Archive

Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

Clandestine Conspiracy Talks

May 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Coming on the heels of a great Masonic Central podcast with Chris Hodapp about conspiracy theories and secret societies, here’s an interesting article from Fox News about a clandestine meeting among a group of people who are known for their money and financial empires.

World’s Richest Moguls Met in New York for Secret Charity Meeting

What do Oprah, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have in common? It’s a secret, but I am sure you can guess.

Money.

These and a handful of other mega-moguls coordinated their busy schedules to gather for a top-secret meeting in the Big Apple to talk greenbacks — not protecting them, but spending them, according to IrishCentral.com.

It was all for a good cause, but details of the mysterious May 5 meeting are vague. What is known is that each billionaire got to speak for approximately 15 minutes on the global economic crisis and how best to support philanthropic causes, IrishCentral reports.

Others in attendance also included David Rockefeller Jr., chairman of Rockefeller Financial Services; Ted Turner, founder of CNN; and John Morgridge, former CEO of Cisco, and his wife.


Do you suppose that anyone will accuse Oprah or Bill Gates about being Freemasons or Illuminati?

Secret Sauce

January 29, 2008 1 comment

“So, what’s your secret recipe for this great tomato sauce?”

I heard this from at least 8 or 9 people on Saturday night, when my wife and I served up 65 pounds of ziti and 480 meatballs, all covered in almost 25 gallons of our home-made tomato sauce. No, I don’t have a big family; this is a now annual fund-raising dinner to help out the confirmation class of the First Congregational Church in downtown Southington.

I know, I know – you came here to read about Freemasonry, not about my cooking skills. I’m getting to that part.

My wife and I had started cooking the sauce a week previously, using the 8 burner stove and large pots available in the church kitchen. I’m sure that the church meeting hapll must have smelled like an Italian restaurant by the end of the week, and by 5:30 pm – a good half hour before the advertised time – because people were ready to stampede lining up to get good seats. We started serving at a quarter to six, and didn’t get a lull until well after 7:00, at which time I was able to walk around, fishing for compliments asking for feedback for the next year. And that’s when I noticed something: even though I told people what I put in my sauce, everybody acted as if I were being cagey about the answer. But that certainly was not the case; I’m usually more than happy to tell people what my own recipes are, and in fact, I’m going to tell you right here how I make tomato sauce.

Yeah, yeah, I know – you’re waiting for the part about Freemasonry. It’s coming, really.

A word of caution: if you’re the type of person who enjoys “recipes” that include such syrupy metaphors as “Add a cup of courage, a teaspoon of tolerance, stir with passion, and serve with L O V E“, then get thee hence! This blog is a NO GLURGE ZONE. Sure, those cutesy sayings were funny the first six or seven hundred times I heard them, but enough already. The 70s are over, and those little naked kids with the big eyes and hearts over their heads are has-beens. Deal with it.

Yes, yes, I’m getting to the part about Freemasonry. Really.

Now, I take a dim view of people who refuse to share good recipe. I don’t care if your great-great-grandmother carried it in her boot when she came from the old country, or if you just discovered it while messing about in the kitchen. In my opinion, the kind of people who won’t share their recipes are merely feeding their egos while they feed you a meal. When they invite you to dinner, it’s either to brag or to play the “I’ve got a secret” game and are, in essence, saying “Hey, I’ve got this really great thing and I’m only going to let you have a little taste in order that I might feel special. But don’t worry; come back next year and I’ll let you have another little taste, just so you can remember how special this is.”

Even more odious are those that purport to give you the recipe, but hold back a key step or ingredient, thereby making you think that you are stupid for not being able to follow directions. A pox on all of them.

What? Oh, yeah – the Freemasonry part. Sorry.

When the first few people asked what I put in my sauce, I told them “A hell of a lot of tomatoes.” It was funny at the time, and very true – we bought over two dozen of those large restaurant sized cans at the local warehouse store, along with salad for 200 people, dressing, grated Parmesan, and sundry other items. We started by sauteing several bulbs – that’s bulbs, not cloves – of crushed garlic in olive oil. Once the smell started wafting through the church hall (I should point out that I did this during one of the services in order to remind people of the upcoming dinner) I added a few scoops of the crushed tomatoes, and some of the typical Italian spices: oregano, parsley, basil, and a bit of fennel seed. I let this cook for a good thirty minutes, and then put some into each one of the five large pots. This served as a base, to which we added the rest of the canned tomatoes. One pot we reserved as a marinara sauce, and to the others we added some cooked ground beef (left over from the Rally Day picnic in September), and some minced and cooked Italian sausages, both of which had been cooked and minced previously in order to save time. We cooked the sauce for about six hours that day, and then came back for a few hours mid-week, and put them on again first thing Saturday morning so that they had another good eight hours to simmer. Usually I put some red wine in the sauce to counter the bitter taste from the tomatoes, but after a few people had concerns about sensitivities to the sulfites in the wine, this year I opted to add some sugar and salt.

