E. Hunter-Longdon Fund for Campus Chapel Announced and Dedicated as Part of Homecoming 2016

  Living, Enduring Tribute Continues Decades of Charity for Children’s Home Through Major Gift Given by Mrs. Evelyn Hunter-Longdon, Inspired by Love and Example

 

Odsc_0493n October 9, 2016, as part of another Homecoming Celebration for the alumni and families of The Masonic Home for Children, formerly known and remembered as Oxford Orphanage, a historic announcement was made during Sunday Church Service. With the establishment of The E. Hunter-Longdon Chapel Fund at The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, Mrs. Evelyn Hunter-Longdon was honored for her gift funding the Home’s newest endowment for the support maintenance, improvement, spiritual development, and related items specific to the York Rite Chapel at MHCO, supporting the spiritual development of every resident who worships here, now and in perpetuity. With this generous fund, an annual distribution will be made, specific to the needs of the Home’s church and those who call on it for faith and support. Yet the story behind this gift is over four decades old, beginning with a cherished marriage and the past of a young man, raised at a similar home by the Masons of Pennsylvania.

That young man was Brother James Stanley Longdon, who began his support of The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford as early as 1970. With that first gift began a charitable relationship that has spanned over 40 years and continues today even since his passing in 1996. Brother Longdon’s relationship with Oxford started well before that first donation, at a Home much like MHCO. A resident of the Masonic Children’s Home of Pennsylvania Brother Stan spent the years 1917-1921 under the care of the Masons, following the death of his father and through the kind works of his mother. It was his mother, the first Worthy Matron of Pittsburgh, who with the Masons, lovingly placed her son at the Home in the early 1900s.dsc_0497

A fall as a young man while at the Home in Pennsylvania caused a serious injury to Brother Stan, almost leading to his death.   After a year at the hospital and under the care of the Masons, he left the institution to live with his grandmother, working during the day, attending college at night, and vowing to succeed so that he could one day care for those youth, like him, who needed a Home and a family. With his life and his success, he vowed to give back as a Mason and as a child of an orphanage.

Even after his passing he has done just that, through the life and love of his cherished wife, Mrs. Evelyn Hunter-Longdon. Mrs. Evelyn, as she is affectionate know throughout the Home, took the vows as the wife of Brother Stan in 1983. As his friend, partner, and wife, she stood as the heart and soul of Brother Stan’s life, as well as the one he passed his commitment of charity to.   During their 13 years together Mrs. Evelyn learned about Masonry, about charity, and how Brother Stan’s own life and success was shaped by the hands and hearts of men committed to a Home like the one in Oxford.

Mrs. Evelyn has remembered Stan’s passions for helping others, not only for the meaning and importance in his life, but for every child today who shall have a claim upon the purpose of this Home. With this in mind Mrs. Evelyn has continued the legacy of Brother Stan’s charity, both at the Home in Pennsylvania, and here, at your Home in Oxford. A record of their giving shows the establishment of the “Longdon Best Kept Cottage Fund” in 1971 and the Evelyn and Stanley Longdon Education Endowment at MHCO in 2006, an incredibly generous and perpetual gift that was given as a result of Brother Stanley naming this Home in his will. These and others given by both have come through a variety of individual gifts all the result of their heart, their charity, and Brother Stan’s path in life.

On this special day in October and with this latest gift for the Home, the children and families of MHCO, both past and present, gathered at church to recognize this cherished member of our Masonic Home family. With the comments of Oxford Orphanage alumnus and Chairman of the Board of Directors Dan Rice (68’) and to the applause of over 100 alumni and family members, Mrs. Evelyn Hunter-Longdon was honored as one touched by the compulsion and compassion of Masonry, so much so that it continues to compel her kindness for MHCO and its children. The fund given by Mrs. Evelyn is the largest in the history of the York Rite Chapel, since its construction in the 1950s.evelynlongdonevent_oct9_4

EVENT NOTICE – Master Plan Meet and Greet Invitation to you – From MHCO

The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford is building on the foundations of success. A master plan has been developed and includes options for service and program development. You are invited to the Cobb Center at MHCO on Friday 11/11/16 from 5pm-7pm for a meet and greet. Please join us to discuss possible plans, gather your feedback, and continue to build together for the betterment of our children.

Included with your invitation is a brochure outlining the proposed Master Plan at MHCO, for 2017 and beyond and a survey link, allowing you to provide feedback privately and confidentially regarding the Master Plan and your personal input. Please click here to access this survey and submit your feedback. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8TT8F6W

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We hope to see you there and appreciate your time and consideration regarding this important piece of our future – for our foundation and the lives of our children.

