(Grand Marshal; Master: William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon No. 7; and Founding and current Senior Warden: The Eagle Lodge No.1893)
& Bro. Peter Brusoe
(Treasurer: William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon No. 7; Founding and current Secretary of The Eagle Lodge No.1893; and Junior Warden: Irish Affinity Lodge, U.D.)
One of the tenants of our ancient and gentle Craft is relief. We know that relief means help for the poor and destitute brother, his family and loved ones, but we also interpret relief to mean service to our communities. As Masons, we are viable members of the community. We have the means and the prerogative to help, when we can and where we can. And most of the time, we have fun doing it.
Summer's arrival brings with it a number of different community days, events, and festivals throughout Washington, DC. These events are great for area children and families, and William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon Lodge No. 7 has developed a relationship with some of them as a part of our community service efforts. This summer, the first event was the 29th annual Glover Park Day on Saturday, June 3.
The quintessential neighborhood scene, like something out of a Thornton Wilder play or a Norman Rockwell painting unfolds before visitors. Kids play on the playground and interact with animals that have been brought to the event, bands perform at no charge, adults mingle and shop crafts and food made by local artisans, politicians stop by and work with the crowd. In a word, it's neighborly.
Singleton Lodge was pleased to partner with the community to sponsor a bouncy house and provide sno-cones at the festival. This was the lodge's sixth year partnering with the festival, but the second providing sno-cones and a bouncy house, and the response is amazing! Though the festival starts at 11:00 AM, kids were lining up to use the house starting at 10:30 AM, and a few came by to see when the sno-cones would be ready. Throughout the course of the day the bouncy house had a minimum of 6 kids in it at all times – sometimes with as many as a dozen, and often a long line for kids waiting to get in.
The sno-cones were also very well received. Festival attendees had a choice between cherry, grape, blue raspberry, and lime flavor, though the clear favorite was the rainbow assortment of everything! Parents appreciated the no-cost way to keep their children cool and refreshed, and kids (and some adults) loved getting to eat a classic summer treat. There is something magical about seeing a father and son relaxing on a bench enjoying a sno-cone together, especially knowing that you helped to create that special moment. At the end of the day we served 732 sno-cones in just over a 5-hour period.
As a bonus, we also had a lot of conversations around who the Masons are, and what we do. While many people thought we were a secret society, even more had no idea that we perform community service. We were more than happy to explain that neither was true. In the end, we ended up with a lot of thanks for the sno-cones and bouncy house, and a bunch of myths dispelled.
We had a number of Brothers come by to staff the booth including MW Bro. Jeffrey D. Russell, Grand Secretary; Worshipful Bro. Adam Tager, current Master of Singleton Lodge and Grand Marshall; Worshipful Bro. Richard C. Chandler, Past Master of Singleton Lodge; and Bro. Bilal Sleiman. We also had a number of brothers from different Lodges come by to say hi and enjoy a sno-cone.
While we had a great deal of fun at Glover Park Day, there is a more important reason why continue to volunteer in the community. The Glover Park Neighborhood is a couple miles south of the Singleton Masonic Center, and has a deep connection to our lodge. Glover Park was named for Charles C. Glover. Historians know Glover for being a prominent banker and generous philanthropist: he was driving force behind the creation of Rock Creek Park, the National Zoo, the National Cathedral, Potomac Park, and Glover-Archbold Park. For us at Singleton Lodge, we know him as our founding Master! So what better way to honor one of our founding brothers than to participate in a festival for a community named for him?
We hope to see everyone on June 2, 2018 for the 30th festival!