Monday, October 31, 2011

Senior DeMolay Highlight - Michael G. Severe

We haven't done a Senior DeMolay Spotlight in a little while, so I thought it would be appropriate to revisit the topic. However, the last few spotlights we have done have been about members of the DeMolay International Hall of Fame. The men who compose the Hall of Fame are some our greatest members from previous generations, but I also think it's important to highlight Senior DeMolay's who may not be as widely known, but who are giving lots of time and effort to the organization. In recent weeks, one such Senior DeMolay has really come to the forefront by using his influence to remind people of the importance of the DeMolay program. That man is:

"Dad" Michael G. Severe
Imperial Potentate of Shriners International

"Dad" Severe is currently serving in one of the most high profile positions in all of the Masonic Fraternity; he is the Imperial Potentate of the Shrine of North America. While the title is impressive, the work he is doing behind the scenes is what really should impress you the most. As part of his position, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Shriners International - the same group that owns and operates the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The work the Shrine Hospitals does is well known and needs no explanation here. But, who is "Dad" Severe, really?

As a young man, Severe was a member of the Order of DeMolay in Columbine Chapter, in Grand Junction, Colorado, and immediately progressed on to joining the Masonic Fraternity at the age of 21. He quickly joined the York and Scottish Rites, which enabled him to don the coveted red fez of a Shriner by the age of 22. He served his Lodge, Glenwood No. 65, in various offices and is a Past Patron of Erica Chapter No. 69, Order of the Eastern Star. However, his first love would always be Shrinedom. He got involved in the Scooter and Motorcycle Units, becoming president of the latter in 1989. Feeling the continued call to service, he was appointed Outer Guard of El Jebel Shrine in 1990, where he progressed  through the chairs until serving as Potentate in 1999. Some would say 10 years of service to the Shrine is enough, but not "Dad" Severe! His love for the organization led him to run for the bottom of the Imperial (meaning national) line in 2000. A decade later, we find "Dad" Severe in the position of Imperial Potentate, continuing to strive for excellence in his role as CEO of all things Shrine related.

Severe’s wife, Patty, is employed by St. Joseph Hospital. He has two children, Joe who repairs and races track motorcycles, and Lauren who is attending the University of Northern Colorado as an English major; Patty has two grown children, Aaron and Amanda; and two grandchildren, Sydney and Derek.

Most of you are probably thinking "This is all well and good, but what else has he done for DeMolay?" That's the most important piece of the story! On October 6, 2011, "Dad" Severe issued a letter as Imperial Potentate to the 193 Shrines that compose the organization. In that letter (which you can read here) he asked all of the Shrines to sponsor a DeMolay Chapter and provide whatever support they can for the organization. It was because of his positive experiences as a DeMolay that he published this letter, opening up one of the best opportunities for Masonic interaction that DeMolay International has had in a long time.

Here in Pennsylvania, we are sending letters to all of the Shrines, asking them to sign on as sponsors of their local DeMolay Chapters, along with a list of 25 ways that the Shrine can support DeMolay. However, we can only do so much. We ask that each Chapter reach out and contact their local Shrine group and start a discourse with them directly. If you need contact information for your local Shrine Center, give us a call here at the PA DeMolay office and we'll be glad to help!

On behalf of PA DeMolay, I thank "Dad" Severe for his continued support. We look forward to working with the Shrine here in the Keystone State; not only for the betterment of DeMolay, but for the Shrine as well!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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