Kevin Otis – Administrator – The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford

MHCO Recognizes National Estate Planning Week Oct. 17-23

The Importance of Long Term Planning

MHCO Recognizes National Estate Planning Week Oct. 17-23

 

MAKING SURE YOUR WORK, YOUR SAVINGS, AND YOUR WISHES BENEFITS YOU, YOUR FAMILY, AND THOSE YOU SUPPORT – FOR CERTAIN, FOR A LIFETIME, AND FOREVER

138October 17 – 23, 2016 is recognized as National Estate Planning Week for an eighth year.  Why have such a week all about wills and estates?  Why talk about something that is not a pleasant topic or something to even discuss?  Because for all of us, it is inevitable and unknown.  And planning your estate and your final lifetime, financial decisions helps tremendously with the uncertainty and emotions for you and your loved ones, forever.  It is estimated that over 50% of Americans do not have a will.  Yet, estate planning is one of the most overlooked and vital areas of personal finances.  After a life of working, saving, sacrificing, and giving, some forget the most important step in financial planning and the only one that will make an impact well after a loved one has left us.  Why would anyone leave to chance all they have worked for and saved for, only to have decisions made by another.   While not pleasant to think about, a will and your plans after passing are one of the greatest acts of kindness and security you can provide for your family.  Wills and estate can also involve the custody of children, deposition of property, or the selection of favorite charities, to insure that your beliefs and support continue, for whomever you choose, for years to come.  They only way to make this happen is with Estate Planning.

From the tax benefits to the peace of mind, making your estate plan is simple, inexpensive, and provides one of the best and most beneficial life plans for you and your family.  For our Masonic Home, Estate Planning is crucial, for our work today and for the future.  Planned Giving, including wills, estates, trusts, gifts of property, annuities, IRA’s, Life Insurance, and other major gifts endure as the single-most important contribution protecting the outlook and existence of MHCO and its ability to serve children in the future.  They are also a sound way for our donors to make a desirable gift to the children, while protecting their need to meet personal, family, and financial obligations in the future.  A donor does not have to be a “millionaire” to leave a planned gift, but to simply have the desire to continue to support a charity as well as their family, even in their passing, in a way that will assure MHCO’s ability to care for more children apart from their family and in need of its protect, provisions, and hope for years and years to come.  Wills and estate and various elements of planned gifts at MHCO accounted for 56% of the total amount of donation revenue given to MHCO in 2015.  Including stocks and funding for designated scholarships and other accounts, planned giving donated $2.1 million in donation revenue for various operations at MHCO in 2015 alone.  The Home annually honors those who name MHCO in a planned gift, through our Hayes-Neal Society.  It recognizes those while with us or after their passing, whose estate planning includes MHCO, in any amount, noting their “gift of a lifetime” for the future of this Home and our ability to care of children, today, tomorrow, and for years to come.

dscf5206National Estate Planning Awareness Week is the perfect time to make sure your financial and personal affairs are in order in the event of sickness, an accident, or untimely death.   Contact your estate planning professional, banker, financial planner, or legal counsel or call or email MHCO at 919-603-3901 or crichards@mhc-oxford.org for assistance in how to get started.  Talk with your family or a trusted friend about what you desire in your life time of giving.  This is your plan – make sure you design it that way and make sure it is carried out as you wish.  A will and proper guidance, with qualified individuals is the most secure way to make this happen.  If you already have a plan, it’s a good time to review your plan to make needed adjustments to beneficiary designations or modify retirement accounts and insurance policies.

Below is just one example in the history of MHCO of a person who planned well before he sadly left us and how his estate plan benefitted so many while still on earth – including our Home and our kids.  Our friend Brady and his legacy in life and in charity lives on today because of his faith in God, his belief in the mission of our Home and the charity of other organizations and his creation of a sound estate plan, giving him the power and confidence in leaving a legacy to benefit children for generations.


A STORY IN THE POWER OF ESTATE PLANNING

Giving More Than a Gift- Brady Jefcoat’s Life and Words Are the True Gift to All Who Know Him

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Sitting on the carport of his Wake County home, Mr. Brady Jefcoat begins to discuss the miracles of life.  The stories follow endlessly, as does the laughter and learning.  It is a porch that has hosted college presidents, religious leaders, world travelers, good friends, and strangers in need.  The rocking chairs are a welcome sight to all who stop by for a visit because you know a few wonderful moments with Brady will change the outlook of your entire day.  The miracles of our world, past, present and future are discussed in earnest by Brady, but the true miracle is what he has given to others throughout his ninety-plus years on this earth.

