Brother Dave Gubanc from Reynoldsburg Lodge #340 in Reynoldsburg, Ohio recently sat down with the Grand Lodge of Ohio to discuss his lodge’s monthly “all you can eat” community breakfasts, the importance of building relationships with Lodge, and what attracts a man to Reynoldsburg. Read our full conversation below!
Tell us about Reynoldsburg Lodge. What makes it unique? What is it known for?
Reynoldsburg Lodge #340, Free and Accepted Masons, was chartered in the Village of Reynoldsburg in 1862 by a group of residents who were original members of Hebron Lodge #116, in the Village of Hebron in Licking County. In those days when the American Civil War was on the front page of every local newspaper throughout the region, prominent well established men living and working in the Village of Reynoldsburg were driven to form a force for good and improvement in their families’ lives. As a result they formed the Reynoldsburg Lodge. Many of Past Masters share names with major streets and schools. The men who laid the foundation for the lodge also greatly impacted the development of the town. Included in that group of lodge members are business owners, physicians, lawyers, Councilmen, Township Trustees, land owners, firemen and police who served their community and the fraternity for many years.
What is the community of Reynoldsburg like? What is your Lodge’s interaction in the community?
From the beginning of its founding, Reynoldsburg Lodge has always been identified with a building that was in the center of town. The current building, occupied by the lodge since 1966, was originally constructed by the phone company as a switching station, which explains why it is longer and narrower than other lodges specifically built to be Masonic lodges. This allowed the lodge room and the dining/meeting room to be on the first floor.
From the beginning, the dining room and kitchen have been used to hold birthday parties, anniversary parties, baby showers, golf league meetings and youth group meetings. There have also been long term renters such as an Eastern Star Chapter, DeMolay Chapter, Jobs Daughters Chapter, Order of Rosicrucians and a Council of Royal and Select Masons. The lodge room has been used by York Rite and Scottish Rite appendant bodies for degree practices and related meetings. For the last several years the lodge room has been used by the Reynoldsburg Band Boosters for their fundraising activities during the city-wide “Christmas on the Towne” celebration during the first weekend of December. Many people from the community use the lodge as a gathering space to hold events, our lodge is well-known place to the people of Reynoldsburg
Reynoldsburg, located about 11 miles east of downtown Columbus on both sides of Blacklick Creek, was platted in 1831 and has been the home of significant agricultural and manufacturing businesses and is generally referred to as a suburb of Columbus. Reynoldsburg is known as “The Birthplace of the Tomato”, claiming the first commercial variety of tomato was bred there in the 19th century. The Lodge’s interaction with the community has been long and varied. A few interactions worth highlighting:
- We’ve raised funds for the local Special Olympics committee,
- Welcomed new U.S. citizens at the Federal courthouse,
- Served as a blood donation and health testing center,
- Held a food collection center for the Helping Hands Food pantry,
- Participated in food drives and street clean up events throughout the year,
- Became a member of the Reynoldsburg Chamber of Commerce and we’re an active participant in the Reynoldsburg Community Association.
Membership in those organizations allows the Lodge to stay aware of what’s important to community leadership, and fully participate in those activities. As a lodge, this helps us achieve our goal of being a charitable force for good.
Tell us about the Community Breakfast your lodge puts on.
In the late 1990s, our lodge decided to offer an “all you can eat” breakfast to the Reynoldsburg community once a month. It developed into a regular event, with a goal of donating a significant portion of its profits to the local Special Olympics committee. Over the last 20 years, participation by members of the local neighborhood has grown significantly, such that many city leaders attend our monthly breakfast on a regular basis. It also serves as an effective way to introduce Masonic prospects to lodge members, and provides a great opportunity for new members to participate in a meaningful service to the community.
What is the relationship between Brothers in the lodge? How do they interact with each other and engage in Lodge events?
Working together to serve a monthly breakfast in a comfortable and welcoming venue encourages teamwork and sharpening of organizational and interpersonal skills. It also presents significant management opportunities for the lodge to train new members. Obviously, when members and their spouses work together on a regular basis, they become closer and more aware of the strengths, weaknesses and aspirations of others. The men who regularly work together on the monthly breakfast get to know each other better, and also learn skills transferable to lodge fundraising activities and other community events. As a lodge we face a challenge to conserve current relationships and develop a new generation of leaders who can make sure Reynoldsburg Lodge remains relevant to its community and continues serving breakfast well into the future.
Does your Lodge have any upcoming events you’d like to share?
Every year our new Master and his team of officers put together an annual plan, and focus on one or more areas of community involvement that they believe have been underserved in the past. This year the focus is on improving our fundraising so that our lodge can continue to improve its building to be in compliance with current kitchen codes so we can continue to serve our community.
The Lodge will participate in the statewide Masonic lodge open house event scheduled for Saturday, April 22, 2023.
Our three major fundraisers for 2023 will be:
- Selling funnel cakes at the Community Fireworks event on June 30th;
- Hosting a food booth at the 76th Millersport Sweet Corn Festival, August 30 through September 3, 2023, and
- Helping with the 3rd Annual Reynoldsburg Blues & Brews Festival, September 29, 2023.
More information will be available when we get closer to the date.
What about this Lodge made you want to be part of it? What type of Mason does it attract?
Reynoldsburg Lodge attracts men that want to make a difference in their community, improve their quality of life and strengthen their connection to their neighbors and like-minded citizens. We’re an active lodge with a committed and dynamic membership, and we are working hard to keep it that way.