For many years now, we have asked Ohio Masons to donate generously to the Masonic Model Student Assistance Program with the goal of helping students, teachers, and school employees in our public schools deal with societal problems related to violence, drug abuse, bullying, and just about anything that endangers our young people. We know that MMSAP saves lives. It has always been a gift by the Masons to their communities. But what about our own people?
On March 7th, the MMSAP conducted a special youth leadership training session for 285 DeMolay, Rainbow, and Job’s Daughters leaders. There were 160 youth and 125 adult leaders in attendance. The session was sponsored by the Grand Lodge Charitable Foundation, and Aladdin Shrine stepped up to offer their facility in Grove City and to provide lunch for the attendees.
RWB Tim Larimore organized the day, and trainers Scott Heydt and Amanda Wheeler flew in from Philadelphia to help the participants learn about empathy, compassion, and relationships. During the day, they broke into 17 groups to work on projects and develop skills to take back to their Chapters, Assemblies, and Bethels. It was an amazing day.
Kelly Raines, wife of PGM Jess Raines, is the MMSAP district coordinator for the 18th Masonic District, and she attended Masonic Youth Day. She commented about the young people and adults in attendance:
[They] had a great day of hands on activities and meaningful conversations about compassion, empathy, and relationships. As with other MMSAP programs I’ve observed, I was touched and inspired by the amazing dialogue and interactions I witnessed. It was such a pleasure to be with this fantastic group!
Leaders of the three youth groups all agreed that this program should not be a one-time event. Plans are therefore already underway to hold another Masonic Youth Day at Aladdin Shrine in March 2021. If you have a child or grandchild in the eleven to twenty age range, please encourage them to look for a local DeMolay Chapter, Job’s Daughters Bethel, or Rainbow Assembly.
You can help promote MMSAP by sharing information with your local school systems and by donating to the Grand Lodge Charitable Foundation.