To visit with Brady means to engage in the art of conversation and to experience the story of his life and the stories of thousands of people he has touched throughout it.  The pearls of wisdom that flow from Brady’s mouth could fill your mind hundred times over.  Between the laughter and the wisdom you find yourself witnessing a truly special individual; not only for what he has given through major gifts to his church, the City of Murfreesboro, North Carolina and to our Masonic Home for Children Oxford, but for what he continues to give with his words, his mind, and his heart.

It is hard to decide which part of Brady Jefcoat is the most amazing to witness.  He tells a story with honesty, element, and emphasis, matching the world’s best orator with his delivery and relevance.  He can reference the Holy Bible and impart those listening with details and meaning known by only those who have studied the scripture and its meaning.  One has to be on their toes as he will quiz even the most learned scholar of the good book and tax the mind of those who claim to know all there is know.  As a youth, Brady was involved in a car accident, which resulted in a disabled hand.  Yet, the work that he performs as a craftsman is astonishing, matching lines and curves of wood and metal and reconstruction pieces that were considered, “beyond repair”.  These mended items are placed amount his collection of antiques, which is massive, to say the least, and holds treasures from every corner of the earth.  Some he has purchased but many have been given to him by friends, acquaintances or complete strangers, who know the true appreciation that Brady has for every item and oddity.  These collectibles have been placed in Brady’s care because of his true love for art, knowledge and an appreciation for history. Most amazing is Brady’s knowledge of people, a skill he has perfected over his lifetime and one that has touched the souls of anyone that has every met him.  His true love is people; their thoughts, concerns, and troubles and what he can share with them, whether it is a smile, a story, or an attentive ear.  It is this fact that sets Brady apart from most people and one that has endured him to many, including the author of this story.

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Amidst the most wonderful collection of memorabilia and history, you get to know Brady.  With book, chapter and verse, Brady quotes the Holy Bible from memory.  In doing so he always adds an interesting fact or challenges you with a question, all for the purpose of educating and entertaining, because he loves to share with others.  This display of memorization leads you to believe that Brady attended years of college or divides his time among constant reading.  The fact of the matter is Brady’s memory and his talent to communicate stem from a lifelong desire to succeed, to learn and to share with others.  For a man faced with many obstacles and challenges in his life, his words are soft and promising and his thoughts are precise, calculated, and constructed with experience. His collection of tangible treasures is amazing, but it is the intangibles of Brady that set him apart from the rest of us.  While learning about the world’s largest collection of chittlings knives or staring in amazement at the couch used in “Gone With The Wind”, you realize the true treasure you are witnessing is Brady himself.

The life of Brady Jefcoat is so interesting and so inspiring that it would be difficult to recap it in one article.  His story would make a wonderful movie, with many sequels and a continuing plot line that includes with a different adventure each week.  This writing does not do it justice and barely describes the many, many gifts Brady has given throughout his life.  Even with his hand mangled in a car accident when a child, Brady demonstrated a zest for life and learning, working in several professions as he grew.  Brady’s quest for knowledge began in school and soon after graduating, he sought work and an opportunity to display his knowledge and exercise his will to succeed.  His hand obscured in a coat pocket, Brady walked into a Raleigh based book bindery searching for a job.  Throughout the day, Brady had been rejected, turned away from potential jobs, because of his hand.  Undeterred, Brady continued his search and made a promise to apply all the talent that God had given him.  His only dream was to work and to demonstrate his abilities.  His last stop proved to be that opportunity, as Brady Jefcoat took a job at the bindery, destined to demonstrate his talents and all that he had to give.

Best known as a carpenter, a skill he still demonstrates through historic restorations today, Brady’s talent and tremendous drive to succeed were evident at an early age.  From the book bindery, to a bus garage, and on to his own construction business, Brady made business associations and life-long friends through his skill, determination and because of his work ethic.  Brady was known has a person who could fix the unfixable, one to never give up, and a true craftsman.  Brady indeed can fix anything from baptismal, to window panes to the occasional aching heart or troubled mind.  Brady’s life is a tribute to a faith in God and a belief in yourself and your talents.

