With 2016 almost here, MHCO is providing information to those interested in helping us start our 143rd year of operation off right. These updates provide valuable information on upcoming events, fundraising activities, and general information for the New Year and Financial Development.

As always, if you have any questions or need more information please do not hesitate to call our Financial Development Department at 919-603-3901 or by emailing or visiting our website at



machineFor many of our donors the satisfaction of providing a useful item, a need fulfilled, or a physical contribution for the care of a child is unequaled. The benefits are many and the charity a possibility for anyone. MHCO continues to support these donations and the benefits that create for the care of the children of our Home.

We are asking those considering giving in this way to note the following considerations for 2016. Specifically, these requirements will be necessary regarding in-kind, used item, or other non-monetary style giving to MHCO, starting January 1, 2016. Per the IRS and our accounting we greatly appreciate the attention and understanding of those wishing to give new or used in-kind gifts and their adherence to these measures.

  • ASK BEFORE YOU COLLECT OR GIVE AN IN-KIND GIFT: Please call (888-505-4357) or email ( before collecting, purchasing, or traveling to donate in-kind gifts. MHCO is obligated to make sure the work and charity of our donors can be used for the purposes of our mission and in a reasonable time frame. Reference our Needs List. Without prior notice or determination MHCO may be unable to accept an in-kind gift for the Home.
  • You, the donor, must place an accurate amount of value on your donation – Whether or not you are claiming a gift for tax purposes let the organization know the value of the in-kind donation, as MHCO will need that information for accounting purposes, when they must specify in-kind donations and the value of these in-kind donations. This will help you as well as MHCO, especially if you intend on writing off your donation. Visit the IRS website which explains how to determine the fair market value of your donation and if your must complete additional forms for in-kind giving over a certain amount or if you are donating automobiles or property in excess of $25,000.
  • DO NOT ASSUME A GIFT IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE OR CAN BE UTILIZED BY MHCO – Not every in-kind gift is tax-deductible. Services and volunteer hours, although welcomed and used by MHCO, generally cannot be written off. IRS Publication 526 outlines what types of donations can be deducted and how to claim a deduction.
  • IN-KIND GIVING CANNOT REPLACE TRADITIONAL GIFTS — As valuable as in-kind gifts and need items are – and they are valuable and needed – MHCO relies on the flexibility of unrestricted cash donations and must have them to survive and continue to serve children apart from their families.

PLEASE REMEMBER – these requirements will be necessary regarding in-kind, used item, or other non-monetary styles of donating to MHCO, starting January 1, 2016. Call MHCO and the Financial Development Department for questions or more information or anything regarding giving via in-kind gifts.

5th Annual Great Landscape Set for March 19, 2016



Lend a hand and invite your Lodge Members, family, and friends to help make the homes of our children beautiful and ready for the spring. You can make our campus beautiful, give to the Home of a child, gather a group together for a day of service and beautification that will last well beyond a Saturday.


When:     Saturday, March 19, 2016 – (NO RAIN DATE THIS YEAR – CALL FOR UPDATES!)

Where:     Campus of Masonic Home for Children, 600 College St., Oxford, NC

Schedule:     7:30am – 9am – Continental Breakfast

                         8:30am – 12:00pm – Landscaping Event on Campus*

                         12:00pm – Lunch and Conclusion of Event


*   Groups can start after 8:30am and/or leave before 12pm if needed. Please bring shovels, gloves, wheelbarrow, rakes, and other landscaping implements for your personal use. A needs list of items that can be given as part of the event is available at


You must RSVP and sign-up on or before March 9, 2016 to participate and include the number attending. This is very important to make the most of this day. To RSVP or for more information contact MHCO at 1-888-505-4357/919-693-5111 or


Thanks for making our 5th Celebration a Great One!

Once again the threat of rain caused some unease, as The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford celebrated its 5th Masonic Homecoming Festival celebration, welcoming back our family of Alumni and those Masons and supporters who have contributed to this Home for 142 years. Incredibly, the showers stayed away and while the clouds remained, the weekend was bright with a number of incredible events, activities, and moments, all to become cherished memories of another Homecoming celebration. This weekend is also the result of hundreds of volunteers giving their time, travel, and commitment on this weekend and throughout the year, to make these three days of fun, fellowship, remembrance, and celebration of North Carolina’s first Home for Children, its family of alumni and those that support it.

