I am very proud to announce that Liverpool/Syracuse Lodge No.501 has been selected to receive a Mark Twain Award for Excellence in Masonic Awareness from the Masonic Information Center in Silver Springs, Maryland. The award was announced at the Grand Masters Conference in Alexandria, Virginia in February and will be officially presented at Grand Lodge in New York City this spring. We are the only lodge in New York State to receive the award and one of only eighteen in the country. The award recognizes excellence in both internal and external Masonic awareness and emphasizes the importance of Masonic awareness to stimulate the quality of the lodge experience and to raise awareness among the community about Freemasonry’s history and value to the community.

I am also pleased to announce that Brother Benjamin Lees has been selected to receive the Dedicated Service Award for 2010 from the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. Brother Lees is being recognized for his dedication, talent, participation, and leadership in our lodge and to Masonry in general. A dinner and open awards presentation meeting will be held at our lodge on Monday April 19, 2010. Regional DSA Committee Member James Jones will present the award and talk about the history and significance of the award. Dinner is prime rib with all the trimmings and tickets are just $15.00. Reservations can be made through the secretary…..don’t miss it!

Our “Recruitment and Retention” campaign continues to produce results with more inquiries coming in than ever before. Many of these inquiries are being followed up with petitions for membership, and we hope to be initiating a new class before we go dark for the summer. Membership committee chairman Bob Bowles has been magnificent in his follow up with inquiries we receive through the website and emails.

Our lodge now has a Facebook page and a Facebook group. If you are unfamiliar with facebook.com, it is a social networking site that has grown exponentially since its inception and has millions of members. The more “friends” and “members” we get on our pages, the more powerful our presence will be. Please visit and join by going to facebook.com/syracusemasons. It will take you to both the page and group. You can leave a message, watch video, or just read the latest words from your fellow member Masons.

It is exciting to be recognized for our achievements this year. We are moving in the right direction, but it will take commitment and energy to bring about the needed change we seek. Redesigning and re-branding our fraternity’s public image is an important part of our modernization, but people will always be job one! We must all make a concerted effort to move forward and bring our glorious fraternity into the 21st century. Remember that everything we do today will effect the viability of our organization for years to come.