By Matthew T. Szramoski
Director of Development
Mark Your Calendar Now! May 19, 2012 from 6pm to Midnight at www.ScottishRite.org
What are you doing on May 19, 2012? Instead of worrying about the Mayan calendar, perhaps you should watch the first ever “Temple Web-a-thon” which will be live-streamed through the Supreme Council web site. The Web-a-thon will run 6:00 pm–12:00 midnight EST with a goal of raising $1 million to support the Rebuilding the Temple Campaign to restore the House of the Temple.
In our fraternity there are many different ways of raising money. There have been Scottish Rite Friends Dinners, mail solicitations, and now a…Web-a-thon. This is not only the first Web-a-thon for the Supreme Council, S.J., and but also the first Masonic Web-a-thon anywhere!
A Web-a-thon is like a telethon, but it’s broadcast over the Internet. A telethon is an event that’s broadcast on television or the Internet and can last for several hours or even days. It usually includes interviews and entertainment, will tell you more about the charity, and asks that members call in or email donations and pledges. The first telethon was held in the United States in 1950 as an effort to raise funds for cerebral palsy research. Within five years they were quite popular for all different causes and still continue to be a primary method of raising money for everything from the famous MDA Labor Day telethon to local non-profit television stations.
Essential Projects for Rebuilding the Temple
- Structural Rehabilitation
- Accessibility & Safety
- Preservation & Education
- Endowment for Future Maintenance
The Temple Web-a-thon is designed to provide all of our members with an opportunity to learn more about the Scottish Rite and the importance of the House of the Temple, its artifacts, museum, and library. It will feature well-known entertainers, such as Ernest Borgnine and Brad Paisley, Masonic scholars, such as Art De Hoyos and Brent Morris, and many others who will educate and entertain you throughout the event.
The House of the Temple is still a site to behold, but it has had few structural improvements since its completion. It is our duty to preserve this treasure for the brothers who will follow us, as we make it a national Masonic center for Masons as well as the general public.
It is a time for action!
Necessary and long overdue alterations must be made to the Temple in order to ensure the preservation of our Masonic history and the promotion of Freemasonry to future generations. Once completed, this campaign will improve the House of the Temple’s overall structure and appearance, make it safer and more accessible to the public, preserve its artifacts, create a museum, and develop educational programs and web-based initiatives. It will be through this building that our future members develop their commitment to Freemasonry and that our fraternity finds its face for the 21st century.
With the Temple Web-a-thon, we will offer something innovative that will entertain and will help our philanthropic efforts. Brethren and friends will have an opportunity to call in and make their donation or contribute on-line either directly at our web site or via Facebook.
What can you do? It’s easy! Mark May 19th on your calendar and plan on watching at your Valley or at home. Let all of your Masonic friends know about the Web-a-thon and its importance. Plan on making a gift. If every member made just a $5 contribution we will exceed our goal of $1 million!
Valleys are encouraged and challenged to hold a special event focused around the Web-a-thon. Possibilities include:
- Host a “Web-a-thon Party” with snacks and invite friends and family to join the members in watching the Web-a-thon (use a widescreen television or an LCD projector to broadcast it).
- “Kick it up a notch” and provide a buffet dinner with your “Web-a-thon Party.”
Hold an open house for Masons who are not yet members of the Scottish Rite, and use it to generate interest in the Rite and to raise funds for the House of the Temple.
- Have your Knights of Saint Andrew (KSA) hold a fundraiser before the Web-a-thon and issue a challenge gift to other KSA Chapters live during the Web-a-thon.
- Share information about the Temple Web-a-thon in your Valley bulletin. Encourage members who cannot attend the special event at the Valley to watch it from home.
- Promote the Web-a-thon at all Valley meetings and activities between now and May 19.
- Set a goal for your Valley to raise and make a donation as a collective group. On air recognition will be provided—and a challenge could spur on other Valleys!