The circa 1922 Murfreesboro High School stands today as the Brady C. Jefcoat Museum of Americana; another testament to the generosity of Brady.  Wanting to display all that he had been given and acquired, Brady set out to find a place to present the treasures of his life for the benefit of others.  The collection of items, ranging from cooking equipment, to air rifles, to game birds is only a small portion of Brady’s anthology.  These items and the stories behind them are the result of gifts and “finds”, many trips to many flea markets, and a genuine love of learning.  For every piece Brady has in his collection, there is a story.  And for many pieces in his collection, Brady has used his mind’s eye and his talent to restore them to their previous glory.  Brady continues to this day, taking unique collectibles and reconditioning them, spending time and investing heart into each piece.  In the same fashion, through his public speaking (several hundred in his lifetime) or through small talks on his carport, Brady has reconditioned the lives of people, investing that same amount of time and a greater amount of heart to make a difference and help people realize their greatest gifts.

Stacks of letters can be found throughout Brady’s home from people who have been touched by his story.  They speak to Brady and remind him of his opportunity to share with others and of the many people that have been affected by his life.  In speaking of these letters, Brady displays surprise and reverence and cherishes them as the greatest piece in his collection.  They come because of his speaking engagements, another treasure in Brady’s life.  Brady loves the opportunity to speak to others and share with them.  An even greater thrill comes when his audience asks questions or sends a message of thanks.  For it is his words that have touch a chord in the hearts and minds of many and his words that he cradles has his greatest gift to others.

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In January 2006, Mr. Brady Jefcoat donated a piece of his homestead to The Masonic Home for  Children at Oxford.  The donation was part of a plan developed by Mr. Jefcoat and Wake County Parks, Recreation and Land Use Department, to construction a park for residents located in the southern part of the county.  The park would be yet another way to affect the lives of others especially the very young lives of the future.  Once again, Brady was taking his life’s work and giving it back so that generations after him could enjoy it.  Wake County received an additional part of the property, the result of another donation by Brady, to secure land for the plan.  Mr. Jefcoat’s  gift to the Masonic Home for Children equaled over $1.3 million dollars; a tremendous gift for the future of our Home and its children and one which will forever live at this Home as historic in its generosity.  Brady is not a Mason, nor was his family affiliated with the craft, but his life is an example of our Masonic tenets realized; faith, hope and charity.  For it is with faith in God that Brady has lived his life, hope in all people that they can succeed as he did and charity for the many, many blessings he has imparted to others, especially this Home and its children. His gift will be recognized permanently later this year with the naming of the Brady C. Jefcoat Cottage, one of seven residence home at MHCO that opened in 2003.  While Mr. Jefcoat’s generosity will be remembered through the naming of a home, his words and his story will be remembered in the minds and hearts of all he has met throughout his life; including me.

EVENT UPDATE – MASONIC HOMECOMING FESTIVAL OCTOBER 7 – 9, 2016

EVENT UPDATE – MASONIC HOMECOMING FESTIVAL OCTOBER 7 – 9, 2016

Masonic Homecoming Festival Modifications Due to Hurricane Matthew

As of 12pm, October 5, 2016 – In light of the impending weather events and the uncertainty of its impacts on the 2016 Masonic Homecoming Festival, MHCO officials, Alumni Representatives, and members of the Masonic Grand Lodge and Shrine Temples of North Carolina met to discuss those changes that needed to be made to ensure the safety of all participating and attending this year’s events. Based on this meeting the following changes to the schedule of events have been made:

  • The Shrine Parade for Saturday Morning has been cancelled.

 

All other activities are being held as previously scheduled. For a full list of activities and changes as well as any additional updates, please visit the MHCO website at www.mhc-oxford.org or our Facebook page. You can also listen to the following radio stations for further updates – US 98.3 FM and WIZS 1450 AM.

UPDATED SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – CLICK HERE!

The Home extends its thanks to the City of Oxford Police Department, Granville County Sheriff’s Department, Granville Emergency Management, the Oxford Orphanage/MHCO Alumni Association, our Shrine Temples of NC, and all those locally and throughout the state who have volunteered their time, resources, and support for this year’s festival. We apologize for any inconvenience these changes have caused, but again must focus on the safety and comfort of our participants and guests, both in Oxford and across North Carolina.  Look for additional updates if other changes are necessary due to the weather.

Look Whose Leading our Homecoming Parade!!

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Carolina Hurricanes Mascot Stormy will serve as Grand Marshal of the 6th Annual Masonic Homecoming Festival Parade on October 8, 2016, joined by members of the Carolina Hurricanes Storm Squad.

A long-time member of our Masonic Home for Children family, the Carolina Hurricanes continue their commitment to children and families around our state, including our kids at MHCO.

We are honored to have Stormy and the Hurricanes as part of this year’s celebration.  Besides leading our parade and serving as this year’s Grand Marshal, Stormy and members of the Storm Squad will remain on campus after the parade for pictures and autographs.