I have to say that this was one of the best batches of sauce that I’ve made in a few years. Even my wife will attest that this year it was particularly good, and the compliments from the hungry crowd was certainly a testament to how it turned out.

Yes, yes – I’m coming to the Freemasonry part directly.

I told every person who asked me exactly what I used in the sauce – which, as you can see, are just regular Italian spices. Every person had the same reaction: If I’m just using regular spices and ingredients that you normally find in sauce, then why did this batch come out so well? Certainly I’m leaving out a crucial step, a secret ingredient, a particular item that made this come out better, right? After all, you can’t just throw some tomatoes and spices in a pan and expect it to come out like that, right? Right?

Apparently, my sauce admirers miss the essential point.

They had the list of ingredients that I use, and I even gave them some little tips. And while in theory there might be some small differences between brands of tomatoes or spices, in practice I’ve never noticed any significant difference.

So, what is the point of all this?

The raw tomatoes contain a lot of water, which needs to cook off. In that process, the heat breaks down certain proteins and acids, releasing certain chemicals, and causing others to bond. Five gallons of sauce in a pot takes hours to get up to the proper temperature, with constant stirring to prevent the bottom from burning and tainting the rest of the sauce. The heat also breaks down the chemicals in the spices, and the stirring allows the flavor to gently infuse throughout the pot of warm liquid. Eventually, the acids break down and dissipate, and the sauce itself tastes of the fragrant basil and oregano, perhaps mixed with the spicy saltiness of the sausage.

The secret, you see, is not the ingredients at all. It’s the time.

Those people who are accustomed to opening a jar of grocery-bought sauce simply can not conceive of the investment of time that one must make to cook a good, home-made tomato sauce. Despite the stereotype of old Italian ladies standing at a stove all day, few people really understand that it’s the process of cooking that makes the difference between a rich, thick, savory sauce and a thin, slightly bitter one. Too often we try to make up for the lack of flavor by adding extra garlic, salt, basil, or other spices. But these serve merely to cover up the fact that the sauce itself is a hastily prepared affair.

Even the cooking shows on television offer up tips on how to make good tomato sauce, especially tailored for busy people who only have an hour or so. And now question about it, some of those sauces are tasty. But they’re not the same; indeed, if I may be so bold, they’re not even in the same class.

Let me make this clear: In sauce making, as with so many other things in life, there is no substitute for the investment of one’s time. It is only through the lengthy process of cooking that the unwanted and unnecessary ingredients break down, and are replaced by the desirable aromas and textures. It is only through time that certain agents can be make their way around the large vat of liquid, moving here and there until the gentle stirring combines them with other agents to produce something delightful to the senses. And certainly, the larger the pot, the more time is needed.

Time.

Speaking of which, it looks as if I’ve run out. It appears that I’m just not going to get around to discussing Freemasonry, doesn’t it?

| |

“Two Ball Cane” Golf Tourney – Sept 17

July 12, 2007 3 comments

Okay, say what you will; but how can I not mention a golf tourney with a name like this?

 

Register to Play!

Included in your package:

Range balls, BBQ lunch, Greens fees and Cart, Beverages on the course and an Open Bar and Buffet Dinner following the tournament.

There will be prizes for low gross team score. Hole-in-one may get you a new car!

Teams with at least three Freemasons compete for an additional prize.

$175 per golfer
($700 per Foursome)

Click Here to Register

 

 

Become a Sponsor

Levels of Giving:

  • Gold Sponsor $5,000

  • Silver Sponsor $3,500

  • Gift Bag Sponsor $2,500

  • Golf Cart Sponsor $2,500

  • On Course Beverage Sponsor $1,000

  • Dinner Sponsor $1,000

  • Post Tournament
    Beverage Sponsor $750

  • Lunch Sponsor $750

  • Driving Range Sponsor $500

  • Longest Range Sponsor $250

  • Closest To The Pin Sponsor $250

  • Tee Sponsor $100

  • Tournament Supporter $50

  • Raffle Prize Donations

Click Here to Become a Sponsor
2006 Sponsors

 

 

 

Mission:

 
 

Over the years we have supported Connecticut National Guard families along with victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricane Katrina in the gulf coast states. Contributions from past tournaments have also allowed over 1,500 children access to the nationally acclaimed Child Identification Program (CHIP). Many local families and especially children have also benefited with our support of community events, sports programs and scholarships. Your support has also allowed our lodges to meet the great financial needs we have in maintaining our facilities

Mail Money to:
Two Ball Cane Golf Classic
c/o Ron Hansen Jr.
108 North Plains Industrial Rd. – Wallingford, CT 06492

Checks Payable to: Two Ball Cane Golf Classic

 
http://www.TwoBallCaneGC.com

Elisa Korenne Headlines “Year of Giving” Benefit Concert

May 8, 2007 Leave a comment

The Friendship Lodge “Year of Giving” program is still going well, and for the third major collection of items for the troops overseas, the several local civic groups have organized a benefit concert.

