Last month, more than 1,200 Masons from throughout Southern California came to the Covina campus to celebrate fraternity, family, and fellowship at SummerFest: Staycation.
The annual SummerFest event is an annual event that invites Masonic family members from the fraternity, the Order of the Eastern Star, Masonic youth orders, and community members to the Covina campus for an open house celebration. Guests had an opportunity to socialize with residents, visit the new Southern California headquarters of the Masonic Center for Youth and Families (MCYAF), and visit the Child Advocacy Center, with which MCYAF partners.
As in past years, the event included a range of family-oriented activities, including an open swimming pool, bounce houses, and carnival games for children. Guests dined on a variety of favorite carnival snacks, as well as a delicious lunch catered by California classic In’N’Out Burger.
As part of the Masonic Homes’ partnership with the greater Covina community, representatives attended from Senator Ed Hernandez’s office and Mayor Jorge Marquez’s office. The Los Angeles Fire Department participated in the event, giving children a novel opportunity to try spraying a fire hose. The City of Covina Police Department was also in attendance: Officers wowed the audience with special demonstrations by their canine unit and bomb squad.
“To see the officers and firefighters here interacting with our residents and the community was a really special opportunity,” says Jennifer Shapiro, administrative assistant to the executive director at the Covina Home. “Oftentimes when we see them, they’re responding to an emergency. It was wonderful to get to spend time with them as members of the community.”
To help recognize the special partnership between the Masonic Homes and local police and firefighters, Destiny Lodge presented certificates of appreciation to the fire department and police staff in attendance. Both certificates were signed by Gary Charland, president and chief executive officer of the Masonic Homes, and Grand Master John R. Heisner
This year’s SummerFest celebration was made possible thanks to sponsorship from local Masonic organizations. The Masonic Homes wishes to thank the following lodges:
Northern California Masons are encouraged to join the Masonic Homes for Masonic Family HarvestFest, taking place September 16, 2017 in Union City. RSVP for HarvestFest.
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