A beautiful Friday morning welcomed golfers from around the country in the annual “Chip Shots for Children” Alumni Charity Golf Tournament, the first event of the weekend. Chairperson and alumnae Terry Gilliland hosted over twenty teams and raised over $60,000 for the Alumni’s Endowment Fund. Back on campus cooks from around the state and country began setting up their cookers and preparing their site in “The Pit” to compete for the best in BBQ at the 5th Annual MHF BBQ Cook-off. Cooking all night, these teams not only contend for trophies and bragging rights, but delicious final product is served to the public for Saturday’s festivity. The Friday Night Yard Party is the “Event Before the Event” and allows for a relaxing and beautiful evening Under the Oaks. With music, fellowship, and delicious stew courtesy of the brethren of Andrew Jackson Masonic Lodge No. 576 alumni, families, and friends settle in for Saturday’s big event. Across campus the Cobb Center at Dunn Cottage, the Home’s museum and archives, celebrated 10 years at its current location, honoring the Cobb Foundation’s support and the vision of alumnus Bill Cobb, who initiated the project for the Center’s renovation in 2005. Alumnus and former Administrator of the Home Allen Hughes spoke at the museum about the Center’s impact and influence over the past ten years and honored the Cobb Family Foundation for their continued support.

With the generous assistance of the City of Oxford Police Department and the Granville County Sheriff’s Department, traffic is guided throughout the campus and the city, as North Carolina’s biggest and best Shrine parade prepared to work its way through Oxford. Including marching bands from throughout the county, local dignitaries and civic organizations and with representatives from the Grand Lodge and Order of Eastern Star of NC, Grand Marshal Jeff Gravley of WRAL TV-5 in Raleigh and an Oxford native lead the parade with his mom Pat Gravley and sister Angie Thornton through Oxford. Following the parade guests assembled on campus to begin Homecoming celebrations. Tours of cottages, inflatables from Ragland Productions, a visit to the Cobb Center Museum and Archives, and booths with desserts and games provided additional entertainment for visitors. While settling in for the headline entertainment of the Embers featuring Craig Woolard, the crowd heard the announcement of the MHCO Homecoming Queen Masonic Homecoming Festival 2015 011and the BBQ contest winners.

With the final notes of the band echoing on campus and a cool breeze starting to grow, Saturday’s activities concluded outside on campus, while the Homecoming Roast, this year honoring Alumnus Tommy Jones, began inside the Home’s cafeteria. Sunday would bring the annual Alumni church service and Business Meeting for the Oxford Orphanage/Masonic Home for Children Alumni Association and the weekend’s final event, the Sunday Lunch Under the Oaks, hosting alumni and their families as well as the current family of residents at MHCO.

Homecoming Festival 2015 has concluded, but the memories of the weekend will continue for years to come and as we turn our thoughts to next year’s event, October 7-9, 2016, and what memories will be made then.

How can we make such a wonderful Homecoming Weekend possible?

With the incredible help, time, generosity, and care of many, many people. Please join us in acknowledging these groups and individuals, whose commitment and service were vital to the success of the Masonic Homecoming Festival for 2015. We thank them for everything they gave to make it a special time for everyone, especially the alumni and their families and the children of this Home.

