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Community Breakfasts & More: A Conversation with Grove City Lodge #689

By January 4, 2022April 4th, 2023No Comments

Grove City Lodge #689 located in a suburb of Columbus has worked towards improving their relationship with their community through a handful of charitable events. Grove City is a model for other lodges looking to improve their community through charitable efforts. As Brother Brian Roberts of Lodge #689 remarked,  “If it is in your heart to serve others, Grove City Lodge will help you do that. We have many members who cannot attend meetings due to conflicts, but these outside events allow them to feel a part of the lodge and keep them with us.”

Grove City Lodge #689 puts on a variety of charity events throughout the year.

My name is Brian Roberts and I am the Worshipful Master of Grove City #689. I got into Masonry because of a couple of high school classmates who were thriving in Masonry and got me interested.

Tell us about Grove City Lodge and your community.

Grove City Lodge is located in Grove City, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus.  We are quickly nearing our 100 year celebration in 2023. Grove City has a wide variety of active members ranging from 101 years old down to 21 years olds. We are averaging about 30-35 members at our stated meetings. Grove City is a growing community that has an excellent downtown atmosphere that attracts many people and families to annual events. The Grove City Lodge is a proud partner in these events and continues to look for more ways to improve engagement and participation. We have two sandwich sales per year and we are averaging about 3,500 subs sold at each sale. Many of our subs are not sold to members but to the community. People ask all the time, “when is the next sub sale?” It has been a great source of community involvement.

Describe the Monthly Breakfast your lodge puts on. Who attends? How does it work?

The first Saturday of every month, we open our doors for a community breakfast.  We do not charge for this breakfast but we do take donations.  We serve eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, toast, waffles and pancakes and there is no limit to what you can order. We usually have about 30 members and spouses working these breakfasts and our goal is to have your plate ready with a great meal before you get your coffee and sit down. We actually achieve that goal numerous times during the morning. We average about 150 breakfasts in the 2 hours we are open and close to half of those coming are not Masons but members of the community. The community is a great supporter and we love them dearly.

During the year, we offer free breakfasts to veterans in November, we have a Santa Claus at our December event, where the kids can get pictures taken with old Saint Nick. We have also donated proceeds of our June breakfast to the Special Olympics.

Another awesome event that we do is our sub sale. We take orders a couple of weeks prior to the event. We commit to a number of subs, we buy the materials and during the week we package the vegetables in bags separately to prevent things getting soggy. On Thursday, we form an assembly line beginning at 9am and hand make the subs needed to fill the order.  This past sub sale we did 3,000 subs and had them done before noon. Our record is almost 4,400. It takes an army to achieve this twice a year. This army consists of not only members and their families but District and State Officers and members of the communities who become friends over the years. All of the proceeds from the fundraiser get donated to a variety of charities that the lodge supports. We are very fortunate to have so many wonderful people who assist us.

Grove City Lodge’s sandwich sale raises funds for local charities

How does the breakfast help to integrate lodge members with the community?

Our events allow us to reach the community in ways that other lodges cannot. Grove City has over 40,000 people and people recognize me at stores all the time. We have police officers, teachers, firefighters and even a highly known political figure in our midst but to us, they are all just brothers and sisters who are helping to serve the community.

Has this or other events helped recruitment?

When new candidates come to visit our lodge and see all that we do, they are drawn to want to help. If it is in your heart to serve others, Grove City Lodge will help you do that. We have many members who cannot attend meetings due to conflicts, but these outside events allow them to feel a part of the lodge and keep them with us. We pass out numerous petitions at our community events and gain members.

What other types of events does the Grove City Lodge put on throughout the year?

Besides the monthly breakfast and the sub sales, Grove City #689 also participates in several events in Grove City during various festivals and parades. Grove City also sponsors youth baseball teams during the summer. We usually will provide the uniforms and some transportation to our special needs athletes at one of our local high schools.

How do these charitable events reflect Grove City Lodge?

Grove City Lodge has left a very good impression on the community and we value that impression and look to build on it in the future.

What is your advice for other lodges looking to create new charitable events in their community?

JUST START, it does not matter how big or small. Our first breakfasts, we were the only ones who came to eat. We basically showed up and cooked for ourselves. Now we can give Bob Evans a run for his money on the first Saturday of every month.

Do you have any upcoming initiatives for 2022?

We are always looking at new and innovative ways to engage our community. I think we have a few good ones, but only time will tell.

Does your lodge put on exciting charity events that deserve a highlight on our blog? Email with details about your lodge for a chance to be featured on our website!