On Thanksgiving morning, Post 43 of the Masonic War Veterans in Oswego visited the VA Hospital in Syracuse to present gift baskets to more than 130 male and female patients.
The baskets were filled with special items of treats and needed items of hats, mittens and hand-knitted or crocheted lap blankets along with socks, gloves, sundries, T-shirts and more.
The Post also presented a fresh fruit bag to each patient, cheerfully delivered while singing Christmas carols.
The Post members and volunteers brought along professional clowns in tow and greeted the medical staff as well as the hospitalized veterans on this holiday.
Many volunteers came from area CNY Masonic Lodges on Thanksgiving morning to assist Post 43 in this annual true example of freemasonry at large.
Ages 13 to 80-plus arrived at 8 a.m. in the light snow to assemble the gift baskets in the VA Hospital auditorium before delivering to the seven floors.
Donations are encouraged each year, all year long to Post 43 so these American heroes may be honored on a day where many would not see a visitor otherwise.
For example, this month a very successful benefit breakfast buffet was held at Lake City Masonic Lodge No. 127 in Oswego to help fund this annual Thanksgiving tradition started decades ago by Post 43.
Everyone in the community who attended that breakfast helped to make this event possible.
Freemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world consisting of more than 6 million men from all walks of life.
Charity is a tenet of freemasonry. Across the U.S. Masons donate about $2 million dollars daily.
To become a member of the Masonic War Veterans, a man must be active in the Masonic Lodge and have been a veteran with military service.
Anyone interested in becoming a member, or wishing to make a donation, should call Commander Carl Hoyt Sr. at 383-2274.