Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge holds open house
By DAVID J. HARDIN
The Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge Post #595 opened its doors to the public on Saturday, holding an open house for the second time in seven months.
“One of the main reasons for the short gap in open houses is due to the fact that there was a good turnout during the open house which was held in October of 2016,” said Robert Walker, this year’s Worshipful Master of the lodge. “It is important to be able to connect with the public, and this is one way to tell the community that we are here for them, holding fundraisers, giving scholarships to great students, and showing that we care about the Copperas Cove community.”
The Masonic Lodge also has other organizations attached to it, such as the Shriners, Rainbow Girls, Eastern Stars, and Scottish Rite.
The Rainbow Girls were founded in 1922 as an international service organization for girls. The group helps support the Masonic Lodge with the various fundraisers and functions held throughout the year, said Lisa Jorstad, the Mother Advisor of the Waco Assembly Chapter #18.
“Rainbow Girls are for girls ages 11-20. The organization teaches girls about being confident in front of others, sharpening their public speaking skills, and helping them learn how to set goals, organize their time, manage a budget, and think creatively.”
Annabella Jorstad is 12 years old, and attends Lampasas Middle School. She will be entering her second year in August as a Rainbow Girl.
“My mom was a Rainbow Girl, and I used to be around the other girls while she was in the organization,” she said. “The best part for me is the fact that I used to be very shy and would want to hide behind someone that I knew, and after joining the organization it helped me break out my shell. I have been able to talk with people more, and have been able to have better memory as a result of becoming a Rainbow Girl.”
The Masonic Lodge also helps support Shriners Hospitals located throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada which help children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, and all receive services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay. Members of the Masonic Lodges who hold the title of Master Mason can ask to become a Shriner.
James Hamilton is the vice president of the Copperas Cove Shriners Club, an organization dedicated to helping children treated in Shriner’s Hospitals. They visit the hospitals like the Shriners Hospital in Houston and the Shriners Burn Hospital located in Galveston. The group also holds fundraiser throughout the year.
Hamilton said that for many years, his mother served as nurse in a Shriners Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, and after she passed away several years ago, it became the main reason why he wanted to get involved with helping Shriners Hospitals.
“No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child,” Hamilton said.
Mt. Hiram also supports Scottish Rite Hospitals for Children. The Scottish Rite Hospital of Texas was founded in 1921. Like the Shriners, Scottish Rite helps children regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
John Moltz belongs to the Scottish Rite Club of Copperas Cove, which also helps raise funds for local non-profit organizations like the Cove House, the Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen, and in the past has also helped the Boys & Girls Club, and other organizations.
The Masonic Lodge also has The Order of the Eastern Star, the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both women and men may belong. Worldwide, there are approximately 1 million members under the General Grand Chapter.
According to Tami Martin, Worthy Matron of the Copperas Cove Chapter of the Eastern Star #1070, the Order of the Eastern Star is a service organization as well.
“The organization supports various charities such as the Ronald McDonald House of Temple, H-E-B Food For Families, nursing homes, and provides scholarships for students in Copperas Cove and Lampasas.”