Internationally acclaimed performer and songwriter Elisa Korenne will be headlining the concert on Friday evening, June 8th 2007 that will take place at the American Legion Hall on Main Street, right next door to Friendship Lodge.

Ms. Korenne, as seen from the reviews on her website, provides “edgy and elegant” acoustic and rock music, and has been compared to Tori Amos and Sheryl Crowe (presumably according to her musical style and not to Ms. Crowe’s misunderstood attempt at environmental humor).

The concert will also feature Connecticut rock’n’roll band Second Chance, who will play favorites from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Adding to the fun will be the musical talents of another local band featuring a Past Master of Friendship Lodge.

Tickets are available for a $15 donation to the Year of Giving Benefit. Dancing will be encouraged, and the American Legion hosts a cash bar.

For more information, please see the details on the benefit concert website.

| |

Categories: Charity, Events, Freemasonry

2007 is the Year of Giving for Friendship Lodge

February 13, 2007 3 comments

WB David Hubbs, as the new Master of Friendship Lodge No. 33 in Southington wanted to have a project that would give back to the community. But once he began to discuss his ideas with others, he discovered that he could improve those projects by enlisting the help of others. By the time of his installation in January, WB Hubbs had developed a three phase plan which he called “The Year of Giving,” a plan that has been endorsed by the Grand Master, MWGM Charles B. Fowler himself.

WB Hubbs has broken the year up into three phases. The first phase, called “Open Your Hearts,”is spearheaded by WB Julian Shull and will last until June 30th, and involves the collection of personal care items for the soldiers overseas, and also to collect supplies for the schools our troops have been setting up in in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The second phase is geared to benefit those closer to home as Friendship Lodge will host a clothing drive. From June 1st to September 30th Bro. Doug Hageman will set up collection points for people to donate gently used coats and other clothing.

The third phase of the program will be to collect toys for the children of those people incarcerated by the criminal justice system. WB David Edman will be organizing these collections from September 1st until December 15th.

Most of January was taken up with planning for the first collection organized collection day on February 10th. Realizing the importance of getting as much community support as possible, WB Hubbs organized a number of local civic groups. The first planning sessions saw a joint effort with both Masonic and other groups. Representatives from the Order of Eastern Star (Frederica 110) were joined by the American Legion Kiltonic Post 72, Lions Club International (Southington and New Britain), Knights of Columbus Council 25, BPO Elks Lodge 1669 (Southington), the Improved Order of Redmen – Wonx Tribe 28, the Sons of Italy, and members of the Southington Chamber of Commerce to coordinate the publicity campaign and the pickup and storage facilities.

 

WB David Hubbs (2nd from left) flanked by members of local civic groups.

Drop boxes had been placed at various stores and businesses in the Southington area, and fliers had been distributed to let people know about the program, and on Saturday Feb. 10th the plans came together as the first of several public collection days took place. Volunteers stationed themselves at Stop & Shop, CVS, Walmart, Ocean State Job Lot, and several other stores, while others went to the public library, the Southington Town Hall, the YMCA, and other sites that had collection boxes. The American Legion Post became the central point at which the larger containers were packed before being brought to a local storage facility. By the end of the day, the Open Your Hearts group had collected 2,500 pounds of personal care items and school supplies. The Sons of Italy donated $250, and several other people likewise donated money toward the purchase of more goods, while Pratt & Whitney collected 500 pounds and the UConn Medical Center collected 350 pounds. Several other lodges around the state, including Fredrick-Franklin No. 14, Sequin-Level No. 140 and Corinthian No. 103 have also made contributions. Additionally, the American Legion found a way to have the good shipped by military transport, instead of having to go by mail or other carrier.

WB Hubbs has issued a challenge to other lodges and groups around the state to join him in this project. The next public collection day will be April 14th. WB Shull has guidelines for the donations.

For the troops: Cookies, Pop Tarts, microwave popcorn, microwaveable packaged meals, beef jerky, Pringles chips (no bag chips, please), baby wipes, foot or anti-fungal powders, Stick-up air fresheners, breakfast bars, small flashlights or headlamps, ramen noodles, small pillows, small personal toys (Frisbees, hackey-sacks, puzzles, etc.), Game Boys, and batteries (AAs mostly, but AAA and D are needed).

For the children: School supplies – pens, pencils, sharpeners, crayons, markers, stamps and ink pads, rulers, pads, paper, solar calculators, coloring books. Toys – small cars, yo-yos, jump ropes, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, Slinkys, and small electronic toys (with batteries). Hygiene items – toothbrushes, toothpaste, bar soap (in plastic bags), combs, brushes, washcloths. Personal items – hard candy and gum, mints, t-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with batteries). Please do not include war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military action figures.

Those wishing to donate items should also make sure not to include used or damaged items, glass or glass containers, pork products, aerosol cans, chocolate, liquids or lotions, medications, drugs, or vitamins, easily breakable items, or edible items that are out of date, or will be out of date within 90 days of collection date.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,172 other followers

%d bloggers like this: