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2022 News

Supreme Visit

Valley of Excellence chairman Dwight Damschroeder and Executive Secretary Duane Kemerley met with museum curator Stacey on October 26, 2022, in the vaults at Supreme Council in Lexington, Massachusetts. They also received the 2021-2022 Valley of Excellence award on behalf of the Valley of the Firelands.

24th Degree and All Degree Day

On October 15, 2022, Bryce Bates was inducted as a member of the Scottish Rite in the Valley of the Firelands and also received the 24th degree.

On October 16, 2022, received the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees along with the 4th degree at Gibson Lodge in Wakeman, becoming both Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite members.


On Sunday evening, October 16, about 150 Valley members, visitors, and family enjoyed the fourth annual Oktoberfest at the Mansfield, Ohio, Liederkranz. Multiple pull tab drawings and raffles, and an auction managed by the Valley's expert auctioneer Caid McKinley resulted in raising about $8,000 for Valley expenses. The Liederkranz dancers provided entertainment.

Fall Reunion

On Saturday, September 24, 82 Scottish Rite Masons from the Valley of the Firelands and 12 other Valleys stretching from Chicago to Pittsburgh attended the annual Fall Reunion at the Sandusky Masonic Center in Sandusky, Ohio. The 21st Degree was presented in Table Format, a method unique to this Valley in which members read their parts from scripts. After lunch, the 16th degree was presented in full theater format.

Celebrate the Rite

On Sunday, September 4, seventy members, wives, and relatives from the Valley of the Firelands attended the annual Celebrate the Rite dinner at the Sycamore Event Center to honor members who received distinction during this year. Noted included those who received 32nd degree certificates, completed their passports, and who were nominated for the Meritorious Service Award and the 33rd Degree.

1939 30th degree - Knight Kadosh
Order of the White and Black Eagle

Sixty Masons from the Valley of the Firelands and other valleys viewed a reenactment of the 1939 version of the 30th degree on Saturday, June 25, 2022, complete with the "mysterious ladder," coffins, and the various characters both living and dead. Brother Cody Noon assembled and constructed the many props and directed the degree.

2022 Valley of the Firelands Scholarship Winners

Two seniors pictured below received $750 scholarships from the Valley of the Firelands this year.

Elizabeth Dauterman (left) is a 2022 graduate of Saint Peters High School in Mansfield, Ohio. She will be attending the University of Dayton this fall to begin her studies in marketing to prepare for a career in international business management.

Elena Runion (right) is a 2022 graduate of Elyria High School and will attend the University of Michigan to major in microbiology and begin her career in medical research.

2022 Ohio Council of Deliberation

Pictured are many of the Valley of the Firelands members who attended the 2022 Ohio Council of Deliberation annual meeting, held on June 4, 2022, in Mason, Ohio. Pictured are, from left to right,

Seated: Ill. Joseph Radocy (Deputy's Representative for the Valley of the Firelands and elected at this meeting as Sentinel for the Ohio Council of Deliberation), Michael J. Cooley, and Robert R. Cooke (both nominated and approved at this meeting to receive the Meritorious Service Award at the OCR meeting in 2023).

Standing: Ill. Jeffrey K. Kaple, Steven B. Cooley (father of Michael), Dwight D. Damschroder, Gail E. Reeder, Ill. Duane Kemerley (Executive Secretary), and Ill. Larry A. Rentz (Treasurer).

Dwight D. Damschroder received the Meritorious Service Award at this session. 


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Valley Officer Installation

After a vote by the membership present, the 2022-2023 officer of for the Valley of the Firelands were installed by Deputy's Representative Ill. Joseph Radocy on May 4, 2022 at Bellevue Lodge. 

Spring Reunion

Eighty members attended the Spring Reunion in Tiffin on Sunday afternoon, April 24. Three new members received the 4th degree, and two plural members joined them for the presentation of their Scottish Rite caps. The 13th degree followed in table form, and the improptu cast gave a spirited rendition of the degree. After dinner, the 14th degree and presentation of 14th degree rings was staged in the center of the lodge. Deputy's Representative Ill. Joseph Radocy concluded the day with an address to the assembled brethren.

New Members Travel to Cambridge for Degrees

Mike Ellis and Andrew Suter (front row) traveled to Cambridge with Illustrious Joe Radocy, 33rd, (back row on right) on Saturday, April 9, 2022 to receive the 10th, 14th, 18th, and 26th degree. The 26th degree also completed all 29 degree for Illustrious Radocy. Richard Heldman (back row on left), Deputy for Ohio, joined them in the photograph.

16th Masonic District All Degree Day

On Saturday, March 26, 2022, the 16th District held an All Degree Day at Tiffin Masonic Temple at which 27 men were welcomed into the fraternity. Following a brief talk in which the benefits of membership in the Valley of the Firelands was explained, 19 candidates  applied to be members of the Valley. The 4th degree was held following the Master Mason degree, and 17 new members were welcomed into the valley. The other two will complete their induction at a later date.

11th Degree

On Thursday, March 24, 2022, and Sunday, March 27, 2022, 60 men participated in the 11th degree in the Table Degree format at Gibson Lodge in Wakeman and Fostoria Lodge in Fostoria. One new member was welcomed at Fostoria Lodge.

Rite On!

Eighty Valley members and their companions celebrated the achievements of many Valley members at the annual Rite On! spring social dinner and awards ceremony on March 6, 2022, at the American Legion in Sandusky, Ohio. 

Robert Lemaster and were welcomed as new Valley Colonels in tribute to their dedicated support and efforts for the Valley.

Jason Wilkins and Wyatt Cooke received the Veteran's Certificate and Pin. Bob Cooke accepted them on behalf of his son, Wyatt Cooke, who is deployed on active duty.

Ill. Joseph Radocy, Ill. Larry Rentz, and Gail Reeder received awards for being first line signers for 5 or more new members.

Timothy Baum, Colin Cox, Dustin Dewey, John Hembree, David Jones, Andrew Main, Austin Norville, Timothy Norville, Lawrence Palmer, Aaron Pearson, Richard Wilhelm, and Jason Wilkins received their official 32nd degree certificates from the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.

Richard Arwood, Steve Cooley, Michael Cooley, Leland Kemerley, Robert Lemaster, Gary Meikle, Cody Noon, Larry Rentz, Anthony Wise and Eric Young received a certificate and gold passport for having completed all 29 degrees. 

David Dauterman, David Martien, Gail Reeder, and Dwight Damschroder received jewels for having completed all 29 degrees for the second time.

Third Annual Superbowl Party

On February 13, 2022, the Valley of the Firelands cohosted a Superbowl Party at Gibson Lodge #301 in Wakeman. Food and drinks were provided, and five prospective members to the Valley had the benefits of joining the Valley explained to them by Russel Beach.

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