The local chapter of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows recently was bestowed with a high honor for service in the local, national and international community.
W. Larry Ferguson was presented Aug. 19 with the "Together Making a Difference" award.
"We received this award over 2,000 other lodges in the country," Ferguson said this week. "It's a great honor."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Casey Houser
From left, Independent Order of Odd Fellows members Ray Chewning and W. Larry Ferguson pose with their ‘Together Making a Difference’ award, which was presented Thursday to local members.
Sovereign Grand Master Delmar L. Burns first handed the award plaque to Ferguson at a national IOOF meeting. This Thursday, the award was displayed at the local meeting of Randolph County's own Lodge No. 116.
Burns visited the local lodge for its awards dinner last fall. He recognized that it was the only chapter to be so well-represented, with attendees from all 50 states, Canada, Iceland and the Netherlands, among other European countries.
IOOF members independently and jointly work to support the surrounding community, the United States and countries throughout the world.
"We offer an educational scholarship to members and (their) relatives," Ferguson said.
The local scholarship is a $1,500 yearly award.
Nationally, the Educational Foundation of the IOOF offers school loans that range from $3,000 to $5,000, and scholarships from $1,000 to $15,000.
IOOF members are active in research for eye care and arthritis, and they support Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Arthritis Foundation, respectively.
"We also sponsor a village in Cambodia," Ferguson continued.
For only $50 per child, members aid a series of villages that support children who have lost their biological families. Their family-based care system has provided home to more than 76,400 children.
The organization also plants trees through the Living Legacy Program. More than 2 million trees were planted last year in Canada and the United States through this effort.
High school sophomores and juniors can engage in a United Nations pilgrimage by winning an IOOF contest. Winners are sent on a 10-day trip to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City to sightsee and meet an official member of the U.N. Secretariat. More than 300 participants regularly attend the event.
More information about the IOOF is available by calling 1-800-235-8358.
Contact Casey Houser by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.