The Masonic Home for Children sends its deepest appreciation to our friends at the Carolina Hurricanes and the Community Relations Department for helping us once again at The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford.

Come out and meet Stormy and the Storm Squad and help us celebrate Masonic Homecoming 2016!!!

 

Jim Quick & Coastline, Bryan Mayer Headline Weekend Homecoming Entertainment

The 6th Annual Masonic Homecoming Festival is quickly approaching and The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford is proud to announce this year’s headline entertainment. On Saturday, October 8, 2016 following the State’s biggest and best Shrine Parade, Jim Quick & Coastline will take the main stage providing their wonderful Carolina Sound for all in attendance to enjoy. For Friday evenings kick-off celebration at the “Yard Party”, New Bern’s own Bryan Mayer will bring his powerhouse country sound to the Pit’s Main Stage, starting at 6pm on October 7, 2016. There is plenty to do, see, remember, celebrate, and certainly enjoy for Masonic Homecoming 2016, especially with these two popular, Carolina favorites taking the stage. Make plans to come and enjoy this weekend filled with incredible music – all part of the Masonic Homecoming Festival, October 7 – 9, 2016.

ABOUT THIS YEAR’S HOMECOMING ENTERTAINMENT

Jim-Quick-The-Coastline-Band_PictureJIM QUICK & COASTLINE – As Artist or in person, Jim Quick is the kind of guy you genuinely want to call a friend. With the charm only a true Southerner can possess, he brings his talent to the stage with a quick-witted, knee-slapping sense of humor coupled with the clear sincerity of his love for his craft.

Quick’s been touring the Southeast US for more than 15 years, playing nearly 300 shows per year, and has released more than 11 albums including his newest, DOWN SOUTH. Originally introducing their music as the Coastline Band—a band of friends who played the Carolina beach bars day in and day out—the group pushed Quick to the forefront and naturally transformed into Jim Quick & Coastline. Known for his all-out performances and deliberate, off-the-cuff wisecracks, Jim has been a gracious recipient of the Carolina Music Awards “Entertainer Of The Year Award” – nine times.

”Strong” is exactly the word to describe Jim’s catalog, and his most recent, DOWN SOUTH, is poised to become a best-selling musical novel. With songs such as “I’m A Dog” and “Don’t Shoot The Snake,” Quick segues the comic relief of Rodney Dangerfield and Barney Fife to teddy bear tenderness in “Hurt That Bad” and “Forever Man”. A melding of the genres that make up the musical culture of the South, including Country, Blues, Soul, Southern Rock and Jazz, Quick’s take on music is not to be tuned out.

 

His devoted fans, the “Coastline Crazies,” know it’s hardly luck that allows Quick’s path to cross with musical greats. It’s his musical gumbo and unadulterated energy that keeps fans coming back for more. And, with the release of DOWN SOUTH and his introduction to country radio, Quick is certain to add more “Crazies” to the mix! (Courtesy of Kat Atwood – Music City News)


bryanmayerBRYAN MAYER – With his towering height and powerful voice, Bryan Mayer, is making a BIG impact on the Country music scene. A North Carolina native, the 6’7” singer/songwriter began his journey in music when he was 13. The son of a US Marine Corps Colonel and a Navy nurse, while stationed in Quantico, VA, Bryan was tapped by his middle school music teacher to play the upright bass in the school band for his already impressive height of 6’1” in the 7th grade. Although Bryan enjoyed playing the bass, the lure of the front man aspect and realizing he could sing lead him to pick up the guitar. After some impromptu performances at keg parties at his house in college at ECU, Bryan ended up on the Carolina sands of Oak Island, NC. It was there that he started crafting his style and gutting it out in any bar, restaurant or party that would hire him.

Being a southern man from NC, Bryan identified with the bonfires, days on the river, and the simple life that Country is. It wasn’t long after that show that Country radio powerhouse 95.1 WRNS took notice of Mayer’s talent and began to use him as a frequent opener at concerts for National Country headliners like Trace Adkins, Joe Nichols, Craig Morgan, Eli Young Band, The Band Perry, Thompson Square, and dozens more including Southern Rock Gods, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Years before, Bryan had already performed with Marshall Tucker and Blackfoot.

In the meantime, and while performing, Mayer made an attempt to write his first Country song, an autobiographic ballad called, “This is Me.” After WRNS Program Director and songwriter, Tommy Garret, heard the song, he promised Bryan if he had it recorded by hot new Nashville Producer, Stokes Nielson of the The Lost Trailers, he would play it on his Top 40 Country station. The station, which covers over 1/3 of the entire state of NC, began to get Facebook messages, emails and requests for the song. After numerous times as #1 on the WRNS “Six Most Wanted at 6,” a daily countdown of the most requested songs, “This is Me,” ended up #127 on the Mediabase Country charts in June 2013, giving Bryan his first Top 200 Country song.

