in the history of Oxford Orphanage/Masonic Home for Children.
In our journey through life God often puts us in places and situations where we can best have an impact on our fellow man. For Wayne Roberson that place in 1978 was the Oxford Orphanage Printing Department. He has seen many changes through the years, from different faces in the manager’s office to printing equipment that looks far different today than it did when he started. I’m not sure he realized the day he was hired just what the next 40 years would hold for him. But what he did figure out very quickly was the opportunity he would have to impact the young lives of the students that would be in his care for a few hours each week. The author is unknown, but it was once said that “Every child deserves a champion – An adult who will never give up on them and who understands the power of a connection”. Wayne Roberson was that champion for countless former students who love and respect him for what he meant in their lives. The impact he made during his forty years can best be measured by the young people that were under his instruction and have made the Home proud by becoming productive citizens in their own communities.
During his tenure Wayne Roberson was selected to be honored by placement on the School of Graphic Arts Wall of Fame. He is just as deserving as some of the greats who are there, men like Allen and Joe Colenda and Tommy Eller. The Colendas have a whole generation of alumni who love and still speak fondly of them. Wayne has created the next generation that will do the same for him.
Eddie Dickerson, School of Graphic Arts Manager