By Bro. Tom Ewald, President of the Wisconsin Masonic Center Foundation
Greetings Brothers and Happy New Year!
We, your Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Masonic Center, are kicking off 2023 with a renewed sense of spirit to promote, preserve and protect our Wisconsin Masonic Center (WMC) and its mission: “To provide a relevant central Masonic Center for the members of Wisconsin for the next 100 years.”
Spring of 2023 will mark the 100th anniversary of the WMC. To commemorate this historic and significant event the Board of Directors of the WMC are kicking off a Capital Fundraising campaign around the following two events:
• On Thursday May 4, 2023, we will be hosting a public open house Gala to celebrate the Center’s anniversary and to create a heightened awareness in the community; and
• At our Annual Communication June 2-3, 2023, we will rededicate our building with Grand Master Paul Tourville and Deputy Grand Master David Ritchie presiding and expect it to include local public dignitaries and special guests.
More information on these events will be forthcoming in future issues of the Wisconsin Masonic Journal.
To commemorate the WMC’s Centennial anniversary, we have commissioned a limited number of specially minted Gold-filled 3-inch medals struck in a Proof-like finish. The front side features a 1920’s period Masonic Square and compass with the words “Faith Hope and Charity through Brotherhood” on the radius of the medal and the reverse side features an image of the Wisconsin Masonic Center with the years “1923-2023” and the words “Centennial Anniversary”.
As a keepsake and limited to just 1,500 medals, the Foundation is offering these for $100 plus S&H and they come with a stand to display the medal along with a velvet drawstring bag to protect the medal. There is no limit on the quantity of medals ordered, however there will not be a reissue once the 1,500 medals are sold. Visit www.wmc301.org/centennial to see images of the actual medal and to consider other giving levels. The Foundation Board is honored to accept any level of consideration and all donations listed are tax deductible as the Foundation is a qualified IRS 501(c)(3) organization.
The money we hope to raise will help us to restore finances used during the pandemic for building restoration and to keep daily operations running. 2022 was a bustle of activity most notably building back our business post Pandemic. In addition, in September 2022, WMC Board Director Eric Pangburn and his wife attended the Detroit Masonic Center’s 100th anniversary Celebration as a delegate of the WMC Board. Brother Eric made many connections and gleaned much about their operation and drew many parallels to the opportunities we face in daily operations at the WMC.
Most of all major facility capital expenditures are complete enabling us to maximize operations efficiency that has helped us catapult our plans into 2023. The Board has worked hard to carefully plan the next steps as we move ahead in a new future and with a revised strategic plan. Future investments will include work in the auditorium, expansion of the library, and utilizing the auditorium for special public events.
While many lodges throughout the state have celebrated milestone anniversaries, our Wisconsin Masonic Center (WMC) is special because it represents a central place in the state spotlighted in Madison as a symbolic capitol for Freemasonry in Wisconsin. Our Center is also home to a dozen Masonic groups including three Lodges, the Madison Valley of Scottish Rite, York Rite bodies, Youth organizations, and the Madison Area Children’s Learning Center. The WMC is open to all members and their Lodges as a central place to meet and to visit.
A Centennial anniversary on this scale fraternally only happens once in a lifetime. Our Centennial Anniversary is truly a unique opportunity to showcase the Wisconsin Masonic Center in our community and Statewide both in the Fraternity and to all citizens of Wisconsin. On behalf of your Board of Directors we thank every Mason in Wisconsin for their support and we look forward to preserving our fraternal heritage for the next 100 years.