As part of the Scottish Rite line officers’ mission to engage members has become a beloved tradition at the Omaha Valley - the annual Christmas banquet and awards. The Valley hosted the 4th annual banquet on December 19th, with Jeffrey Coleman, 32° KCCH, Venerable Master, and the officers of the Lodge of Perfection serving as Master of Ceremonies.
A record-setting attendance of 160 Scottish Rite Masons and guests began the evening with a debate between Lee “Santa’s Helper” Terry, 33° and Hal “the Grinch” Daub, 33°, who argued whether children should be told whether Santa Claus exists. Lee argued that children should not be told and overwhelmingly carried the argument, based on votes. Rob Corsaro, 32° generously donated his time and expertise to video the debate, which can be viewed on YouTube online at: http://goo.gl/DCYsO5.
After a great dinner prepared by the Culinary Masters, the officers presented awards to members who have made a significant difference in the Valley throughout the year.
In recognition of many years work coordinating Lodge visitations, doing Blue Lodge, York Rite, Scottish Rite degree work anywhere he is needed, A.J. Johnson, 33° received the prestigious Ambassador award. Scott Reuman, 32° KCCH was presented with the Mentor award for taking so many hours to help Brethren prefect their skills in the theater, particularly with the stage lights and for his time and dedication to the Royal Order of the Duck. Special leadership awards were presented to Charlie Marchand, 33° and Armel MacDonald, 32° KCCH for countless hours dedicated to improving the administration of Scottish Rite Freemasonry.
Lee Terry, 33° and Dick Corwine, 33° both received the SGIG’s recognition for their work on Degree teams, as officers, volunteers, and Brothers. Lee Terry is incoming Wise Master of Rose Croix, rarely missing meetings, and Dick Corwine has been Almoner for about 15 years.
Zack Powell, 32° was recognized for his work on the stage and sound crew. Robert Pelletier, 32° was recognized with the General Secretary’s award for a new member who has become involved and made a difference through service and leadership.
Jennifer Carter was recognized by Brenda Coleman for the Ladies Award for her time and contributions to the Scottish Rite.
And of course, there were a few Rubber Chickens presented during the evening:
- Jonathan Paz, 32° KCCH received a Rubber Chicken for his purchase of “a giant rock” during the Scottish Rite Leadership Conference in Phoenix.
- Greg Swinarski, 32° KCCH was recognized for his constant use of duct tape for almost every and any project in the Scottish Rite.
- 'Doc' Pilley for his dramatic exit after a Scottish Rite dinner this past summer.
Steven Barchus, 33° showed up as Santa Claus and sat for photos with members and guests, for freewill donations which raised nearly $300 for the Almoner’s Fund.
The evening gave members plenty of laughs and a great evening, and boasted a record attendance. The Christmas banquet has become a beloved tradition in the Scottish Rite Valley, so mark your calendar for December 18 for this year’s banquet.