Thursday, February 11, 2016

Be Proud of DeMolay!

Since March is less than a month away, now is the best time to decide what your chapter will do for DeMolay Month. DeMolay Month is an entire month of celebrating the fun and exciting things that DeMolay has to offer. In Pennsylvania there is also a DeMolay Month Competition with awards presented at Convention to the top 3 chapters with the most points during the month.

So, what are some good ways to celebrate DeMolay Month? I put together a short list of ideas that your chapter may want to consider in order to make it the best DeMolay Month ever.
  1. Have your chapter go on a visitation to another DeMolay Chapter. It’s always interesting to see a DeMolay meeting from a different perspective.
  2. Invite Senior DeMolays to an activity, whether a meeting or fun activity. Most Senior DeMolays enjoy seeing their chapter again. It reminds them of why they enjoyed DeMolay so much when they were a member.
  3. Present the “Hi Dad!” book to a local library or school.
  4. Perform a community service project and a Masonic service project. DeMolay members take pride in providing service to the community and to the Masonic bodies.
  5. Invite your chapter’s Masonic Sponsors to a meeting or a fun activity. This will help show that your chapter appreciates the support the sponsors have been giving.
  6. Induct new members into the chapter. Membership is a big part of what makes DeMolay successful.
  7. Send in an article and photo about your DeMolay chapter to a local newspaper. This will help promote DeMolay through the local community.
  8. Contact local government officials and have them sign proclamations making March DeMolay Month.
  9. Make the week of March 18th, DeMolay Week.
  10. Advertise DeMolay. You could wear a DeMolay shirt to work or school, display the DeMolay logo on your vehicle or backpack, or change your profile picture to be DeMolay related on your social media account. Be proud of DeMolay!

March is almost here, so plan the month now before it’s too late. Look at the DeMolay Month checklist to see all of the ways your chapter can earn points. Good luck to all chapters, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Until next time – “Dad” Joe Pullin 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Gridiron Gang: John Elway

Super Bowl 50 is right around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than to acknowledge the former football stars that were, or currently are, members of our great fraternity. Today we highlight John Elway. Now I know what your thinking, and NO, John Elway was not a member of DeMolay. He is however a Mason.

John Albert Elway was born June 28th, 1960 in Port Angeles, Washington. John's father, Jack Elway, was a football coach for Port Angeles High School. Some would say that football was always in John's blood. As John's family moved a lot because of his Dad's work, John started High School at Pullman High School in Pullman, Washington, but would finish his final three years at Granada Hills High School in San Fernando Valley, California. As a senior, Elway would be named to Parade Magazine's All America High School Team.

Elway went to college at Stanford, where he played both football and baseball. He would go on to win two Pac-10 Player of the Year Awards, become a consensus All American, and finish second on the Heisman Trophy ballot. He was drafted by the New York Yankees to play right field in 1981, but chose to stick with football. In 1983, John Elway was drafted by the Baltimore Colts with the 1st overall pick. Elway, who refused to play for the Baltimore Colts due to his father's persuasion, used baseball in order to leverage a trade. The Colts would later trade Elway to the Denver Broncos, the place Elway would spend his entire NFL career.

Elway led the Broncos to three Super Bowls in the later part of the 1980's, losing all three attempts. He was named the NFL MVP in 1987. Although it took 8 years to get back to the big game, Elway would lead the Broncos to Super Bowl victories at Super Bowl's XXXII and XXXIII. He was named the Super Bowl MVP at Super Bowl XXXIII, which would be his final NFL game. He was named to the Pro Bowl a total of 9 times in his 16 year career. Until 2014, John Elway started the most Super Bowls at Quarterback with 5, until Tom Brady started his 6th Super Bowl at Super Bowl XLIX. John Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004, along with legendary running back Barry Sanders.

Elway would later become the Executive Vice President of football operations for the Denver Broncos, a role he currently holds to this day. John Elway's Denver Broncos, led by Quarterback Peyton Manning, will take on the Carolina Panthers, led by Quarterback
Cam Newton, this Sunday at Super Bowl 50. So when did John find the time to join a Masonic lodge? John Elway would become a mason after his playing career was over, joining South Denver Lodge No. 93 at a Grand Lodge of Colorado two day class February 22 and 23, 2002. Although there is no evidence to how active he is within his local lodge due to time scheduling, Elway is a brother of our great Masonic fraternity, which earns him a spot in our Gridiron Gang.  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Gridiron Gang: Fran Tarkenton

With Super Bowl 50 taking place in a little over a week, I figured this is a good time to acknowledge the former football stars that were, or currently are, part of our Masonic Family. We start with a former member of the Order of DeMolay, legendary Quarterback Fran Tarkenton.

Francis Asbury Tarkenton, who later shortened the name to Fran, was born on February 3rd, 1940 in Richmond, Virginia. He became the star Quarterback for Athens High School, where he led the team to a state championship in 1955. It was during his time in high school that Tarkenton found DeMolay, joining Frank Hardeman Chapter from Athens, Georgia in 1954. He attended the University of Georgia, where he led the Bulldogs to the Southeast Conference Championship and to the Orange Bowl. He became an All-American athlete for the Georgia Bulldogs.

In 1961, Tarkenton was drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. In his first NFL game, Tarkenton threw 4 touchdowns, an accomplishment that had not been repeated until this past year when Marcus Mariota of the Tennessee Titans made the same accomplishment. Tarkenton became known as a mobile Quarterback, often referred to as “The Mad Scrambler” or “Frantic Fran.” In 1968, after playing his first 6 seasons for the Minnesota Vikings, he was traded to the New York Giants. In 1972, which would prove to be the prime of his career, Tarkenton was traded back to the Minnesota Vikings. From here, Tarkenton would lead the Vikings to 3 Super Bowls in 4 years, unfortunately missing out on all three tries. Tarkenton was named the League MVP in 1975 and was selected a total of 9 times to the Pro Bowl team. Tarkenton became a Pro Football Hall of Famer in 1986.

After his playing days were over, Tarkenton became a very well-known business man. Tarkenton has started twelve businesses, including a multi-million dollar computer software company that he sold in 1994. He also became known as a motivational speaker and an author, writing the books “What Losing Taught Me about Winning,” and “How to Motivate People: The Team Strategy for Success.”

In 1986, the same year Tarkenton was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, DeMolay International inducted him into the DeMolay Hall of Fame. He was a Senior DeMolay as well as an Active Legion of Honor recipient. This Hall of Fame class was the inaugural class for DeMolay International.

“It is a great honor to be inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame. In today’s society where there is so much violence and heartache, it’s a gratifying feeling to know there is such a fine organization as DeMolay to look up to and lean on for guidance and support. I am proud to be a member!”

Be proud of who you are, both as a person and as a DeMolay.

Until next time – “Dad” Joe Pullin   

Thursday, January 28, 2016

This or That: Star Trek vs. Star Wars

Pennsylvania DeMolay's State Sweetheart, Miss Sarah Sellers, has put together a program that puts two forms of pop culture reference in a competition against one another. This competition is to help raise money for the Children's Dyslexia Centers, which is PA DeMolay's State Charity. The current competition is Star Trek vs. Star Wars. “Dad” Alex Swift, Chapter Advisor of Northeast Chapter has provided this article to help compare the two franchises.

In the genre of American Science Fiction, there are no two more recognizable brands than Star Wars and Star Trek. Over the last fifty years since Star Trek first debuted in the 1960’s, they have captured the imagination of young and old viewers alike. Even now, almost fifty years later they are still at the forefront of American Cinema and remain in the spotlight of our interest. There are no signs of either of them disappearing into the realms of memory.

Just this past year, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" broke almost every known box office record known to man, and seemed to resurrect the good reputation of a franchise that had gone astray. Later this year, in 2016, the third Star Trek film in the JJ Abrams series, and twelfth over all, is set to debut. Both franchises seem to be flourishing in ways that even their original creators might not have predicted, and it’s hard to imagine a world in which neither of them exist.

