Over 125 Scottish Rite Masons and guests came to the Lodge dinner and meeting on September 19th. This is always one of the biggest meetings of the year.
The Culinary Masters outdid themselves with steaks grilled outside, served with a baked potato and fresh vegetables. After a dinner, Jeffrey Coleman, 32° KCCH, Venerable Master of the Lodge of Perfection started the evening program, welcoming six of our UNO scholarship recipients, who came with their parents, as well as UNO Chancellor John Christensen and Mike Bird, Vice-President of the NU Foundation. The Scottish Rite has presented 13 $2,000 merit and need-based scholarships for more than 20 years, giving more than $600,000 in that time to tomorrow’s leaders. In addition to the F. Jerome Given Scholarship for a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology, the William Webster and Robert Falk Distinguished Scholar scholarships, we were honored to present Abi Heller, a sophomore studying Neuroscience, with the Curt and Carol Edic Scholarship.
This scholarship named after our General Secretary Emeritus formally kicks off a new fundraising opportunity through the Scottish Rite Foundation of Omaha. Any Scottish Rite Mason who donates $2,000 is entitled to have a scholarship named after him (or any one he designates) for a year. Curt presented a donation of $2,000 and the Scottish Rite is honored to recognize him for a year with a Distinguished Scholarship named in his honor. For a $50,000 donation, which realizes $2,000 in interest without eroding the principal, a scholarship will be named in perpetuity by the donor.
Curt and Carol Edic Scholar Abi Heller, a Sophomore Neurosciences major, thanked the membership, saying the scholarship allowed her to pursue her dreams. Thanks to the Scottish Rite scholarship, she was able to conduct research on projects of which only 6 undergraduates in the nation received National Science Foundation funding.
Jeffrey also recognized our 2016 50-year members. Our most active member of the Class of 1966 is Bill Craig, 33°, volunteer, Past Wise Master of Rose Croix, original member of the Wrecking Crew, with a long and vast institutional knowledge of the Omaha Valley Scottish Rite. Coleman presented Bill with the light blue hat of a 50-year Scottish Rite Mason, altered to include the patriarchal cross of a 33° Mason.
Brethren honored as 50-Year Members this year are:
• William Craig
• Robert Jeffus
• Alan Pelly
• Stanley Garner
• Walter Price
• James Wickstrom
• John Estep
• Daniel MacKinnon
• Gail Pelley
• Lyman Burchard
• Norman Huber
• Donald McWhirter
• Bernard Taulborg
• Sherrill Dashner
• William Siburg
• Raymond Brommhall
Jeffrey also recognized the Lodges with the most membership growth in overall numbers and percentage. Springfield Lodge #118 was recognized for the largest increase in membership and Albert Pike Lodge #333 was recognized for the largest percentage in growth in membership.
After John Maxell called up Bob Pelletierto congratulate him on completing the Master Craftsman program, Bob recognized Lee Terry, Sr., Fred Yates, Sonny Ashford, and Gary Williams for making more than 100 phone calls to members delinquent in their dues, resulting in more than 25 men retained as Brothers in the Scottish Rite.