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

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