The new year has been upon us for roughly two weeks now, but this weekend is the official start of the new year for PA DeMolay with Cowboys VS. Aliens Weekend. Although 2016 is behind us, the year brought us some great moments. If you weren't around for 2016, then here is a top ten list of what you missed out on:
10. Jacques DeMolay himself joined us for this years Jacquestoberfest. In October, the members of PA DeMolay participated in an "Oktoberfest" style festival. The members ate German inspired food, drank plenty of Birch Beer, and competed in a DeMolay Decathlon. Jacques DeMolay arrived to enjoy the ceremonial festivities with the members of PA DeMolay.
9. Friendship-Bray Chapter hosts a meeting with over 150 Master Masons in attendance. This was also the first meeting that FBC returned home to their original location in Jenkintown, after several years in Hatboro. Its always great to see such great support coming from the Masonic Family.
8. Dodgeball for Dyslexia grows into a spectacular annual event. This year was the second event, and plans are already in motion for a successful 2017 tournament. Chapters and Masonic groups gathered to help raise money for a great cause. Nearly $1,000 was raised and donated to the Learning Centers in Lancaster, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.
7. PA DeMolay accepted the mission to become secret agents at 007: Secret Agent Weekend. The weekend included a Sky Fall mission (a trip to Sky Zone,) and a Casino Royal event hosted by the Elected State Officers. Members enjoyed fancy drinks, played casino games, and enjoyed refreshments served by their favorite DeMolay Advisors (including the Executive Officer.)
6. The Judge is back on the road. For a short while, the traveling gavel, known as the Judge, was stuck in one location. Thanks to the help of Mitchell Holmes and the Elected State Officers, the judge is back on the road. Chapters that have already held it since September are Lorraine, Templar, Westmoreland and Northeast.
5. PA DeMolay is still being different... by taking the show to Hollywood. Before Convention 2016 (If you weren't there, I'm sorry) SMC Adam Pritchard was encouraging PA DeMolay to "Be Different." During the 2016 Convention, in-going SMC Eric Dye introduced his theme for the year: Lights, Camera, Action: PA DeMolay Goes Hollywood. The year has been exciting with new events still to come.
4. NERF or Nothing! In January, PA DeMolay hosted the first ever all NERF weekend with Operation N.A.S.H.V.I.L.L.E. Training Weekend (Please ask Jake Beers what it stands for if you really want to know.) The function room was set up into a War Zone with games going on all day long. Congratulations to all of the winners.
3. PA DeMolay beats the Right Worshipful Grand Master in a game of Basketball. At Grand Master's Class, the RWGM of Masons in Pennsylvania, Raymond T. Dietz, challenged the members of DeMolay to a game of PIG, a basketball game in which a letter is given to a participant who misses a basket. Brothers Mitch Holmes and Kody Anderson won the game, $5 for every member, and bragging rights for all of PA DeMolay.
2. "Dad" Samuel C. Williamson was inducted into the DeMolay International Hall of Fame. "Dad" Williamson has been a staple in the activities that are PA DeMolay for over 30 years. Since his resume is so detailed, I will save the length of this section, just know that PA DeMolay would not operate without his overwhelming support.
1. We brought in 100 new members this year. We had a really great year in membership this year, keeping the brotherhood going for several new young brothers.
Wow! That's a lot to take in. 2016 really was an exciting year. So, how does PA DeMolay plan to make 2017 just as exciting? You'll have to wait and find out, but I can promise you that you will not be disappointed.
Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin