Lansing Masons return to giving after COVID delays

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July 13 donation to Shriners Hospital is first in months

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (July 22, 2020) – Arcadia Palace Lodge No. 765 (17741 Torrence Avenue) recently gave a $5,000 donation to Shriners Hospital for Children. Medinah Shriner Noble Arnell Brady met with Shriners Hospital’s Development Officer Kelly Matheus to present the check on July 13.

“Arcadia Palace is one of the few lodges that can give that large an amount,” said Brady. He explained, “It’s an old lodge, and the men that came before were great stewards. They made sure that their lodge was very secure and charitable. It’s a solid building and fully paid for.”

“We’ve been able to build on their hard work,” said Brady.

The building at 17741 Torrence Avenue, Lansing, Illinois, is recognizable, though not many people know much about the group that meets there. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Though the “solid building” is distinctive in its location between the Subway and the Dunkin Donuts on the east side of Torrence, many Lansing residents know little of the Masons who meet there. Originally chartered in 1883, the group currently comprises about 300 members from Lansing as well as Glenwood, Beecher, Lynwood, Chicago, and even towns in Indiana. Brady describes it as a ethnically, religiously, and politically diverse group.

Every year Lansing’s Masons give away $60,000–90,000 in increments of $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000. They have supported veterans, children, hospitals, and other organizations—all nonprofits, all in Illinois. This year the group is somewhat behind in their giving, because COVID-19 prevented them from having meetings and discussing potential recipients. They hope to be back on track soon, and the donation to Shriners Hospital is a good start.

Medinah Shriner Noble Arnell Brady (left), from Lansing’s Arcadia Palace met with Shriners Hospital Development Officer Kelly Matheus on July 13 to present a donation of $5,000. (Photo provided)

Though the Masonic fraternity does not actively recruit new members, they welcome interest, allowing “each man to decide for himself, of his own free will, whether or not membership is something that appeals to him,” per the Membership page on the Arcadia Palace Lodge website.

Each November, the term for the Worshipful Master of the Lodge ends. In November of 2019, the torch was passed to Worshipful Master Duane Lamb Sr. (left) by Past Master Kevin Nelson. (Photo provided)

More information about the Arcadia Palace Lodge No. 765 and the members who uphold the traditions there is available on their website: www.arcadiapalacelodge765.com.