News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, November 24, 2021
Brooksville Volunteer Fire Department receives gift from Masons
Rising Star Lodge buys new mobile stretcher

by David Avery

The Rising Star Lodge #4 in Penobscot made a donation to the Brooksville Volunteer Fire Department that allowed the BVFD to buy a nifty piece of safety gear.

The $500 donation from the Penobscot Lodge was matched two-for-one by the Grand Lodge of Maine, allowing the BVFD to purchase a mobile stretcher that can be used over rough terrain like hiking trails.

The moving force behind the donation was Brooksville resident and lodge member Benjamin Moss, who asked Fire Chief Matt Dow if there was something he needed for the fire department.

Dow told him that just recently the department had undertaken a rescue of a hiker that required a stretcher, and a wheeled mobile stretcher would have made things easier.

So Moss got to work tapping into a program known as Masons Assisting Communities, a charitable fund of the Grand Lodge of Maine.

The Rising Star Lodge has done work in area schools and with food banks using money from this source.

This time they sent it to Brooksville.

According to George Pulkkinen, editor of The Maine Mason magazine, every state has its own grand lodge of masons.

The masons, according to Pulkkinen, have been in Maine since 1820, as long as Maine has been a state. A lodge was established in Portland as early as 1765. Of course, that one was originally chartered under Massachusetts.

According to Pulkkinen, there are 177 active lodges in Maine. They all participate in community charitable giving through programs like Bikes for Books, that encourages reading among elementary schoolers.

Nationally, he said, Masons give away about $3.5 million a day, much of it associated with the Shriner hospitals. All Shriners are Masons, he said.