Your community is wonderful, and I'm sure of it. Why? Because I know that every part of this Commonwealth is unique, different, and has its own local flair.
I was born and raised in Warren, PA, a small town about 60 miles east of Erie, nestled in the Allegheny mountains. When I was 14 my family moved from Warren to Edinboro, about 20 miles south of Erie. When I was 23 I moved from Edinboro to Glen Burnie, MD, about 10 miles southwest of Baltimore. Finally, I moved from Glen Burnie to Elizabethtown, but I'm guessing you know right where that is. So, why tell you where I lived? Simple. In every one of those communities I found something special.
From Warren I carry fond memories of canoeing down the river, summers spent in the forest, and ice cream cones from Dairy Delight. From Edinboro (and Erie) I picked up an interest in history, Scotland, my involvment in DeMolay and Masonry, and of course a BA from Edinboro University. Maryland gave me an insatiable taste for Old Bay spice, and the experience of working for one of the craziest businesses I have ever known, Games Workshop. Finally, Elizabethtown has given me a new home, a sweet tooth for bread pudding and shoe fly pie, and, of course, the proper way to pronounce "Lancaster" (Lank-ester.)
I'm sure that your local community has given you something as well. What is it? A love of a special food? A great memory? I'm sure there is something. It's YOUR community. You live there, and it's up to you to make an impact on it. It's great that you have fond memories of your community, but does your community have fond memories of you? That may seem like a funny notion, but for everything your community has done for you, have you done something for your community?
I've discussed community service here before, but I'm going beyond that with this piece. Community service is great, but continual involvement is even better. It's nice that you picked up garbage at that park a few years ago, but I'm betting it could use a cleaning again. That one Thanksgiving you helped Meals on Wheels was really great, but who knows what happened last year? Continual involvement in quality programs that impact your community is the best way to leave a legacy of caring, whether that be through your DeMolay Chapter or on your own as a responsible citizen.
To help you with finding projects, I'd like to share another great web resource. Check out http://www.getinvolved.gov/. This website is run by the Corporation for National and Community Service, and thanks to a quick search, it can connect you with projects in your community. I used Elizabethtown as a test and found a food drive in Lebanon, an MS run in Harrisburg, and appeal from a local historical society for someone to do simple data entry. Those were just 3 of close to 240 listed opportunities... and that is exactly what they are; opportunities for you alone, or working together as a Chapter, to leave a legacy in your community!
Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony