Benny is uniquely qualified to discuss the situation. He also chairs the Illinois Masonic Outreach Services Committee. This committee partnered with the Scottish Rite in 2010 to assist victims of tremendous floods. As a result, it has stepped up its efforts to reach out to Masons in need.
Grisham gives the Scottish Rite well-deserved credit for the Grand Lodge’s increased commitment to help their own in Illinois. “There is no doubt our mutual work after the 2010 floods sharpened the Grand Lodge’s focus,” Grisham states. “After the sale of our Masonic Home, the Grand Lodge has the resources to look out for our members. This is a tremendous and welcome change. In years past we didn’t check on our members’ welfare like we do now.”
As of this writing, details are still hard to come by. Utilities are unavailable in the areas hit. Phone service, even cell service, is spotty. So far, we are aware of seventeen Brothers and widows who have been affected, nine of whom lost their homes. There was also an injury – a Mason’s wife had her arm fractured. Fortunately no one was more seriously harmed.
Because of the commitment of the Illinois Grand Lodge, the amount of funds the Scottish Rite will need to send is currently unknown. However, the leadership position of the Grand Almoner’s Fund is unquestionable. “It is great to know the Scottish Rite is ready to help as it is needed,” says Ill. Brother Grisham. “In Illinois we saw the wisdom of helping our own. I hope our experience inspires Grand Lodges all over the country.”