But, as they can both be categorized as Science Fiction, their similarities are few and far between. 
They are fundamentally different: A fact that has seen a proverbial line drawn in the sand between fans of one, or the other. It’s a silly culture war when you really look at it from any objective viewpoint, especially if you’re a fan of both the way I am. But still, it doesn’t stop it from being waged on the internet, at fan conventions, or even on late night TV where, on his show, Conan O’Brien asked Astrophysicist Neil deDrasse Tyson: “Who would win in a fight, the Millennium Falcon or the USS Enterprise?”

Star Trek, the first of the two brands to appear in front of audiences has traditionally focused on the eventual exploration of space. It’s a look into the future, or more appropriately an idea of what the future could look like. The series shows a world devoid of poverty, crime, and greed. It shows a world in which science and technology have allowed humanity to overcome its faults, and ascend out into the greater universe beyond our own sky.

Star Wars, the more financially successful of the two, has always been a modern homage to the old spaghetti westerns, and adventure films of the 1930’s. Instead of our heroes chasing each other on horseback, we see TIE Fighters and X-Wings dueling each other ala the great air battles waged in World War II. These are tales of great evils, and the forces of good standing against them. They are stories of massive battles waged in far off lands, and worlds that are so incredibly foreign to us. It’s more of a recollection of our past than our future, told from a modern and futuristic perspective.

So, now its up to you, do you side with Star Trek or with Star Wars?

As far as which one is better, that is only a matter of personal preference. Both franchises remain strong, so you decide which one you prefer.  

Thank you "Dad" Swift for your contribution to the blog. Which franchise do you prefer: Star Trek or Star Wars? Voting ends February 1st so act quickly. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Be Different Spotlight: Friendship-Bray Chapter

The following post is part of a series entitled the “Be Different Spotlight.” This post will display a chapter’s effort to grasp the concept of the theme for this year. Each chapter was challenged by the State Master Councilor, Adam Pritchard, to “Be Different.” 

Challenge Accepted! This is the story of how Friendship-Bray Chapter embraced that challenge...

On Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 members and advisors of Friendship-Bray Chapter visited Baldi Middle School in the Fox Chase section of Philadelphia. The event, which was organized by FBC advisor and Fox Chase Elementary School Principal “Dad” Rob Caroselli, was a first look at DeMolay for many young men in Northeast Philadelphia and the surrounding communities.

Young men and parents were invited to a question and answer session about what the organization has to offer. While the young men were excited to hear about events like Operation N.A.S.H.V.I.L.L.E. Training Weekend and Laser Tag, the parents were thrilled to hear that DeMolay and its advisors strive to help make its members better sons and good upstanding citizens. The Chapter was prepared with brochures provided by PA DeMolay and personalized for our specific Chapter and events.

Four of the seven young men present received their obligations January 3rd and will receive their complete degrees at Patriots Class on February 13th. Two other young men who have attended a few of the recent Chapter activates will also receive their degrees at Patriots Class.

The new members have already talked about bringing their friends into the Chapter after the amazing time they had at Operation N.A.S.H.V.I.L.L.E. Training Weekend. We expect the size of FBC to double in the coming months.

Friendship-Bray continues to stand out and BE DIFFERENT. On March 6th at the stated meeting of Friendship-Bray Chapter, the members will kick off DeMolay Month by hosting dozens of visiting Masons including several District Deputy Grand Masters. This exposure and excitement will undoubtedly continue the resurgence of the once again Mighty FBC! Here we grow again!

This blog post was written by Friendship-Bray's Chapter Advisor, "Dad" Dennis Hunter.. Thank you "Dad" Hunter for your contribution.

Friendship-Bray Chapter has completed the challenge to “Be Different.” What has your chapter done in order to change things up a bit? Send in program details or write a post for your chapter and send it to me at