Masonic Lodge establishes endowment with Rend Lake College Foundation

INA, Ill. (Dec. 10, 2013) – The Ancient Free and Accepted Masons Polk Lodge No. 137 of McLeansboro recently established an endowment for students at Rend Lake College. The endowment is the result of the organization’s interest in providing more financial assistance to students in the local communities.

Samuel Wilson, Senior Warden of the Lodge, said the group has been doing a $500 scholarship for the last 20 years; however, the new endowment will increase that scholarship amount to $1,000.

“We figured we will always be doing this scholarship, so we might as well make an investment and help out more,” said Wilson. “We wanted to bump up the amount, because one of our goals is to try to help the children and young adults in our communities.”

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Members of the A.F. and A.M. Polk Lodge #137 of McLeansboro present a $20,000 check to the Rend Lake College Foundation to establish an endowment for students. The endowment will offer a $1,000 scholarship per year to one RLC student. Pictured is, FROM LEFT, D.K. York, Jim Deen, Mark Todd, Samuel Wilson, Michael O' Brien, RLC Foundation CEO Shawna Manion, Robert Barker, B.J. Johnson and Jason Burke. Click on the image for a larger view.

Wilson added the scholarship is open to all students at Hamilton County Senior High School, with preference given to those whose parent or family member is a Mason.

RLC Foundation CEO Shawna Manion said the donation will allow the Lodge to continue to support local students for many years to come.

“Endowments are a wonderful tool to use if the resources are available, and with it, Polk Lodge was able to invest $20,000 in the Foundation to support local youth and education,” said Manion. “That endowment is perpetual, and will provide a $1,000 scholarship annually.”

Additionally, the donation amount places the Lodge on the Major Donors Wall, located in the Student Center.

“With an organization such as Polk Lodge No. 137, which has been faithful in giving for over 20 years, an endowment is an excellent way to solidify their support,” Manion added. “Polk Lodge No. 137 is now at the Silver level of our Major Donors Wall, and we appreciate their continued commitment to bettering the future of our students.”

RLC President Terry Wilkerson added the new scholarship will help both organizations reach objectives as front-runners in education and leadership.

“It means a lot to Rend Lake College when civic-minded organizations such as the Polk Lodge invest in the future by investing in our students’ education,” said Wilkerson. “The mission of Rend Lake College and the goals of the Lodge are similar in that we both strive to be active leaders in our communities and develop educational opportunities for the future. We look forward to working with them to meet these goals.”

For more information, contact the RLC Foundation at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1214.

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