Tri-City Athletic Programs Recognized for Developing Youth [COLOMA, MICHIGAN, May 18, 2022]
The Coloma, Hartford and Watervliet Middle School Athletic Programs received donations of $500 each from the Coloma Masonic Lodge and the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation Lodge Charity Account (MMCF LCA) in recognition of their role in developing future leaders.
The donations were comprised of funds from the Lodge and the MMCF whose focus areas include supporting community organizations such as promoting literacy, education and public safety, alleviating hunger, and supporting family and youth services. Tackling immediate challenges, enriching lives, and deepening the connection between Lodges and their communities is a primary goal for the Foundation.
“Many of the members of our lodge reside in the tri-city area and believe that competitive athletics are part of a well-rounded education. As Masons are committed to the development of the members of the fraternity, we believe that directing some of our charitable funding to support local youth, and the men and women who have such an important role in developing the character of students participating in athletic programs, was in alignment with our values,” said Peter Scudamore, current Master of the Coloma Lodge.
Athletic Directors Wendy Goodline, Nick Blackmer and Ken Dietz from Coloma, Hartford and Watervliet School Districts respectively indicated that the donations would provide student athletes with uniforms, equipment, and incentives for staying engaged in athletic programs. “Middle school programs seem to get hand-me-downs, so these funds can be used to provide new uniforms and equipment,” said Goodline. Blackmer indicated that some families with middle school athletes and potential athletes may not be able to afford certain sports equipment, so the donation can help make it available to the students. Dietz added that students who stay engaged in athletics tend to have more success in academics and other aspects of student life. “We can definitely see a difference in outlook when a young person is engaged in school athletics, so providing incentives for them to stay engaged can have long-lasting positive influence for them and the community,” said Dietz Matthew Moser, also an officer at Coloma Lodge, further elaborated on how the donations align with the values of the fraternity.
“Coloma Lodge is in the process of establishing a new DeMolay Chapter in southwest Michigan – the Southwest Michigan Gold Coast Chapter. DeMolay is a youth leadership organization, striving to shape young men into leaders of character,” said Moser. “By exemplifying timeless values and accepting the challenge of leadership – both of character and of action – the young men of DeMolay transform themselves into citizens of the highest caliber. Middle school is a crucial time for developing leadership traits.”
Coloma Lodge #162, Free and Accepted Masons, has been chartered since 1865 by the Grand Lodge of Michigan. Freemasonry is an institution that has been a major part of community life in America for over 250 years. It is America’s largest and oldest fraternity, and one that continues to be an important part of the personal growth and development of men from all levels of society.