The spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood was unmistakable on yet another busy evening at Brandon Lodge.
Celebrating Brother Juan Francisco Alayon-Quinones’ 55-Year Masonic Journey
Kicking off the evening at Brandon Lodge, we honored Brother Juan Francisco Alayon-Quinones for an impressive 55 years of Masonic service. It was a proud moment filled with emotions and applause as Worshipful Master Tony Hill, with Brother Juan’s wife by his side, presented him with a pin and certificate.
Brother Juan’s half a century of dedication to Freemasonry didn’t go unnoticed – it echoed in the applause of the brothers who appreciated his commitment. And when he shared his gratitude and deep love for the fraternity, it was a touching moment. His heartfelt words reminded us of the deep connections we share as Freemasons.
A Testament to Proficiency: Honoring R:.H:. Roscoe Love
Our next commendation was no less significant. R:.H:. Roscoe Love, a highly respected figure and a proud Gold Card carrier was given due recognition. He stood as a symbol of competence and diligence, being conferred with his Brown Proficiency Card.
To earn a Brown Proficiency Card, one must master all the Chaplain’s work – from the intricacies of the lodge opening and closing prayers, the Chaplain’s work in all three degrees, and for Masonic funerals. It is no small task, and Brother Roscoe Love’s dedication exemplifies his unwavering commitment.
The honor of presenting Bro. Love with his card was given to R:. W:. Drew Baldwin.
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to R:. H:. Love on his well-deserved recognition, a testament to his enduring proficiency and dedication to the Masonic craft and Brandon Lodge.
ECHO of Brandon: Serving Communities, Changing Lives
The final highlight of our eventful evening was an engaging presentation by Steve McKinnon from ECHO of Brandon. The Emergency Care Help Organization, or ECHO as it is widely known, is a community cornerstone known for its tireless work in providing essential services to those in need.
ECHO’s service spectrum is broad and impactful, offering immediate food and clothing assistance and access to life-stabilizing programs and resources for individuals and families in crisis. ECHO’s commitment is to those who find themselves in financial hardships due to job loss, cutbacks in work hours, or other unexpected emergencies that wreak havoc on their lives.
Furthermore, ECHO’s scope goes beyond immediate relief. They offer an impressive range of empowerment programs to help clients break free from the cycle of poverty. This includes job skills training and job placement assistance, GED test preparation, and financial management workshops. The organization firmly believes in providing its clients with the resources and skills to help them become self-sufficient.
ECHO serves the Greater Brandon area, which includes Riverview, Valrico, Seffner, and Lithia. With an estimated population of 130,000 people, it’s an enormous task that ECHO undertakes with dedication and zeal. Their work has significantly alleviated the plight of many individuals and families in these communities, earning them the respect and admiration of many, including our Masonic fraternity.
Our Worshipful Master’s presentation of a check for $1000 to Mr. McKinnon symbolized more than a mere monetary contribution. It underscored the Lodge’s commitment to supporting ECHO in its noble mission. Our fraternity understands the importance of community and charity, and we are proud to support ECHO’s endeavors to positively impact society.
We left the presentation feeling inspired and re-energized in our mission to serve not just our fraternity but also the community at large. As Freemasons, we are steadfast in our commitment to creating meaningful connections and fostering a spirit of unity and support within our wider community.