I hope this message finds you and your family well as we enter the New Year. We are off to a busy start as we continue on our path to improve service offerings on our campuses and increase our outreach through the Resource Center. At our Western Reserve Masonic Community we are on pace to begin pre-selling our new independent living units. Our Browning Masonic Community continues to take deposits on Phase II of the villas, and in Springfield, we are finalizing plans to convert additional units to meet the demand for assisted living services.
Over the course of the past 2 years, we have continued to see the Resource Center grow and change the lives of our Brethren. Since early 2017, we have fielded over 3,200 cases serving approximately 2,500 individuals across the state outside the scope of our campus based services. In addition, the Resource Center has provided direct support to a total of 364 people over those 2 years on our campuses. The generous support of our Fraternity has allowed us to provide approximately $10 million towards Resource Center programs in 2017 and 2018. We have added to our staff and now are able to provide statewide coverage through our network of Liaisons (more information on our Liaisons can be found on page 16).
In addition to our staff, we are quickly building our network of Masonic Volunteer Program committees as well as our Ambassadors to help spread the word. In July of 2018, we began a concerted effort to provide assistance to our Masonic widows with our Widows Outreach program. Since then, we have worked with Lodges across the state to build a database of over 900 individuals with new outreach to 85 recently widowed individuals. Working with the Grand Lodge Charitable Foundation, the Resource Center is now playing an integral role in assisting the Foundation in providing additional services to those in need making application to the Foundation. The team has recently begun communication efforts to our Brethren across the state as well as those out of state Masons affected by natural disasters. To that end, we have made over 20,000 calls along with thousands of emails to provide information on our services. Further, we are active on social media and other forms of communication and have retooled our central call system to enable individuals to access their local representative more quickly. In short, it is our Mission to be the Living Expression of our Masonic Values and our Resource Center is living that every day.
In January, Steve Petitjean, Executive Director of the Ohio Masonic Home Foundation and I traveled to Florida with our Grand Master M.W.B. Jess N. Raines, his Lady Kelly and other members of the Grand Lodge to host the 22nd annual Grand Master Receptions. The receptions are a great way to start off the New Year, and allow us to stay connected with our Brethren, their wives, and friends who reside in Florida full or part-time. The events are currently held in Bradenton, Ft. Meyers, and The Villages and graciously hosted by Brother Ken Gavins and his Lady Sybil, MWB Steve Krekus and his Lady Carol, and Brother Jerry Hatton, respectively. Brother Gavins and his Lady Sybil were honored for their 22 years of service in hosting the Bradenton event and will be retiring this year. We wish them well on their journey as they move north to be closer to their children and grand-children.
Thank you for all of your continued support.
Brother Scott Buchanan
CEO, Ohio Masonic Home