Bryan has since been back to Nashville multiple times to record his original songs and videos with Producer, Stokes Nielson. Bryan is currently being nominated by his fans for the 2014 Carolina Music Awards for Best Male Country Artist and Music Video of the Year. His single, “This is Me,” hits National Country radio this spring and his EP drops this summer. If you’re looking to add a new and promising Country voice and talent to your playlist, look no further than Country music’s future BIG MAN, Bryan Mayer.

Six-months into the year – what does the rest of 2016 hold and how you can be a part of this special time of year at MHCO!

The year is half over – yes half-way through our 143rd year of child care.  With this in mind and knowing the importance and excitement that can be found in the last two quarters of the year, take a moment to consider what’s available, scheduled, and upcoming for you, our friends and supporters as part of your support of The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford.

 

August – National “Make a Will Month” – Not always a pleasant topic and definitely a focus of the future of this Home, making a will is so important. For you, for your family, for those charitable institutions that will rely on your legacy of giving, to continue their work, including MHCO.  Wills, estates, annuities, trusts, life insurance policies, property, and many other options kimmel– all have benefits, especially for you!  Benefits that last well beyond a lifetime, benefits that help those you love, benefits that protect all that you have worked for and saved, and benefits for those that rely upon the charity of others.  Take this month (or any month) to look into the benefits of wills and estates.  Visit your chosen legal counsel, financial planner, banker, trusted family member, friend, or call your Financial Development Officer at your charity or church or school, for more information.  You can find out more by contact us at MHCO (919-603-3901/crichards@mhc-oxford.org). And look for our updated website providing specific information on planned giving to MHCO in August 2016!!

 

 

September – “Activities Abound” – September begins a busy four months of visits from fgroupriends, old and new, coming to campus for a variety of wonderful, generous, tasty, and special events.  From Lodge cookouts to the 14th Annual Eureka Charity Ride, the 2nd “Superhero 5K”, to our annual visit to the Grand Lodge Annual Communication, the Home comes in contact with thousands of people during the month.  Preparations also begin for the holiday season, as Christmas sees even more friends come to interact with and support the Home.  Still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors, activities reach a fever pitch for our campus and the community.  Visit the Home’s Facebook page to see activities on campus and in your community during the month of September.

 

 

October – “A Time to Come Home” – For almost 80 years the Home has held a very special and meaningful weekend honor those alumni and their families, welcoming them back to Oxford; back to their Home. October 7-9, 2016 honors that tradition, one that now includes the chance for our Masons and all supporters and our community to come together and recognize our alumni and their importance to the history and future of MHCO.  With hopes for a dry forecast, planning is already underway and you are encouraged to make plans to come and joining in this celebration of Homecoming.  Visit the Home’s 6th Annual Masonic Homecoming Festival website for the latest updates and information and mark your calendars to join us for a celebration of the past, present, and future at MHCO.

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Spring “Shedding” – Masons Cross Districts to Build for MHCO

    21stMasonic_DonationTrip_Movies_Shed_2 Adding it to the Home’s monthly Needs List, a new Garden Shed for the Children’s Community Garden seemed like a big project.  With great expense and the decision to build, buy, transport, or trade, the Home’s growing garden was in need, but could that need be fulfilled?  Within the past year this monumental need was made reality and not just through the efforts of one gift, one person, or one Lodge, but through the generosity, care, and commitment of many.  It seems fitting that during a year of emphasizing the foundation of the Home and the relationships of people, one building for our Children’s Garden proved to bring together the charity, work, and faith of many.

    LandscapeDay_keithshed_4 Starting in the spring of 2015, the Lodges of the 21st Masonic District made it their purpose to collect enough funds to purchase a kit to provide the Home with a Garden Shed.  On June 26, 2015, led by DDGM Frank Wanko of Southern Pines No. 484, members of the district delivered $1,280, collected from the Lodges of the District, given to purchase a shed for the campus.  With the money donated, the kit was delivered that summer.  Next was the task of assembly.

     With a generous donation from the local CertainTeed Plant located in Oxford, NC, shingles were donated to complete the parts needed to construct the shed in early 2016.  Left was the skill, knowledge, LandscapeDay_keithshed_3and “sweat equity” to bring the building together.  With the opportunity to gather on the Home’s annual Great Landscape, brethren from the Home’s own district, District 13, came to the campus, saw, hammer, and level in hand on March 19, 2016.  Assembling the group was Brother Tommy Keith of Creedmoor Lodge No. 499 and with his and the efforts of over twenty Masonic brethren in two weekends, the shed was completed for use this spring and for years to come, adding to the Children’s Garden a valuable and useful piece for the future.

