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Masons hold raffle raising funds for community projects


January 30, 2019

Havre Masonic Lodge 55 held its first winter raffle drawing Friday, raising funds for the organization as well as its operations around town.

The organization raffled off a Howa Heavy Barrel 22-250, a Sig Sauer 2200 BDX range finder and a framed original painting by local artist Mary Verploegen.

Havre Freemason Worshipful Master and H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum Board member David Sageser said the money raised in the raffle will go toward community projects the Freemasons have around town, such as Masonic Bikes for Books and Kindles for Kids.

Both Bikes for Books and Kindles for Kids are grade school reading programs that award students with prizes of new bicycles or Kindles for the amount they read once a year. Sageser said the schools are responsible for administering the program and the Masonic Lodge provides and presents the prizes.

“We’ve done it in every grade school in Hill County,” Sageser said.

He added that the Freemasons also will be providing a $1,000 scholarship this year.

The Masonic Lodge has other community projects around the area, he said, such as adopting a highway and a park in town.

Havre Freemason Senior Deacon Ryan Joy said the raffle will also help the Masonic Lodge with other items.

“We are a service organization,” he said.

The Masonic Lodge has a variety of different charities and services to support the community, he said, but since the Freemasons sold the Masonic Temple on Third Avenue, now known as the 305 Building, in September of 2015 people have forgotten the organization is still in the area and doing things for the community.

Freemason Junior Warden Brady Allen said some of the money from the raffle will be set aside to help pay for a new permanent meeting location. He added that the Masonic Lodge, even though it no longer owns the Masonic Temple, still has meetings, now held in the Elks Lodge.

The money raised in the raffle, as well as any future fundraising events the organization will have, he said, are building a strong base for the Masons to orgnanize more community projects.

Allen said they are always looking for new members, and, in the past, Havre had a strong Masonic presence. At one point, the organization was so large Havre had two different chapters in town, he said.

Freemasons is the oldest and greatest fraternity, Allen said, being the stepping stone for the Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shriners, Eastern Stars and many others. He added that some of the Masons’ traditions and the organizations structures are the roots for many other organizations and fraternities spanning across the world.

Joy said his family has been involved with the Masons for a number of years and he wanted to get involved after being in a Shriner’s Hospital as a kid. He said, thanks to the medical treatment he received as a kid, he was able to walk, run and play football. He said he wanted to give back to the organization that helped him.

“Help those who helped me,” he said.

Sageser said the Havre Masons have about 70 members with 20 active members. He added that they are always looking for people who want to get involved.

“We make good men and make them better,” he said.

He said this year is the first time the Masonic lodge has held this raffle. Out of the 750 tickets they were prepared to sell, he said, they sold more than 600 of them.

Sageser said he wanted to thank everyone who supported the Masonic Lodge by purchasing tickets for the raffle and, he added, everyone should keep their eyes open for the next one.

He said the Masonic Lodge may hold a second raffle in late summer, right before hunting season.

Havre Masonic Lodge 55 holds meetings the second Thursday of every month in the back of the Elks Lodge in Havre at 7 p.m.

Sageser said the Masons are about community and being able to speak with like-minded individuals working toward the common good.

The Freemasons are the oldest fraternal organization in the world, Masonic Service Association of North America website says, opening its first Masonic lodge in London in 1717, although some historians date the organization’s origins back several hundred years before that. The organization has done a variety of community projects around the world. The Freemasons are not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion, the website says.

For more information about the Freemasons visit http://www.msana.com/.


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