By Brother Mike Hodge and Brother Matt Slone, Oxford Lodge #67
A lot can happen in 200 years. One thing that hasn’t changed is the dedication of Masons to their hometown and ensuring the people of that community are better off. For the people of Oxford, Ohio, this was made ever more apparent on June 17th, 2023, when Oxford Lodge #67 was reconsecrated by Most Worshipful Brother Steven M. Grindle and other Grand Lodge Officers. To celebrate their 200th anniversary, the Mayor of Oxford proclaimed June 17th as Oxford Masonic Day and Oxford Lodge held a charity car and bike show.
If you have never been uptown in Oxford, we invite you out to see the red brick roads and facades of the businesses. The old-school feel and history of the town is evidenced in the masonry of the buildings. This set the backdrop for the over 100 classic cars and bikes that lined the streets. Bands graced the uptown stage to add to the soundscape of revving engines and camera clicks.
Not only do car shows bring people together, but they can be great fundraisers as well. Oxford Lodge was informed of hardships faced by students of Kramer Elementary, a building serving preschool to fifth grade students. A new playground was needed to meet the changing needs of students and the old one was no longer appropriate for the kids. The school was in need of support to the tune of $38,000 to fully fund their grand ideas of creating a space where every kid would feel welcome and have a place to play.
The Oxford Lodge decided to support the schools and took the lead on fundraising duties. With the help of Stephanie Pearson, a teacher from Kramer Elementary; Brother Mike Hodge; Brother Glenn Hodge; Worshipful Brother Butch Foster; and Brother Matt Slone, the logistics of the car show came together. Pearson and other teachers came together to set up raffle baskets, outreach to the Oxford businesses, and give away water. Brothers Hodge organized the car show participants, and Brother Slone organized registration logistics and voting. Participants in the car show were given a red brick to commemorate the iconic red bricks of uptown Oxford. All involved commented that it was one of the best shows they have been to.
But that still wasn’t the best part. Near the end of the show, Worshipful Master Russ VieBrooks spoke of the 200 years the Masonic Lodge has been part of the Oxford community, and the service the Lodge has provided. WM VieBrooks also commented that the next 200 years of service starts with the children in town. He then introduced MWB Worshipful Grand Master Steven M. Grindle to assist Oxford Lodge in presenting a donation check to Kramer Elementary.
Thanks to the generosity of community business, private donations, and the Brethren of Oxford Lodge, everyone came together to raise the full amount of $38,000! Children from Kramer Elementary were present and celebrated the way children do – with screams of joy! Stephanie Pearson commented “...without the Masons of Oxford, none of this would happen. These kids had zero hope in May when we reached out to Matt Slone and Mike Hodge. Not only are these kids and generations after them going to see a physical representation of Masonic giving, but they learned that anything is possible when the community comes together.”
The Brethren of Oxford Lodge #67 are proud to contribute but realize that it was the will of the community to make this happen. Without the community of Oxford, this would never have happened. We brought everyone together for the kids and are proud to make this happen. We can’t wait to see what happens in the next 200 years.