     Shed_April2016_3The true value of this simple wooden shed – the gift of collaboration, Masonic Unity, and the benevolence that comes when many give together – all for the kids.  Watching these donors come together, each giving a cherished and useful gift, in so many ways demonstrates the true power of a donation, when given by many.  It is what has carried this Home for over 143 years.  Much like the principles of the Masonic Fraternity, these builders each gave of themselves and relied upon the strengths and generosity of every person, from collections to construction, all to Shed_April2016_6bring their offering for use at their Children’s Home.  This was truly a gift from many that will give to many, for years and years to come.

 

     We salute and thank all those who had a part in this project, which will stand to serve our campus, our children, and as a reminder to what can be truly be given when donors believe and come together based on that belief in helping a child.

 

 

 

DISTRICT NO. 21

Carthage Lodge No. 181

Laurinburg Lodge No. 305

Raeford Lodge No. 306

Southern Pines Lodge No. 484

Rockingham Lodge No. 495

Hamlet Lodge No. 532

Roman Eagle Lodge No. 550

Elise Lodge No. 555

Elberta Lodge No. 654

 

DISTRICT NO. 13

Oxford Lodge No. 122

Franklinton Lodge No. 123

Adoniram Lodge No. 149

Henderson Lodge No. 229

Youngsville Lodge No. 377

Granville Lodge No. 380

Henry F. Grainger Lodge No. 412

James A. Johnson Lodge No. 413

Creedmoor Lodge No. 499

John H. Mills Lodge No. 624

Orphans Lodge No. 761

Butner Lodge No. 697

 

Special thanks to CertainTeed of Oxford, NC for their generous donation towards this project.

 

 

First Class of MHCO Ambassadors Begin Their Journey for the Children

ambassadorpinartwork     April 23rd was a very special weekend in the happenings of your Children’s Home.  A new and innovative program kicked-off during a spring weekend at MHCO – one ordained -to send Masons and their families forward, speaking, acting, and working on behalf of the Home and its children.  Twelve Master Masons from across North Carolina gathered, many with their spouses, to experience life on the campus  of MHCO and to learn specific information regarding the operation, programs, and plans of the Home.  With this knowledge, these Ambassadors were commissioned by Grand Master of Masons in North Carolina, MW Brother Bryant Webster, with the goal of carrying the Home’s message to families in need, interested supporters, and all seeking information and interest about MHCO.  From the idea of our alumni, seeking to engaging new and more individuals in their Home, as well as involving the Masons of NC in a more personal manner and on a more widespread basis came this innovative and important plan.  In seeking to involve more, providing them with the tools for communication, presentations, and constituent development came this first MHCO Ambassador Program in 2016.

     On Friday evening April 22nd participants met and began their orientation with a welcome with a tour of campus and dinner in different cottages.  Concluding the tours, our first class of Ambassadors and their wives met in the York Rite Chapel, there to share in the final activities of the day that would prepare them for the following sessions.  Included was a presentation from current residents of the Home and Class of ’68 Alumnus Dan Rice who shared their experience at MHCO and how important the Home has been in their lives as well as some of the daily struggles associated with life at the Home. 

     The next day began with a working breakfast and Welcome.  Information sessions began with various staff members and MHCO Marketing Chair Phil Johnson sharing information regarding the role of the Ambassador, guidelines and statutes that guide decision making regarding MHCO operations, conducting a Lodge Assessment, giving presentations on MHCO, current Programs and Services (including the referral process), Employment and Volunteering, Finance, the School of Graphic Arts, and Financial Development.  The information was intended to provide a well-rounded understanding of the many aspects of operation in order to present and respond to groups as an Ambassador.  Orientation continued with each person or couple developing an Action Plan to begin connecting with Lodges in their District, community groups to approach, and ultimately getting the message out in a manner to reach families in need in their respective communities.

DSC_0260     The weekend culminated with a Graduation Ceremony officially naming each participant as part of the inaugural Ambassador Class at MHCO.  Each received a Certificate, Pin, and a Walking Stick to help represent their purpose of leading others to the benefits, promise, and possibility of the Home.  PGM and  Board Vice Chairman Dewey Preslar presented the Walking Sticks and informed the class of their origin and purpose as it related to the Ambassador Program.  The Walking Sticks were hand crafted by Worshipful Brother David J. Stapleton of Greenville Lodge No. 284 and Dan River Lodge No. 129, who honed each just for this occasion embodying the strength, support, and importance of the work of each Ambassador for this first class.

