As Town Meeting Day approaches, voters must make important decisions affecting our communities. Once again, Lee Lodge will be appealing to the voters for a reduction in tax liability on the non-income producing portion of our property. For the past 10 years, we have benefited from a reduction in our tax liability and therefore have been able to give back to the community. Lee Lodge #30 has been able to financially contribute to the community in excess of $50,000.

While the initial focus of the Masons is individual development (which leads to better membership in the community), Freemasonry is deeply involved in helping all people. The Freemasons of North America and their subordinate bodies contribute more than $2 million a day to charitable causes. Subordinate bodies of The Freemasons include The Shriners Hospitals for children, The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, and The Scottish Rite Childrens’ Centers for Dyslexia Education.

The C.A.R.E (Comprehensive Assessment and Recovery Effort) Program, so named in Vermont, trains teachers and administrators on methods to work with, and support, children at risk. Since the program’s inception in 1989, teachers and administrators from more than 235 Vermont schools have attended C.A.R.E. Many of these schools have attended multiple times. Vermont Freemasons have donated more than $600,000 to provide these sessions, including room and board at no cost to attendees.

Lee Lodge #30 has been able to provide $24,000 in scholarships to local students. The scholarships alone exceeded the savings we have realized in tax reduction. Another $24,000 was donated to municipal purposes, persons in need, schools, senior citizen centers, the food shelf, clothing for school kids, as well as special equipment for the police department; $4,500 was given to local churches for fuel assistance. We contribute to our active duty personnel and veterans, and routinely participate in honors given to veterans upon their passing; as well, we participate in Wreaths Across America where wreaths are laid upon the markers of our veterans. Also, we joined the Gilmore Home Center in raising $2,300 for Operation Sweet Tooth in which small bottles of Vermont maple syrup were sent overseas to our National Guard. Lee Lodge was instrumental in organizing a fundraiser for a local family about to lose their home, raising $6,400.

Lee Lodge #30 of Castleton asks you, as a voter of the town of Castleton, to again consider a reduction on our tax liability for the next five years by voting ‘yes’ on Article 45. Your vote will enable us to continue to contribute to our local community with the same vigor we have been so blessed to enjoy over the last 10 years.

Lee Lodge #30 of Castleton would very much like to thank the voters of Castleton for their support during the past many years.

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