Chief Alvin Coley and the Officers and Staff of the City of Oxford Police Department
Oxford Orphanage/MHCO Alumni Association – Mr. Donnie Payne, President, its Officers, and Members
Ms. Terry Gilliland – Chairperson, Chip Shots for Children Golf Tournament
Mr. Gene Purvis – MHCO, MHF Chairperson
Mr. Johnny Surles – MHCO, Board of Directors, MHF Chairman
Mr. David Sawyer – Chairperson, MHF BBQ Cook-off & St. John’s Lodge No. 3
Mr. Bob Critcher – Granville County Sheriff’s Office/Alumni Association Treasurer
Ms. Samira Collins
Mr. and Mrs. Bill and Patty Elliott
Miss Hannah Faith Brewer
Mr. James Dutra
Chef Fredi Morf
Chef John Boretti
Chef Brian Bailey
Granville Health Systems – EMS Division and its EMT Management and Staff
Mr. and Mrs. Kirby Matthews
Mr. Marc White of the PNC Parking Staff
Mr. and Mrs. Ed & Kathy Johnson
Sheriff Brindell Wilkins, Jr. and the Deputies and Staff of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office
Mr. Doug Caudle – Grand Master of Masons, of NC – 2015
Oasis Temple and its Units – Ill. Todd Hamm, Potentate
Sudan Temple and its Units – Ill. Jerry Tillett, Potentate
Amran Temple and its Units – Ill. Charles Britt, Potentate
Mr. Buddy Ellis – Oasis Temple Director, Emeritus and MHF Parade Director
All of our 5th Annual BBQ Cook-off Team Participants
Orphans Lodge No. 761/Allen Hughes, Master Pro Tem
The “Brethren of the Stew” from Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 576
City of Oxford Public Works & Mr. Dale Jones
City of Oxford Fire Department
City of Oxford Police Cadets
Mrs. Angela Allen, Director Granville County Tourism Development Authority
Stovall’s and Mrs. Julia Stovall
Henderson Times Dispatch
Oxford Public Ledger
Butner-Creedmoor News
US 98.3 FM, Mr. Mike Brooks & Mr. Chris Elliott
Mr. and Mrs. J. Allen Hughes
Mr. Kevin Combs
DeMolay of NC
Mr. Brady Maddox
Mr. Rich Weaver & Family
Mr. Tommy Keith
Recycling Lady?
Hon. Jackie Sergent,     Mayor of Oxford
Mrs. Fran Southern, Worthy Grand Matron – Order of Eastern Star of NC
Mr. Rex Evans, Worthy Grand Patron – Order of Eastern Star of NC
City Commissioners, City of Oxford, NC
County Commissioners, Granville County, NC
Miss Tori Shue Grand Worthy Advisor
Mr. Luis Roman Jr., State Master Councilor
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Otis, Administrator, MHCO
Northern Granville Middle School Cheerleaders
Department of Student Activities Vance-Granville Community College
NC Martial Arts College & Mr. Hayden Shackleford
Band Director, South Granville High School of Integrated Technology and Leadership
Zumba Happy Hour with Cissy Lowrey
The G.C. Hawley Middle School Cheerleaders
NC State Highway Patrol
Mr. Dalton Mayo, Grand Master of Masons of NC 2014
Mrs. Kay Letterman, Supreme Inspector and the members and families of the Rainbow Chapters:
  • Fayetteville Assembly NO. 22
  • Albemarle Assembly NO. 32
  • Hillsborough Assembly NO. 77
  • Bahama Assembly NO. 86
  • Winston-Salem Assembly NO. 37
  • Onslow Assembly NO. 42
  • Wilmington Assembly NO. 29
  • Wayne Assembly NO. 46
  • Lenoir Assembly LT
  • Raleigh Assembly NO. 4
Mrs. Violet Davenport
Miss Candice Compton Howarth
Mr. Randal Lanou
Ms. Chellie LaPointe, Outreach & Education Manager
Ted’s Twisted Balloons and Magic – Mr. Ted Rabalais
The Embers featuring Craig Woolard
Ms. Monika Jaymes
Hicksboro Station
North Carolina Knights Templar
National Sojourners of North Carolina
JF Webb Band  & Mr. Jaron Cox, Director
J.F Webb Football Team
J.F. Webb ROTC Color Guard
Boy Scout Troop # 629 – Masonic Home for Children & other area Scout Troops
GC Hawley Middle School – National Junior Honor Society & Ms. Gail Eagle,
Smart Start of Vance-Granville & Mrs. Manuela Inman
Mary Potter Band & Mr. Detroit Yancey, Director
Other Volunteers
Mr. Eddie Gaskins
Mr. Joey Biggs
Mr. Tim Cottrell
Mrs. Beverly Fedewa
Mrs. Julie Yacos


 Masons From the 41st Masonic District Travel to Oxford with special Monument, Message

Well before the sun rose over the mountains of Western North Carolina, fifteen brothers from various Lodges in the 41st Masonic District, the District farthest West  in North Carolina, boarded a bus for a long and special journey to visit the The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford.  Their trek on August 22, 2015 actually started two years earlier.  Seeing an article in the NC Mason, regarding recent improvements to the Children’s Home Cemetery, “God’s Half-Acre”, Past Master, Worshipful Brother Ronnie Smith of Clay Lodge No. 301 had an idea.  In reading of the recent contribution of a new fence, courtesy of Past Grand Master Dewey Preslar, Jr. and his wife Terrie, Brother Smith was moved by the generosity given to the DSC_0097Home and to such a sacred place.  He knew the brethren of the 41st district could join Brother Prelsar in his efforts to honor this place and those young lives buried there.

