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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes July 2005

National Anthem Project

The July Short Talk Bulletin, O Say, Can You Sing?, talked about the National Anthem Project under the auspices of the National Association for Music Education (MENC). Earl T. Hurrey, Assistant Executive Director, MENC sent MSA the following letter which we feel will be of interest to our readers:

I received the bulletins for July. Very nice article on the project. Thanks very much for your wonderful support. Many, many great things happening around the country with the project. Please check out the Web site to see the tremendous growth we've seen in just the last few weeks. The tour is shaping up and should kick-off in January.

FYI - we are promoting to all of our teachers (60,000) to have their school bands and choirs lead their student bodies in the singing of the National Anthem in front of their schools on the morning of September 14th, this year. Of course this is the anniversary of the penning of the poem by Francis Scott Key. It would be great to have Masons join schools in their communities in this effort. We will be sending lists of schools to all of our supporting organizations as this event develops.

Child ID Program

One day several years ago, Sylvia Escala's son was missing. Fear and anguish overpowered her, she said; it was impossible in her distracted state to describe the child accurately to the authorities. And she had no current identity records.

The boy was eventually found unharmed, but Ms. Escala, a site manager for Family Ties of Westchester, a group that helps families cope with childhood emotional difficulties, had learned the importance of keeping details about her son current and readily available.

This is why, in organizing this year's Family Ties seasonal picnic, she invited the Freemasons: She had learned about their statewide child-identification program and wanted their help.

(Source: New York Times 7-3-05)

(Editors Note: If you ever wondered if "CHIP" Programs are effective, here is your answer.)

Visit a vet

Joe Nuxhall Honored by Grand Lodge of Ohio

Joe Nuxhall, whose claim to fame is being the youngest pitcher ever in a Major League game at the age of 15, was awarded the Grand Master's Community Service Award by the Masonic Fraternity on May 7.

Nuxhall, a lifelong resident of Hamilton, Ohio, was a left-handed pitcher for 16 years in the Major Leagues, virtually all of that time with the Cincinnati Reds. He followed his on-field career as a Reds radio broadcaster for 31 years, retiring in 2004.

Joe Nuxhall, in addition to his baseball fame, has contributed extensively to the southwest Ohio community. He annually hosts a golf tournament to raise money for high school scholarships. He recently created the Joe Nuxhall Character Education Fund to benefit schools and non-profit organizations. To date, this foundation has contributed more than $327,000 to education.

He concluded his remarks with the famous last line from all his broadcasts, "This is the old left-hander rounding third and headed for home."

(Source: Beacon - June/July 2005)

Local Marine and Freemason Becomes a Hero in Afganistan

Mark Gerhard became a Freemason in Northwood Ancient Craft Lodge #551 on March 8, 2004. The very next day he was deployed to Afghanistan. While carrying out the everyday duties of Marine Camp, Mark's unit discovered a local orphanage, children 3-12 years old, in very needy condition. The Marines essentially adopted the orphanage out of a humanitarian spirit, but were without resources to help them.

In a note to his lodge brothers back in Madison Heights Mark wrote, "these kids have literally nothing, there are about 260 children living in desperate poverty, bullet holes and broken walls are a legacy of the Taliban's attempt to wipe out all westernized education, and as a Mason and a Christian it brings a smile to my face to see those orphans brighten up when we tell them we will get them school supplies and maybe some toys."

A lodge committee was formed and as of now 9 boxes of supplies have been sent and delivered to the needy orphans by Marine convoy. The boxes included toys, teddy bears, dental and personal hygiene items, and school supplies. More boxes will be sent soon.

The Worshipful Master of Northwood Ancient Craft Lodge writes "it is nice to know that there is a real humanitarian heart beating in a patriotic American and Marine-Freemason Mark Gerhard surely expresses it."

(Source: The Publication for Renewing Lodges in Michigan - Spring 2005)

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