     Commissioned by the Grand Master, each member of the Class signed the first Ambassador Charter, which currently hangs in the York Rite Chapel, there to welcome future classes for the Home.  Ambassadors were requested to provide a three year commitment to the program and new classes of twelve more individuals are scheduled for the next orientations in 2017 and 2018.  Within three years and with each new class, it is expected that each Masonic District in North Carolina will have their own Ambassador geographically located in their district.  The Ambassador will work with Lodges, civic and community organizations and individuals to provide information, make contacts, assess their relationship with the Children’s Home, develop action plans involving MHCO, present to various groups, and help take the message of hope to families in need.  For information on the Ambassador Program or to have an Ambassador come to your group, Lodge, or other venue please call The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, 919-693-5111/888-505-4357.

The Inaugural Class of 2016 consists of:

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

Wiley Kessler                                District 38

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     The Children’s Home continues to be a great place to be a kid and the impact it has reaches for generations.  Thank you all for helping bring this program to Light that is being shared more brightly across the state.

 

FRIENDS LEND HANDS, HEARTS, & GREEN THUMBS FOR THE HOMES OF THE KIDS

6th Annual Event Witnesses Again the Beauty of Gifts Given Through Skill, Time, and Care as part of the MHCO Great Landscape

 The service project of a young Girl Scout continued in its sixth year as The Masonic Home for Children celebrated the “Great Landscape” March 19, 2016.  What began with a single Girl Scout Troop six years ago included two new Troops, eleven Lodges, Oxford Orphanage Alumni and their families, two Board Members, and a host of friends and family.  The day continues to feature a number of projects and maintenance, performed by volunteers, readying the Home and the grounds of the children for spring and summer.  With threatening weather donors once again traveled to Oxford as over 100 volunteers descended on campus.

 This year’s event featured several major projects including the construction of a Garden Shed, donated in 2015 by Masonic Lodges from District 21 for the Children’s Community Garden on campus, mulching campus, with over a ton of mulch donated by Mebane Shrubbery of Burlington, NC (www.mebaneshrubberyinc.com), landscaping of the Home’s main building, chapel, and recreational areas and several painting and planting projects.  The beauty of the day comes not only in the from the freshly manicured grounds or newly painted wood, but from the efforts of the volunteers, many strangers before this day, that are brought together and work together for one common goal: to make the home and grounds of the children of The Children’ of the Masonic Home for Children the best they can be.

This day embodies one of the truly valuable contributions that are now a part of the environment of giving at MHCO.  “Events such as this not only provide valuable work, resources, and help”, stated Chris Richardson, Director of Financial Development.  “These events bring awareness to the Home and engage people, many for the first time, in the mission and value of our charity.  This day can serve to not only give, but to inform and connect a new group of supporters and friends”, said Richardson.  “We are so thankful for what is giving by all of our donors on this day and for what remains that continues to give.”

 In addition to these donors, many on campus give in preparation of the day.  Breakfast and Lunch are provided to the participants, who came from as far as Charlotte, North Carolina to participate.  We send our thanks to these group leaders, friends, donors, and supporters, who participated and involved the participation of others in the Great Landscape of MHCO in 2016.

Dewey Preslar and members of Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 576

Rich, Ethan, and Alex Weaver of Oxford Lodge No. 122

Tommy Keith, Charles Phipps, and members of Creedmoor Lodge No. 499

Mark Carroll of Adonarium Lodge No. 149

Kathy and Ed Johnson and Family

Terry Washam, Scott Sholar,  Tom Fahnestock  and the members and families of James B. Green Lodge No. 735

Mrs. Mary Williford and the members and families of Girl Scout Troop No. 1119

Howard More, Chris Hedrick and the members of James A. Johnson Lodge No. 413

Doug Logan, Tim Lumpkins, and the members of Henry F. Grainger No. 412

Frank Wanko, Jim Kennedy, and the members of Southern Pines Lodge No. 434

Alumnus Charles Everitte and the members and families of Lebanon Lodge No. 391

Bryant Webster – Grand Master of Masons in North Carolina, 2016

Deleron L. Webster of Knap of Reeds Lodge No. 158

Alumnae Becky Joines and the members and families of Girl Scout Troop No. 769

Ms. Michelle Meyer

Harry Greene and Will Barham of Selma Lodge No. 320

 

“Home is the nicest word there is.”

― Laura Ingalls Wilder