With the generous support of his District and after several meetings it was decided that a “part of the land” of this group of Lodges would be delivered to the cemetery, there to honor those unnamed graves of children.  Over 80 years ago, the cemetery’s markers had to be engraved with “Records Lost” after a fire destroyed the only accounts listing those lost to flu or other illness in the care of the home from 1873 to 1920.  Learning of this special group of “unnamed” children, Brother Smith found his way to give back to those whose final resting place as a child was the Masonic Home for Children.

Brethren from Clay, Cherokee, Marble Springs, Montgomery, and Andrews Lodges accompanied a beautiful piece of blue marble, which was unearthed from the mountains of Marble, NC.  Honed and engraved the stone was gently placed near the entrance to the cemetery, indicating those who brought it and in honor and memorial of the “unnamed children” whose final resting place was “God’s Half-Acre”.  Of special note was a guest on this day, Past Grand Master Dewey Preslar, Jr. whose gift to the Home and the cemetery was the inspiration for the trip and the gift of those in the 41st district.  “They are all our children”, said Brother Preslar, “regardless of a name or a reason and they rely on us to DSC_0100be a part of their lives.  This is the same for those children living at your Home today”.  Before closing with prayer and with pictures and tours taken prior to their departure to tour the other Masonic Charity of North Carolina, Whitestone, Brother Smith thanked all those who made the trip and in attendance.  He spoke of the inspiration and the feeling he had, so strong in its power on him to make a difference.  Twenty years removed from his last visit to the Home, (as it is a long, long way to travel!), Brother Smith knew he had to return, bringing new Masons who had never seen the Home, and a new message, courtesy of the 41st Masonic District, that this will always be a place for children, thanks to their Masons.


 Major Gift for Home’s Outdoor Lighting Project Announced, Celebrated

DSC_0038For those who know him Brother E. Earl Wells is normally associated with the lights of a timing monitor at the start of a drag race or those that illuminate the track he and his family own at GALOT Motorsports Park near Benson, North Carolina.  But former MHCO Board Member and co-founder of S&W Concrete is now responsible for a different kind of light, one that delivers safety, security, and comfort to the lives of children living at The  Masonic Home for Children at Oxford.  On August 13, 2015, the Home celebrated the major gift of Brother Wells, his wife Peggy, and this entire family with a luau-style picnic and the announcement of that contribution for the Home’s current lighting project.  Surrounded by their children and grandchildren, MHCO Board Members, close friends and the staff and children that will benefit directly for their gift, Brother and Mrs. Wells made the announcement of a major contribution towards the total cost of $200,000 that will bring new, energy efficient outdoor lighting to the entire campus of MHCO, for the first time since the 1970’s.  This gift was an incredible act of kindness and support for a desperately needed capital improvement project for the campus and the care of its kids.  Prior to the project the living environment of the children, who reside there as they have for over 142 years in homes with houseparents for daily needs and residential care, had less than 50% coverage for outdoor lighting across the campus, with many lights not-operational and older than 30 years, placing additional burden on the Home through utility costs.

DSC_0070The announcement was accompanied by a meal with the children, staff, and Board of MHCO, as well as family and close friends, as Brother Wells led the ceremonial lighting of the Home’s St. John’s Building entrance assisted by members of his family.  Administrator of the Home, Kevin Otis, recognized both the literal and symbolic light that Brother Wells and his family had shared through their generosity, giving to a need, while contributing to the overall mission of the Home, to provide guidance and security in the life of a child away from their family.  Past Grand Master Dalton Mayo, a close friend of Wells’, also commented on the significance of the gift while entertaining those in attendance of tales of their friendship.  Board Chair and Oxford Orphanage alumnus Dan Rice thanked Brother Wells for helping his home, while acknowledging how “troublesome” more lights  would have been during his time at the Orphanage as a young man in exploring the campus under the cover of darkness.  With kind and meaningful words, Brother and Mrs. Wells were joined by their children and their spouses and their grandchildren in making the presentation of the gift.  The family also participated in the unveiling of the first two banners that will be placed on several of the new lights around the campus’ main circle, indicating various sponsors of the project.

With the projects’ completion this summer a formal recognition marker is scheduled for its dedication in November 2015 at a ceremony honoring Wells and other donors, banner sponsors, individuals, and groups who had a part in this significant improvement and its benefit for the Home and the care of the children.  As the day turned to night on campus, all in attendance gathered to enjoy the new light that enveloped the campus and the homes of the children, celebrating those who made it possible.