Hello Pennsylvania DeMolay. My name is Caitlin Gresham and I am running for State Sweetheart. I am a former Chapter Sweetheart of Steel City Chapter and will be representing Templar Chapter going into Convention. This September I will be a Freshman at Elizabethtown College where I will be studying Early Childhood Education and Special Education. I currently work for Sewickley Confectionery. I am a member of Rainbow, having served as Worthy Advisor for by home Assembly, as well as the Grand Representative for West Virginia and Missouri. I am also an active candidate for the Grand Cross of Color. Along with my many years in the Masonic Youth Groups, I have also been in the Girl Scouts of America, part of the Quaker Valley Key Club and a volunteer with World Vision. In my free time, I enjoy playing softball, volleyball, tennis and cheering for my school.
Why do you want to become the State Sweetheart of Pennsylvania DeMolay?
I believe that I can broaden my horizons in terms of service and fellowship, while also connecting and making bonds with people from across this state and potentially the nation. With my background in Rainbow and DeMolay, I have an appreciation for all Masonic bodies, however, I think we can all learn more about what we stand for and the way of life that we all believe in. I also want to help strengthen the bonds between masonic youth through various fun and educational activities while also doing more bonding on a deeper level with people that I would not normally get to spend time with. I strongly believe in the great work that we are all capable of and I want to be one of the role models that younger brothers and sisters can come to for help and guidance. When I first joined, I looked up to the youth leaders so much and I would love to be that person to someone else, while also improving myself. This opportunity to work with these young men will open up so many doors for success in my life and theirs as well.
Although you cannot fund-raise on your own, what fundraising ideas could you bring if a chapter asked you for new ideas?
Many families have loose change lying around their house, sitting in piggy banks, or in wallets that will not be used any time soon. We could do Penny Wars between chapters across the state. We can have a fundraising race between the chapters, and whoever wins by having the most money raised can have a pizza party. We could do a pie throwing contest at a DeMolay weekend and the boys can bring in money to vote for which Elected State Officer they want pied in the face. They could do a spaghetti dinner, blood drive, pancake breakfast, car washes, 50/50 raffles, hoagie/sandwich sales, selling candy bars, carnivals, bake sale, booths at fairs, autumn days, etc. anything of that fashion usually works well.
What do you know about the Children's Dyslexia Center?
I know that the Children's Dyslexia Center helps children all across the United States who have been diagnosed with Dyslexia. It is a Scottish Rite Charity which is Masonic affiliated and it is found in 13 states, including Pennsylvania, which has eight centers total. They offer services such as tutoring to families free of charge. They have changed the lives of over 1,200 children. The money we raise in DeMolay goes towards helping and improving the lives of many kids who are in need. They have a comprehensive one-on-one program that can be as long as three years, depending on the needs of the student. It costs roughly $6,000 per year to help one child, and with all of our contributions we have helped so many kids, and we will continue to help for as long as possible.